Ross-Lee, L.M., Eadie, M.J., Heazlewood, V. et al. Eur J Clin Pharmacol (1983) 24: 777. doi:10.1007/BF00607087
The pharmacokinetics of aspirin (ASA) in acute migraine attacks, and the influence of metoclopramide on ASA disposition, were studied in 32 attacks in 30 patients. An intergroup comparison was made between normal volunteers, and the migraineurs, who were assigned at random to one of three treatment groups: a) oral ASA only (900 mg); b) 10 mg oral metoclopramide + oral ASA 900 mg; c) 10 mg i. m. metoclopramide + oral ASA 900 mg. Plasma ASA and SA levels were measured serially over 2 h, and the resultant data evaluated pharmacokinetically. Metoclopramide plasma levels were also determined over 2 h, and the results compared with a second group of normal volunteers. The rates of oral ASA absorption and elimination were unaffected by migraine. Mean absorption rate constants of 14.15±9.48 h−1 (normals), 7.91±3.42 h−1 (ASA only), 6.74±3.26 h−1 (ASA + oral metoclopramide) and 8.12±2.82 h−1 (ASA + i. m. metoclopramide) were calculated. Mean elimination rate constants ranged from 2.56 h−1 to 3.37 h−1, and did not differ significantly between controls and migrainous patients. Values for absorption lag time, however, were higher in migraine patients treated with ASA alone than in any other group. The amount of ASA absorbed unhydrolysed was also lower in this group. SA levels appeared unaffected either by the migraine attack, or by metoclopramide administration, over the period of study. Metoclopramide plasma levels were significantly lower during migraine attacks, and the amount of drug absorbed up to 2 h from dosing was also reduced, as compared with non-migrainous subjects. It was concluded that acute migraine caused a delay in orally administered ASA reaching its absorption sites, probably as a result of gastric stasis, and may have decreased the amount of ASA absorbed. The prior administration of metoclopramide, either orally or intramuscularly, reduced the absorption lag time, and thus promoted the early absorption of ASA, probably by restoring alimentary tract motility.