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Migraine Headache and NSAIDs

Read more about NSAIDs.

Overview

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) act by inhibiting blood vessel inflammation. These medications include naproxen, ibuprofen and ketorolac.

Effect of NSAIDs on Migraine Headache

Since NSAIDs are not specific to the blood vessels of the brain, and do not treat associated Migraine symptoms, and they can cause gastrointestinal disturbances, they are less frequently prescribed for severe migraine headache. Some over the counter NSAIDs have been repackaged to target migraine headache sufferers, such as with Advil Migraine. Although these NSAIDs may look like a new Migraine OTC (over-the-counter-medication), they are not, but are rather an effective OTC treatment for use with mild and mild-to-moderate migraines for some migrainers. Please advise your health care practitioner when you add these and any other OTC medicines to your headache and pain management prescriptions and regime. Always keep your physician well-advised any self-modifications to the regime the two of you have decided to use to manage your migraine headaches.

Side Effects and Warnings

Patients who develop signs of allergic reaction to aspirin should seek emergency care. Below are some of the signs to watch out for:

  • hives
  • difficulty breathing
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • stomach discomfort or heartburn
  • drowsiness
  • headache

Serious side effects may occur with aspirin use. Patients are advised to stop using aspirin and contact the healthcare provider immediately if any of the following signs and symptoms occur:

  • black, bloody, or tarry stools
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • severe nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; * swelling, or pain lasting longer than 10 days
  • ringing in the ears
  • fever lasting longer than 3 days

It is important to inform your healthcare provider if you have any allergies or reactions to medicine, food preservatives, or dyes. Make sure to tell how the allergy usually affects you. This includes telling about the signs and symptoms of allergy that you usually experience such as rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved

Do not take any over-the-counter medication without checking with your doctor. Many over the counter medicines contain aspirin. Using this products while on aspirin therapy can be harmful. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains aspirin.

Avoid taking an NSAID while you are taking aspirin. NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), diclofenac (Voltaren), diflunisal (Dolobid), etodolac (Lodine), flurbiprofen (Ansaid), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), ketorolac (Toradol), mefenamic acid (Ponstel), meloxicam (Mobic), nabumetone (Relafen), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), and others. Alcohol should be avoided while taking aspirin. Alcohol may increase one's risk of stomach bleeding.

If any of the conditions below applies to you, dose adjustment maybe needed or your doctor may request for some tests to find out if you can safely take aspirin.

  • asthma or seasonal allergies
  • nasal polyps
  • gastric ulcers
  • liver disease
  • kidney disease
  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure

Aspirin should not be used by patients who have a recent history of stomach or intestinal bleeding; a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia; or an allergy to an NSAIDs.

Drug interactions

Taking aspirin with other drugs may produce undesirable adverse effect. These drugs include:

Heparin and other blood thinners. Administering aspirin with anticoagulants may increase the risk of bleeding and prolong bleeding time.

Antacids. These drugs may reduce the rate of aspirin absorption

Urine acidifiers. Drugs such as ascorbic acid, sodium phosphate, and ammonium chloride reduce the rate of excretion of salicylic acid by promoting its reabsorption.

Urine alkalinizers ( i.e. methotrexate). Urine alkalinizers increase aspirin's excretion rate.

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