Treating Headache Recurrence After Emergency Department Discharge: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Naproxen Versus Sumatriptan

Benjamin W. Friedman, Clemencia Solorzano, David Esses, Shujun Xia, Michael Hochberg, Niels Dua, Alan Heins, Paul Sasso, Polly E. Bijur, Richard B. Lipton, E. John Gallagher

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Abstract

Study objective: Multiple parenteral medications are used to treat migraine and other acute primary headaches in the emergency department (ED). Regardless of specific headache diagnosis, no medication eliminates the frequent recurrence of primary headache after ED discharge. It is uncertain which medication primary headache patients should be given on discharge from an ED. The aim of this study is to compare the efficacy of oral sumatriptan with naproxen for treatment of post-ED recurrent primary headache. Methods: This was a randomized, double-blind efficacy trial. We randomized patients to either naproxen 500 mg or sumatriptan 100 mg for headache recurrence after ED discharge. Patients were eligible if they received parenteral therapy for an acute exacerbation of a primary headache in the ED. Patients who met established criteria for migraine without aura were designated a priori as a homogenous subgroup of interest. We followed all patients by telephone 48 hours after ED discharge. The primary endpoint was the between-group difference in change in pain intensity during the 2-hour period after ingestion of either 500 mg naproxen or 100 mg sumatriptan. This difference was measured on a validated 11-point (0 to 10) verbal numeric rating scale (NRS). Satisfaction with the medication and adverse effects were also assessed. Patients who met criteria for migraine without aura were analyzed twice according to a priori design: once as a homogenous subgroup and then again combined with all other primary headaches. Results: Of 410 patients randomized, 383 (93%) had outcome data available for analysis. Two hundred eighty (73%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 68% to 77%) reported headache post-ED discharge and 196 (51%; 95% CI 44% to 58%), including 88 with migraine, took the investigational medication provided to them. The naproxen group improved by a mean of 4.3 NRS points, whereas the sumatriptan group improved by 4.1 points (95% CI for difference of 0.2 points: -0.7 to 1.1 points). Findings were virtually identical among the migraine subset (4.3 versus 4.2 NRS points; 95% CI for difference of 0.1 points: -1.3 to 1.5 points). Seventy-one percent (95% CI 62% to 80%) of naproxen patients and 75% (95% CI 66% to 84%) of sumatriptan patients would want to take the same medication the next time. Adverse effect profiles were also comparable. Conclusion: In this trial, nearly three quarters of patients reported headache recurrence within 48 hours of ED discharge. Naproxen 500 mg and sumatriptan 100 mg taken orally relieve post-ED recurrent primary headache and migraine comparably. Clinicians should be guided by medication costs, contraindications, and a patient's previous experience with the medication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-17
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Emergency Medicine
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

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Headache
Hospital Emergency Service
Randomized Controlled Trials
Recurrence
Sumatriptan
Naproxen
Confidence Intervals
Migraine Disorders
Migraine without Aura
sumatriptan-naproxen
Telephone
Eating
Costs and Cost Analysis
Pain
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

Cite this

Treating Headache Recurrence After Emergency Department Discharge : A Randomized Controlled Trial of Naproxen Versus Sumatriptan. / Friedman, Benjamin W.; Solorzano, Clemencia; Esses, David; Xia, Shujun; Hochberg, Michael; Dua, Niels; Heins, Alan; Sasso, Paul; Bijur, Polly E.; Lipton, Richard B.; Gallagher, E. John.

In: Annals of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 56, No. 1, 07.2010, p. 7-17.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "Treating Headache Recurrence After Emergency Department Discharge: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Naproxen Versus Sumatriptan",
abstract = "Study objective: Multiple parenteral medications are used to treat migraine and other acute primary headaches in the emergency department (ED). Regardless of specific headache diagnosis, no medication eliminates the frequent recurrence of primary headache after ED discharge. It is uncertain which medication primary headache patients should be given on discharge from an ED. The aim of this study is to compare the efficacy of oral sumatriptan with naproxen for treatment of post-ED recurrent primary headache. Methods: This was a randomized, double-blind efficacy trial. We randomized patients to either naproxen 500 mg or sumatriptan 100 mg for headache recurrence after ED discharge. Patients were eligible if they received parenteral therapy for an acute exacerbation of a primary headache in the ED. Patients who met established criteria for migraine without aura were designated a priori as a homogenous subgroup of interest. We followed all patients by telephone 48 hours after ED discharge. The primary endpoint was the between-group difference in change in pain intensity during the 2-hour period after ingestion of either 500 mg naproxen or 100 mg sumatriptan. This difference was measured on a validated 11-point (0 to 10) verbal numeric rating scale (NRS). Satisfaction with the medication and adverse effects were also assessed. Patients who met criteria for migraine without aura were analyzed twice according to a priori design: once as a homogenous subgroup and then again combined with all other primary headaches. Results: Of 410 patients randomized, 383 (93{\%}) had outcome data available for analysis. Two hundred eighty (73{\%}; 95{\%} confidence interval [CI] 68{\%} to 77{\%}) reported headache post-ED discharge and 196 (51{\%}; 95{\%} CI 44{\%} to 58{\%}), including 88 with migraine, took the investigational medication provided to them. The naproxen group improved by a mean of 4.3 NRS points, whereas the sumatriptan group improved by 4.1 points (95{\%} CI for difference of 0.2 points: -0.7 to 1.1 points). Findings were virtually identical among the migraine subset (4.3 versus 4.2 NRS points; 95{\%} CI for difference of 0.1 points: -1.3 to 1.5 points). Seventy-one percent (95{\%} CI 62{\%} to 80{\%}) of naproxen patients and 75{\%} (95{\%} CI 66{\%} to 84{\%}) of sumatriptan patients would want to take the same medication the next time. Adverse effect profiles were also comparable. Conclusion: In this trial, nearly three quarters of patients reported headache recurrence within 48 hours of ED discharge. Naproxen 500 mg and sumatriptan 100 mg taken orally relieve post-ED recurrent primary headache and migraine comparably. Clinicians should be guided by medication costs, contraindications, and a patient's previous experience with the medication.",
author = "Friedman, {Benjamin W.} and Clemencia Solorzano and David Esses and Shujun Xia and Michael Hochberg and Niels Dua and Alan Heins and Paul Sasso and Bijur, {Polly E.} and Lipton, {Richard B.} and Gallagher, {E. John}",
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T2 - A Randomized Controlled Trial of Naproxen Versus Sumatriptan

AU - Friedman, Benjamin W.

AU - Solorzano, Clemencia

AU - Esses, David

AU - Xia, Shujun

AU - Hochberg, Michael

AU - Dua, Niels

AU - Heins, Alan

AU - Sasso, Paul

AU - Bijur, Polly E.

AU - Lipton, Richard B.

AU - Gallagher, E. John

PY - 2010/7

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N2 - Study objective: Multiple parenteral medications are used to treat migraine and other acute primary headaches in the emergency department (ED). Regardless of specific headache diagnosis, no medication eliminates the frequent recurrence of primary headache after ED discharge. It is uncertain which medication primary headache patients should be given on discharge from an ED. The aim of this study is to compare the efficacy of oral sumatriptan with naproxen for treatment of post-ED recurrent primary headache. Methods: This was a randomized, double-blind efficacy trial. We randomized patients to either naproxen 500 mg or sumatriptan 100 mg for headache recurrence after ED discharge. Patients were eligible if they received parenteral therapy for an acute exacerbation of a primary headache in the ED. Patients who met established criteria for migraine without aura were designated a priori as a homogenous subgroup of interest. We followed all patients by telephone 48 hours after ED discharge. The primary endpoint was the between-group difference in change in pain intensity during the 2-hour period after ingestion of either 500 mg naproxen or 100 mg sumatriptan. This difference was measured on a validated 11-point (0 to 10) verbal numeric rating scale (NRS). Satisfaction with the medication and adverse effects were also assessed. Patients who met criteria for migraine without aura were analyzed twice according to a priori design: once as a homogenous subgroup and then again combined with all other primary headaches. Results: Of 410 patients randomized, 383 (93%) had outcome data available for analysis. Two hundred eighty (73%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 68% to 77%) reported headache post-ED discharge and 196 (51%; 95% CI 44% to 58%), including 88 with migraine, took the investigational medication provided to them. The naproxen group improved by a mean of 4.3 NRS points, whereas the sumatriptan group improved by 4.1 points (95% CI for difference of 0.2 points: -0.7 to 1.1 points). Findings were virtually identical among the migraine subset (4.3 versus 4.2 NRS points; 95% CI for difference of 0.1 points: -1.3 to 1.5 points). Seventy-one percent (95% CI 62% to 80%) of naproxen patients and 75% (95% CI 66% to 84%) of sumatriptan patients would want to take the same medication the next time. Adverse effect profiles were also comparable. Conclusion: In this trial, nearly three quarters of patients reported headache recurrence within 48 hours of ED discharge. Naproxen 500 mg and sumatriptan 100 mg taken orally relieve post-ED recurrent primary headache and migraine comparably. Clinicians should be guided by medication costs, contraindications, and a patient's previous experience with the medication.

AB - Study objective: Multiple parenteral medications are used to treat migraine and other acute primary headaches in the emergency department (ED). Regardless of specific headache diagnosis, no medication eliminates the frequent recurrence of primary headache after ED discharge. It is uncertain which medication primary headache patients should be given on discharge from an ED. The aim of this study is to compare the efficacy of oral sumatriptan with naproxen for treatment of post-ED recurrent primary headache. Methods: This was a randomized, double-blind efficacy trial. We randomized patients to either naproxen 500 mg or sumatriptan 100 mg for headache recurrence after ED discharge. Patients were eligible if they received parenteral therapy for an acute exacerbation of a primary headache in the ED. Patients who met established criteria for migraine without aura were designated a priori as a homogenous subgroup of interest. We followed all patients by telephone 48 hours after ED discharge. The primary endpoint was the between-group difference in change in pain intensity during the 2-hour period after ingestion of either 500 mg naproxen or 100 mg sumatriptan. This difference was measured on a validated 11-point (0 to 10) verbal numeric rating scale (NRS). Satisfaction with the medication and adverse effects were also assessed. Patients who met criteria for migraine without aura were analyzed twice according to a priori design: once as a homogenous subgroup and then again combined with all other primary headaches. Results: Of 410 patients randomized, 383 (93%) had outcome data available for analysis. Two hundred eighty (73%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 68% to 77%) reported headache post-ED discharge and 196 (51%; 95% CI 44% to 58%), including 88 with migraine, took the investigational medication provided to them. The naproxen group improved by a mean of 4.3 NRS points, whereas the sumatriptan group improved by 4.1 points (95% CI for difference of 0.2 points: -0.7 to 1.1 points). Findings were virtually identical among the migraine subset (4.3 versus 4.2 NRS points; 95% CI for difference of 0.1 points: -1.3 to 1.5 points). Seventy-one percent (95% CI 62% to 80%) of naproxen patients and 75% (95% CI 66% to 84%) of sumatriptan patients would want to take the same medication the next time. Adverse effect profiles were also comparable. Conclusion: In this trial, nearly three quarters of patients reported headache recurrence within 48 hours of ED discharge. Naproxen 500 mg and sumatriptan 100 mg taken orally relieve post-ED recurrent primary headache and migraine comparably. Clinicians should be guided by medication costs, contraindications, and a patient's previous experience with the medication.

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