, Volume 254, Issue 6, pp 705-712

Efficacy and safety of 1,000mg effervescent aspirin: individual patient data meta-analysis of three trials in migraine headache and migraine accompanying symptoms

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Migraine is often associated with health consequences including impaired quality of life, and the cost of treating migraine headaches places a significant financial burden on patients who suffer from migraines. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and triptans are commonly used for the treatment of acute migraine attacks. Aspirin is widely accepted as a treatment option for migraine pain relief and could provide an alternative not only for treatment of moderate migraine attacks, but also for severe migraine attacks. The efficacy and safety of 1,000 mg effervescent aspirin (eASA) was evaluated in comparison to 50 mg sumatriptan and placebo in an individual patient data meta-analysis of three randomized, placebo-controlled, single- dose migraine trials. Pain-relief at 2 h, pain-free at 2 h and sustained pain-free up to 24 h were calculated. For eASA, the response rates were 51.5 % (95 % CI: 46.6-56.5 %), 27.1 % (95 % CI: 22.6-31.4 %), and 23.5 % (95 % CI: 19.3-27.7 %). For sumatriptan, the response rates were 46.6 % (95% CI: 40.0-3.2 %), 29% (95 % CI: 23.0-34.9 %), and 22.2 % (95 % CI: 16.7-27.6 %). The corresponding rates for placebo were 33.9 % (95% CI: 29.1-38.6 %), 15.1 % (95 % CI: 11.5-18.7 %), and 14.6 % (95 % CI: 11.0-18.1 %). The treatment effect of eASA and sumatriptan were significantly different from placebo (p < 0.001), but differences between eASA and sumatriptan were not significant. The remission of accompanying symptoms and the subgroup analyses of patients with moderate or severe migraine pain at baseline revealed no significant differences between eASA and sumatriptan. Safety was evaluated based on the frequency of reported adverse events, and treatment with eASA was associated with lower incidence of adverse events than was with sumatriptan. This individual patient data meta-analysis provided evidence that eASA 1,000mg is as effective as sumatriptan 50mg for the treatment of acute migraine attacks and has a better side effect profile. This is also true for patients with moderate as well as severe headache at baseline. Patients therefore should be advised to use eASA first for migraine attacks and use a triptan in case of no response.