Medications containing barbiturates or narcotics may make migraine worse



An international team led by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers has identified genetic markers associated with risk for ulcerative colitis. The findings, which appear today as an advance online publication of the journal Nature Genetics , bring researchers closer to understanding the biological pathways involved in the disease and may lead to the

Full Post: Discovery of new genetic markers for ulcerative colitis

A team of researchers led by investigators at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has determined that certain commonly-prescribed medications may have the unintended consequence of increasing the frequency of migraine attacks.

This important finding could alter the way doctors prescribe migraine medicines.

In a recent article published in the journal Headache , the Einstein-led study of more than 8,000 migraine sufferers nationwide, found that the use of medications containing barbiturates or narcotics - which relieve migraine short-term - may make migraine worse if these medications are overused. Treatment with these classes of medicines was associated with an increased risk of transformed migraine (TM) headaches, a form of migraine characterized by 15 or more days of headache per month.

The finding is significant because 35 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches and an additional 5 million suffer from transformed migraine. Migraine symptoms include throbbing head pain, most commonly on one side. The pain can worsen with physical activity. Attacks most commonly last from 4 to 72 hours, but may persist for longer. More severe attacks are overwhelming and hinder daily activities. In addition to personal suffering, lost labor costs in the U.S. due to migraine are in excess of $13 billion per year, according to an earlier study from the Einstein team.

Principal investigator and senior author of the study, Richard Lipton, M.D. noted, “This confirms the longstanding feeling among many doctors that certain medications used to treat migraine may increase the frequency of headaches if overused. These findings have important public health implications.” Dr. Lipton is professor and vice chair of neurology at Einstein and also directs the Montefiore Headache Center.

The objective of the study was to assess the role of specific classes of acute medications in the development of transformed or chronic migraine (TM) in people with episodic migraine (EM). In the study, 8,219 people with episodic migraine were followed for one year; 2.5% developed TM over the course of the year. The use of commonly prescribed medications, particularly narcotics (such as acetaminophen with codeine or Percocet), or barbiturates (such as Fiorinal, Fioricet and Esgic) were associated with a dose-dependent increased risk of new onset of TM. That means episodic or occasional migraine sufferers who took narcotics or barbiturates more frequently were more likely to develop TM.

Conversely, for those study participants that suffered less than 10 headaches per month (EM sufferers), a class of drugs called triptans - known to relieve migraine - did not increase the risk of transformed migraine. NSAIDs (ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, for example) were protective against transition to TM for those suffering less than 10 headache days per month, but were associated with increased risk of transition to TM for those with high levels of monthly headache days.

“Proper treatment with the appropriate medicines can bring relief to most people with migraine,” said Dr. Lipton. “Primary care practitioners and patients should try to avoid the use of narcotic or barbiturate medications that may exacerbate migraine; if these drugs are necessary, patients should be advised of the risks of medication overuse and dose limits should be applied.”

The American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study is funded through a research grant to the National Headache Foundation from Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, Inc., Titusville, New Jersey. The study won the 2008 Harold Wolff Award for excellence in headache research, a prize given by the American Headache Society.

http://www.aecom.yu.edu/

Link




Most of the people suffer from severe headaches due to excessive use of drugs. The ones who suffer from severe migraine headaches can turn to Imitrex for relief. Imitrex is under the class of Tripan drugs. The FDA approved Imitrex about ten years ago as one of the best drugs that can relieve headache suffering,

Full Post: Best drug to relief headache



Migraine headaches can precede the onset of mental disorders, according to a growing body of knowledge that includes a new study in the January-February 2009 issue of General Hospital Psychiatry. “Together, migraine and mental disorders cause more impairment than alone,” said lead study author Gregory Ratcliffe. “Patients who have one condition should be assessed for

Full Post: Migraines linked to mental disorders



There is a critical need to review current treatment strategies for the increasingly common problem of medication overuse headaches (MOH), according to a series of international papers in the November issue of Cephalalgia. “MOH is associated with severe disability, unmet treatment need and little clinical data to support current management strategies” says neurology expert Professor

Full Post: Urgent need for research into medication overuse headaches



Women who suffer from migraines may take at least some comfort in a recent, first-of-its-kind study that suggests a history of such headaches is associated with a significantly lower risk of breast cancer. Christopher I. Li, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center report these findings in the November issue of Cancer

Full Post: Migraines linked to lower risk of breast cancer



Women can usually keep using the same asthma drugs they were using before they got pregnant. Budesonide sprays are the best studied and can be regarded as safe. More trials of other essential medicines are necessary however. According to the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), more data from trials could

Full Post: Pregnant women with asthma can be more confident about some medicines