All about aspirin for Migraine and Headache

It is rarely a good day when you wake up with a throbbing headache that is banging, so it's time to start serving. Thankfully, assistance is frequently just a trip to the pharmacy away – yes, even though your headache is a symptom of a migraine episode.

Aspirin is that treatment.

Even though aspirin has been available over the counter (OTC) for over a century, most headaches may be relieved in an hour or less with two conventional, 325 mg aspirin pills. This medicine, which was initially created by the pharmaceutical behemoth Bayer, also provides relief to certain migraine sufferers.

What is Aspirin?

One of the salicylates, a class of chemically related substances, is aspirin. You may buy generic aspirin with the initials "ASA" on the label in addition to the Bayer logo − these letters stand for acetylsalicylic acid, which is the chemical name for aspirin.

ASA is a potent substance. It is −

  • A pain-relieving analgesic

  • A medication that lowers fevers or an antipyretic

  • A drug that fights inflammation and lessens bodily edoema

  • A blood cell regulator of platelets, which can lead to potentially hazardous blood clots

Common and disruptive migraines

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraine is a neurological condition that affects an estimated 1 billion individuals worldwide, including close to 40 million people in the United States (MRF). The illness may be chronic or intermittent, with periodic bouts.

According to the MRF, more than 4 million persons suffer chronic daily migraines, which means they experience migraine symptoms 15 or more days each month.

Migraine symptoms frequently include headache, which is commonly accompanied by

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Dizziness

  • sensitivity to sound, smell, touch, or light

  • Visual alterations

  • Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or face

According to surveys, the sensory abnormalities that can precede migraine are aura, which frequently start just before the headache period of an attack and last up to an hour. A majority of migraine sufferers—around 90%—report mild to severe tension headaches, and more than half say it prevents them from going to work or school or necessitates bed rest.

Does Aspirin Use Aid in Migraine Treatment or Prevention?

Various prescription and over-the-counter medications are used to treat migraines acutely and prevent repeated or chronic episodes. These consist of −

  • NSAIDS, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, most frequently ibuprofen

  • Beta-blockers (propranolol) (propranolol)

  • tricyclic mood stabilisers (amitriptyline)

  • Selective agonists of the serotonin system (sumatriptan)

  • Calcineurin-blocking drugs (verapamil)

  • Inhibitors of the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)

  • Anti-seizure medications

  • Injections of botox

  • Monoclonal antibodies or biologics

Why Is Aspirin Effective for Treating Migraines?

According to the National Headache Foundation (NHF), aspirin provides several advantages in managing migraine and other forms of headaches. This is true because many forms of headache pain, including migraine, have a chemical basis.

Your system particularly overproduces a substance called prostaglandin when you get a headache. A hormone called prostaglandin aids in transmitting pain signals to the brain.

Aspirin reduces inflammation by inhibiting the activity of the COX-1 enzyme, which is necessary for the body to produce prostaglandin. Aspirin lowers the levels of prostaglandin your body generates by limiting COX-1's actions.

The benefits of Aspirin in the Management of Migraines

According to the National Headache Foundation (NHF), aspirin can help with various headaches, including migraines. This is due to the chemical basis of the pain felt with many different forms of headaches, including migraine. When you get a headache, your body overproduces a substance called prostaglandin. A hormone called prostaglandin aids in communicating pain to the head.

Because it has anti-inflammatory characteristics, aspirin inhibits the activity of the COX-1 enzyme, which is necessary for the body to produce prostaglandin. Aspirin lowers your body's production of prostaglandin via inhibiting COX-1's actions.

How many Aspirins Should I take if I'm Having a Migraine?

You may get aspirin in a variety of strengths. Aspirin that can be chewed and has flavour has typically 81 mg (low-dose aspirin).

The usual aspirin dosage in a tablet or capsule is 325 mg for standard strength and 500 mg for enhanced stability. Adults should take 325 to 650 mg of aspirin up to six times daily for headache discomfort. This dosage should be taken every three to four hours as needed.

Studies have shown that low-dose aspirin (one tablet, at the 81 milligramme dose), taken daily, can aid in preventing migraine with aura. In contrast, other research has shown that high-dose aspirin (up to 1,200 mg, or two or more tablets, daily), can alleviate severe headaches and other migraine-related symptoms.

Does taking Aspirin Make Headaches Worse?

Although aspirin has been demonstrated to reduce acute migraine discomfort, it should not be utilized for this over than 10 times per month. According to the American Migraine Foundation, this is due to the possibility of rebound migraines, or headaches brought on by drug usage.

Aspirin overdose is a possibility. It can happen if you consume aspirin excessively at once or use it often over an extended time

While taking too much aspirin may lead to transient adverse effects like nausea and vomiting, an actual overdose might result in more severe health issues. These include coma, seizures, hallucinations, and even cardiac arrest-related death.

Aspirin use may potentially have additional negative consequences, such as −

  • Acid reflux or indigestion

  • Peptic ulcer disease, in which the lining of the stomach or the upper part of the small intestine become infected with painful sores

  • Stomach cramps or soreness in the abdomen

  • Bruising

  • Gastrointestinal bleeding, is quite severe

  • Vomiting

  • Nausea

  • Dizziness

  • A ringing or buzzing noise in the ears is called tinnitus.

For whom should aspirin not be used?

Aspirin shouldn't be used by some persons, including −

  • youngsters under the age of 12

  • toddlers and teenagers with the flu or chicken pox symptoms

  • those who are NSAID-sensitive or allergic

  • patients who have stomach ulcers

  • those who suffer from clotting disorders like haemophilia

  • women who are expecting, unless a doctor instructs them differently

Kids or teenagers shouldn't use aspirin since it has been linked to Reye's syndrome. People with this disorder might have brain enlargement, which could put them in a coma or cause their death.

Updated on: 03-Feb-2023


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