February 23, 2024

These medications work best to treat migraines

Paracetamol and caffeine

Robert Klatt

In Germany, many people use ibuprofen to treat migraine attacks. According to a new study, combining treatment with other methods is significantly more effective.


Rochester (USA). According to the German Migraine and Headache Society (DMKG), about 15% of women and 6% of men suffer from migraines. In addition to throbbing and pressure headaches, symptoms of the disease also include nausea, hypersensitivity to light, sound, smell, and vomiting. In severe cases, symptoms can last for several days. There is currently no cure for this disease.


So Mayo Clinic researchers led by Chia-Chun Chiang investigated which medications could best relieve symptoms. According to what was published in the specialized magazine Neurology In addition to painkillers such as acetaminophen and paracetamol, they also examined the effects of triptans. These are active anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving ingredients.


Data from 300,000 people

The study is based on data from 300,000 people collected using an application over a period of six years. In addition to the migraine attacks the study participants experienced, the researchers also recorded their severity and duration as well as the medications they were taking.

In Germany and many other countries, the painkiller ibuprofen is especially popular among people with migraines. However, according to the overall study data, triptans were 5.4 times as effective. Ergoline (3-fold) and antiemetics (2-fold), which are used to treat nausea and vomiting in migraine, were also significantly more effective. In addition, combination therapy of paracetamol, acetylsalicylic acid, and caffeine was significantly more effective than ibuprofen.

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“We hope this study shows people for whom acute migraine medications don’t work that there are many alternatives that do work for treating migraines. We encourage people to talk to their doctors about how to treat this painful and debilitating illness.”

Neuroscience, doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000207964