Science Questions

Why don't normal painkillers such as paracetomol and ibuprofen work against migraine?

Sun, 7th Mar 2010

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Question

Seraphina Anderson asked:

Why don't normal painkillers such as paracetomol and ibuprofen work against migraine?

Answer

We put this question to Dr Richard Lipton:

Well sometimes they do and you know, and like every condition, there’s a broad spectrum of severity.  So, ibuprofen and paracetamol may work if you treat the migraine very early.  If you wait and wonder if you need to treat, oral medications become less effective because migraine also affects the gut and you may not absorb the medication as well.  For people who don't do well with over-the-counter medications, there’s certainly a wide range of prescription drug options that are very effective.

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The usage of painkillers has been increasingly spreading throughout the world because of their quick effects in relieving the pain.The most common side effect of painkillers is becoming addicts to painkillers and nausea.I really agree with your views,sounds interesting. Gragery40, Thu, 11th Mar 2010

Alternative practitioners would sometimes warn against certain painkillers for migraine, as they can affect the liver, and add to the problem causing a vicious cycle. I gave up using ibuprofen / paracetamol and have (touch wood) been migraine free for 9 years aj, Sun, 21st Mar 2010

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