Got a Migraine? Relief May Already be in Your Medicine Cabinet

Got a Migraine? Relief May Already be in Your Medicine Cabinet

According to a new report in The American Journal of Medicine, aspirin can be considered an effective and safe option to other, more expensive medications to treat acute migraines as well as prevent recurrent attacks. A review of randomized evidence suggests safety and efficacy of aspirin in doses from 900 to 1,300 milligrams taken at the onset of acute symptoms. The data also support a lower dose of from 81 to 325 milligrams as a possible preventive option.

“Aspirin provides a possible clinical option for primary healthcare providers to relieve the debilitating symptoms of acute migraine headaches and prevent recurrent attacks. Aspirin’s side effect profile and low cost may also favour its use,” noted senior author Charles H. Hennekens, MD, DrPH, the first Sir Richard Doll Professor & Senior Academic Advisor to the Dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, USA. The investigators reviewed the randomized evidence for high dose aspirin in treatment and low dose aspirin in prevention of migraine headaches.

Migraine headache is the third most common disease in the world affecting about one in seven people. More prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy, and asthma combined, migraine headaches are among the most common and potentially debilitating disorders encountered by primary healthcare providers. Migraines are also associated with an increased risk of stroke. There are effective prescription medications available to treat acute migraine headaches as well as to prevent recurrent attacks. Nonetheless, in the United States, many patients are not adequately treated for reasons that include limited access to healthcare providers, lack of health insurance, or high co-pays, which make expensive medications of proven benefit unaffordable. The rates of uninsured (or underinsured) have been estimated to be 8.5 percent nationwide and 13 percent in Florida. Furthermore, for all patients, prescription drugs may be poorly tolerated or contraindicated.

Professor Hennekens mused that, “If aspirin were only half as effective, 10 times more expensive, and available by prescription, then perhaps patients and possibly some of their healthcare providers, would take it more seriously.”

“Despite the fact that aspirin is an over-the-counter drug,” Dr. Hennekens cautioned, “as is the case for any drug used long term, it should be prescribed by a healthcare provider.”

Joseph S. Alpert, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Medicine and Professor of Medicine, University of Arizona Department of Medicine, Tucson, AZ, USA, commented in an accompanying editorial, “My take home message from this thoughtful and carefully researched review is that physicians should always try the simple and inexpensive high dose aspirin regimen as the initial therapeutic attempt for migraine headache control. If aspirin works to abort or ameliorate the headaches, then it should be tried as a prophylactic measure to see if it can prevent the occurrence of these debilitating headaches. Hopefully, this would lead to less disability and loss of employment time for these patients who are so common in the US and throughout the world.”

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Authored by: Staff

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Ann Sable

A short continue:

Therfore, I am unable to ingest asprin, ibuprofen or any other anti-inflammatory drugs of any sorts. Every time I have tried, bathroom breaks are even more escruciating and the lining of my bowels are voided as well. So don’t even go there with the asprin/insaid bull****. Every comment below, I can truly sympathize with in every condition. For I am also a migraine sufferer as well…and I’ve had this long before all of my surgeries. (And my body can’t take anymore surgeries that I still need with my spine, hips and such). Therefore, the ones that have wrote such things as this article are just plain bat **** crazy!
NOTE: No, I’ve never had a gastric bypass surgery, no colostomy bag and I lost 2 ft of bowel altogether. I am unable to absorb nutrients and to make matters worse…not all my bowel, in different sections, works nor works together and in constant malfunctioning and the pain; no words, colors or pictures will ever come close to describing it. A constant 24/7 battle of pain with nothing rx nor otc to relieve such torment.

Ann Sable

Sorry for the upcoming graphic details, but it really does need to be said. I have had two bowel resections in only 2 months apart. The first time, I had strangulation of the ileum which literally killed a big portion of my bowel, caused an internal hernia and even killed my apendix…no, not apendisitis either. That was 9 days in the hospital and 14 staples from top to bottom. Two months later, I was back in the hospital bleeding out both ends and only given about 3 hours to live with my bowels twisting and cutting off a major portion of my bowels…leading to iliehypogastric, among other things. Fifteen days in the hospital and 15 staples on top of that -reopening the same area. Dumping syndrome/short bowel like syndrome. I have had 26 surgeries in less than 4 years, to the point that they had to reconstruct my entire abdomen (inside and out). Then they missed the 3 staples in my lower bowel for 3 years after repeatedly telling them that something was very wrong in stabbing, scrapping and every sort of unimaginable pain. They did a colonoscopy, while I was fully awake, and cam across those 3 staples and wasn’t going to remove them until I was screaming. Dropped one and when the GI went to fetch it, accidentally grabbed a huge chunk of my inner bowel and just told me to stop crying and screaming, that it would be over soon enough and that none of that should even hurt at all…pfft! It went on and damaged my uterer, kidneys and my gallbladder. So I had to have reconstructive surgery on my uterer, then later down the road…my gallbladder taken out. My bowels decided to swallow my ovaries…yes, that happened. They were swallowed from the outer side from my bowels. I eventually had to have another across the lower abdomen surgery to cut as many nerves as they could find since I wound up with a severe case of Myofascial Pain Syndrome that never went away since that failed too. There is so much more to be told but it would take up about 3 sections or more to complete.


This really makes me angry. I realize you are just sharing medical articles that you have found regarding chronic pain conditions. THESE TWO DOCTORS don’t know anything about migraines & it is dangerous information to pass it on to any undiagnosed or undertreated person suffering from migraines. MIGRAINES ARE NOT JUST HEADACHES. Just check with any of the headache specialists! Even American Migraine Association, CHAMP, National Headache Foundation & many others. I think these articles are dangerous & could cause potential users great harm. Everyone has tried aspirin, but are aware of the side effects of taking too much. Bleeding, stomach & GI tract issues that are impossible to treat, stroke, etc. I hope a headache specialist sees this and responds in the letter to editor. I am hoping your were just sharing information & not buying into this nonsense. I have horrific migraines & aspirin has caused GI issues. Migraines are a neurological disease and not just head pain! They can include aura, photophobia, phonophobia, balance issues, nausea & vomiting to list only a few of the symptoms of migraine. Please don’t believe everything you read. I’m so frustrated with the medical community, I am beginning to wonder if they are truly trying to get rid of us by suggesting such asinine aspirin!

P.S something else I won’t tell us, when you use any product in the NSAIDs family and it irritates lining of your stomach and if this continues you can develop an ulcer, internal bleeding, kidney failure, liver failure, and too much acid in the stomach from use of aspirins can cause tumors on the pancreas which can turn into pancreatic cancer. A little more research should have been done. I have developed pancreatic cyst oh my pancreas and now I have to be checked every year for pancreatic cancer and it was due from overuse of aspirin. I should have said this first. I’ve heard many doctors say that aspirin is a miracle drug. But it could be a lethal drug as well. I agree with everyone who has left a negative response this article. Maybe the staff is running out of Articles to write. Us that suffer with both migraines & chronic pain this article is like feeding a wild bear. The bear doesn’t know when the sandwich ends & your hand begins. LOL

I have occipital neuralgia, i ruined my stomach from taking excedrine migraine. I ‘ve been on countless so called migraine drugs, nose spray, shots with ketrolac that finally did GI damage, i now deal with gastritis even w/ sm dose 81 mg I am forced to use 2* a week due dvts. Hematologist will not change my medication to something that like Eliquis that does not upset my stomach bc he believes aspirin is a cheap fix. Regardless of me telling him how bad it tears up my stomach. So instead of daily he said 2* a wk. BC I have Medicare he says this saves on insurance company. But I’m the one paying the insurance company & I pay for my medication. I have 2 insurances that have gone up every year. By the time I’m 70 I probably can’t afford to have insurance when I needed the most. I have dealt with migraines for 28 years now that were daily. I have force myself to work daily to the point I collapsed I got home. After 30 years of working I finally couldn’t do it anymore. Even when I went to part-time. I struggle everyday of my life w/ chronic migraines & other chronic pain & now chronic pain caused by surgery. When i had opiated @ a high dose only had migraines 2* a wk. Now I just suffer everyday. I only got to enjoy less migraines for 1 yr until so-called overdoses crisis happened.

Asprin!!! This is CRAZY. It is quite evident that whoever this is that believes aspirin helps serious pain has never had real pain


Hello, interesting article however what to do about those of us who are allergic to aspirin and drugs in the nsaid family? Leaves us with Tylenol; which after being force tapered off opioids as so many thousands of us have been, leaves us with untreated migraine pain.

It kills me when researchers treat us like idiots. I’ve tried 80+ treatments for migraine. Of course I’ve tried aspirin. Also, aspirin can cause medication overuse headache or “rebound”. Trying to figure out how low-dose daily aspirin wouldn’t be a problem. Anyway, hopefully everyone who is first diagnosed with migraine has tried OTC meds before being prescribed something else…. If aspirin worked for me, I’d be thrilled!!!

Susan L.

Did Fiorinal (butalbital, caffeine, and aspirin) fall from favor? Probably…BECAUSE IT DOESN’T WORK. I thought BoTox was migraine’s miracle cure? No? Thought not.

I thank my lucky stars that triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Amerge, etc.) work for me, though I’m still limited to 9 doses per month. That’s plenty now that I’m older, but during my reproductive years, I got debilitating migraines almost DAILY.

Over the years, I was subjected to the following treatments: NSAIDs of all kinds (including Bextra, Advil, Vioxx, and Celebrex), Darvon/cett (remember that one?), Fiorinal/cett, Topamax, Klonopin, several tricyclic antidepressants (Elavil, Desipramine, Amitriptyline), hydrocodone (5, 7.5, and 10 mg), OxyContin (40mg), Toradol, morphine, Demerol, Zoloft, Depokote, phenobarbital, caffeine pills, acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, nutritional supplements, St. John’s Wort, slippery elm, Tylenol, and yes, lots and lots of aspirin.

So, yeah…aspirin works for [edit]. These kinds of insulting articles make me VERY suspicious about your intentions, and I’m not alone.

Thomas Wayne Kidd

I have decided to stay on here to tell you when you have messed up big time. Ya’ll have done it big time this time. Good grief, just close your eyes and think before you begin writing. Calm down and let things sink in. Aspirin is not the answer. Going back to the opioid medications that have sustained us is the answer. WAKE UP, WAKE UP!

Thomas Wayne Kidd

Let go back to witch doctors while we are at it. Insanity, insanity, all are insane. Good grief, what is the matter with you people. I am through with this [edit]. Goodbye.

Robin Johnson

This article is insulting and condescending to many of us battling chronic pain and migraines and is also potentially dangerous. There are people with other health issues for which aspirin may be contraindicated Even though a drug is over sold over the counter doesn’t mean it is without risks. My doctors prescribed ibuprofen to manage my migraines which triggered a brain bleed and a seizure. Aspirin also is a blood thinner. Tylenol can damage the liver etc. Pain control is complex. We are well beyond the era of “take an aspirin and call me in the morning”. Or at least we certainly should be. How about we at least remember “First do no harm”.


What!?! Apparently the writer has headaches not migraines. Also, they have NO “bleeding disorders”. I am to never take a NSAID! I have what is in short is called a “AVM” & can be fatal “bleeding disorder”. Make no mistake aspirin is more effective than Tylenol let’s take Excedrin Migraine “caffeine, aspirine, acetametaphine” but that is only going to work for a headache. A migraine is a neurological disorder. I’ve had black outs & seizures with migraines. I take Topomax preventative. Also, there are different types & each person is different. I began marijuana for cancer & many report it helps their migraines. Not me it will not cause one but some plants agrivate them. Also re aspirin or Tylenol like w/certain pain meds it can cause rebound migraines!!! It’s a fact! Except taking Tylenol damages the liver in excess and Aspirin the kidneys if taken in excess which you risk with migraine.


Aparently you have never had migraine headaches. The first option is always over the counter drugs. Aspirin is almost always first. I’m not why as a teenager and young adult to about 25. I had a migraine headache a couple times a week to once or twice a month. As I got older the time between episodes grew. At 66 I rarely have a migraine. When I do it is most debilitating. I take Tylenol OC, Maybe some ibuprofen. Then I get a cold damp wash cloth for my eyes and forehead. Go to bed, shut off all external noise. Then pray I don’t stoke out. Try to sleep through the pain. Tension and stress seems to activate the duration and intensity or the pounding stabbing and pulsating pain inherent in all my migraines. Over the years there has been time when I went to the doctor and was given valium ans some form of opoids to reduce the pain. Both of which worked. Now at 66 being a tapered off chronic pain victim. I just lay here and suffer through all my pain on OC Tylenol and the occasional ibuprofen. Cant take Aspirin for stomach and blood thinner issues. Ibuprofen for the same reasons plus ut causes my legs and feet to swell more. So apsein will help, but there are headaches and then there headaches. Like chronic pain, a generalized approach is a childish response to a medical condition that effects so many. Would not wish my pain on my worst enemy. But for the people who DENY the pain that is debilitating our lives. I would love to see how they would fare. If they suddenly had acute and intense pain over a long period of time. It’s hard to believe there are people who have never had a headache. But they are out there and seem to be in charge of the aspirin and other drugs we grew up depending on. Take 2 Aspirin and call me in the morning if not any better doctor.

Bradley Bill Parker

Aspirin, and it’s available OTC you all hear that, now quit your gripping. High Impact Chronic Intractable cranial nerve autoimmune inflammatory Pain Sufferers, Cancer, and aids Patients, You want too knock it off with the whining about opioid unavailability ok, if you have not already heard the news, It’s aspirin that is now the only thing anyone will ever need for pain. it’s a miracle, I got to sit down. Thanks for sharing the details and your thoughts, just what I was looking for, Sincerely yours Mr Bradley Bill Parker ✝️🤸 🏀🤾


Wow, aspirin? Who would have ever thought to try aspirin? Are you the same cretins who, due to the opioid hysteria in America, are also recommending chronic pain patients try Tylenol and/or ibuprofen? Like, NONE of us would have EVER thought of that! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Here’s a tiny news flash: migraine sufferers have TRIED aspirin to death, just like chronic pain patients tried Tylenol and/or ibuprofen. We’ve also tried thoughts & prayers, black magic, M&Ms, Skittles, and JuJuBees. By the time we show up at our doctor or pain management, we have exhausted literally every other option.
We’re in pain. We’re not stupid. Oh, and we’re also NOT addicts, although you treat us like we are. And you wonder why some of us turn to illicit drugs. It’s not because we want to get high. IT’S BECAUSE WE’RE SEEKING RELIEF. GET A CLUE!

Bob Schubring

High doses of aspirin thin the blood and increase bleeding risk.

The Canadian Forces won two World Wars using the well-known ACC pills to treat migraine and other minor pain. 325 mg of aspirin, 25 mg of caffeine, and 2 mg of the natural opiate codeine proved highly effective. American addicts visiting Canada found the over-the-counter pills useless for achieving a high, because the 325 mg of aspirin had a laxative effect that overcame the natural constipating effect of the codeine…anybody who tried to take enough of the stuff to feel “high” got totally nauseous and diarrheic.

US Customs are paranoid about searching luggage of Americans visiting Canada, just in case we bring back some of the forbidden pills.

Canada recently caught the bug as well. Cannabis growers seeking profit are trying to force Canadians to use THC for pain, even though it often does not work very well. Smelling a windfall of tax revenue for “recreational use tax”, the Trudeau government has borrowed the hysterical US anti-opioid agenda and is using it to push pot, as a source of revenue for government spending.

The move is unlikely to help many cannabis growers. To keep a fresh supply of product in frigid Canada means building grow rooms in warehouses with giant lamps to keep the plants growing during the long cold winters. Colombia just began exporting cannabis to a few of the biggest Canadian brands. They can grow the stuff for 4 cents a pound in Colombia, the year around, by planting it outdoors like coffee and harvesting it. That’s about 96% cheaper than growing it indoors in Canada. Mr Trudeau will continue to collect his “recreational use” taxes, on folks who don’t get a prescription from a doctor and fill it at a drug store. Whether it works any better than those old ACC pills, or not, is irrelevant when filling government coffers with money is a factor.

On the bright side, cannabis is not known to thin the blood at all.

Paul McCoy

No way does aspirin handle my