ER MDs Still Rx Opioids for Migraine
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, May 06, 2014 05:47 PM

In 1998, emergency department doctors gave more than half patients suffering migraine headaches opioids to relieve pain – 12 years later, they hadn't changed, researchers reported.  In 1998, about 51% of patients presenting with migraine at the emergency department were treated with parenteral opioids; in 2010, opioids were prescribed for 53% of the patients. 

"There are times when opioids are required to treat migraineurs, but it is nowhere near 50%, more likely about 5% of these patients," the report notes.  By giving them opioids you are inviting these patients back for more."

In 2010, there were 1.2 million visits to the emergency departments around the country for treatment of migraine. "Migraine complaints are the 5th biggest reason people come to the emergency department."