Opioids and barbiturate-containing medications are not recommended for the treatment of migraine, but they are still frequently prescribed, and that practice is a matter of concern for headache experts and others.
A small study, published in the journal Headache, recently investigated opioid and barbiturate use among patients at a headache center staffed by eight physicians. Researchers found that approximately 20% of the clinic’s patients reported currently using opioids and/or barbiturates. Emergency department physicians were the most frequent first prescribers of opioids (narcotics), and general neurologists were the most frequent first prescribers of barbiturates (sedatives). Continue Reading
While more people are being treated for migraine and severe headaches than ever before, many of them are not getting appropriate medications for their condition. According to a study that assessed trends in prescribing medications, more opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), benzodiazepines, muscle relaxants and barbiturates are used than in the past even though more migraine-specific medications are now available. Opioids and barbiturates particularly raise concerns because they’re linked to an increased risk of chronic daily headache. Continue Reading
Opioid (narcotic) analgesics are pain relievers which are chemically related to morphine and used fora variety of conditions and circumstances, including the treatment of migraine when other medications fail or are ineffective. Opioids work by blocking pain messages sent to the brain, thereby altering the brain’s perception of pain. As a powerful and highly effective pain reliever, opioids continue to be commonly prescribed for a number of pain states. Continue Reading