, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 201-217,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 23 Dec 2010

Self-medication of migraine and tension-type headache: summary of the evidence-based recommendations of the Deutsche Migräne und Kopfschmerzgesellschaft (DMKG), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurologie (DGN), the Österreichische Kopfschmerzgesellschaft (ÖKSG) and the Schweizerische Kopfwehgesellschaft (SKG)

Abstract

The current evidence-based guideline on self-medication in migraine and tension-type headache of the German, Austrian and Swiss headache societies and the German Society of Neurology is addressed to physicians engaged in primary care as well as pharmacists and patients. The guideline is especially concerned with the description of the methodology used, the selection process of the literature used and which evidence the recommendations are based upon. The following recommendations about self-medication in migraine attacks can be made: The efficacy of the fixed-dose combination of acetaminophen, acetylsalicylic acid and caffeine and the monotherapies with ibuprofen or naratriptan or acetaminophen or phenazone are scientifically proven and recommended as first-line therapy. None of the substances used in self-medication in migraine prophylaxis can be seen as effective. Concerning the self-medication in tension-type headache, the following therapies can be recommended as first-line therapy: the fixed-dose combination of acetaminophen, acetylsalicylic acid and caffeine as well as the fixed combination of acetaminophen and caffeine as well as the monotherapies with ibuprofen or acetylsalicylic acid or diclofenac. The four scientific societies hope that this guideline will help to improve the treatment of headaches which largely is initiated by the patients themselves without any consultation with their physicians.