Ouch, My Head!

Ever had a headache and medication did not work?  Ever had a migraine headache and thought, "if there was just a quick treatment for this, I'd be good and able to function the rest of the day"?  For the first time in my life, I had a migraine headache.  It was awful:  head pain, unrelentless nausea, and a full work day scheduled.  I had no idea what to do.  I thought, "gee, I wish I had medicine for this, though any medications I'm familiar with have side effects I cannot function with".  So after my headache subsided (days later), I decided to research acute migraine treatments.  I narrowed my search down to ER visits, as that seemed like the best way to actually manage an acute migraine if a person does not already have regular medical care for migraine headaches.

I found a great study comparing natural IV magnesium sulfate to commonly used migraine medications of IV dexamthasone and metoclopramide.  What this studied showed was actually very interesting.  First of all, I found that both treatments worked very well.

As you can see above, the magnesium worked better at the 2 hour mark than did the combination therapy.  So you already assume that of course you would want the magnesium treatment, and you are right.  What you don't see from this one conclusion, however, is that at the 20 minute mark, magnesium had achieved a 35% reduction in headache pain as compared to the combination therapy, which only achieved a 9.8% reduction in headache pain.  What you also don't see are the side effects each of the therapies had.  You can see that information below:  

These two pictures further illustrate how magnesium has a Treatment Grade of an "A", while the combination therapy has a Treatment Grade of "B".   Magnesium only had a side effect rate of 4% nausea, while the combination medication had a side effect rate of 7% and included other side effects such as vomiting, lethargy and vertigo.  

It is extremely important that we have access to all of this data readily.  Had I known that I could access a single website to find out such information, I would have been able to better understand my treatment options and find adequate treatment sooner. This is not to say that all ERs would have been amenable to my own treatment suggestions, but at least Treatment Scores would have been readily disposable to them as well.  

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