Open Access

Narcotic analgesics for acute migraine in the emergency room: are we meeting Headache Societies' guidelines?

The Journal of Headache and Pain20067:338

Received: 24 July 2006

Accepted: 19 September 2006

Published: 10 December 2006


We analysed 161 patients with acute migraine in our emergency room (ER) to identify the use of narcotic analgesics as first-line treatment. Twenty-four percent of patients were treated with opioid analgesics and 76% patients were treated with non-opioid analgesics. Pain was completely relieved in 100 (62%) patients, partially relieved in 50 (31%) patients and was not relieved in 11 (7%) patients at the time of discharge. Pain relief was not related to the use of opioids vs. non-opioids. The treatment of acute migraine in our ER is in line with the guidelines of the Headache Societies and needs further improvement.

Key words

MigraineEmergency roomNarcoticsGuidelines