So what should we do to treat these patients?
Definitely when people come to the Emergency Department,
one of our goals is to try and get them feeling better.
Our primary goal is to rule out any bad or very serious,
or dangerous cause of their headache.
And then the next step is to get people feeling better.
So patients who have a more mild headache,
you can give a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
The most common ones there are ibuprofen
as well as mainly ibuprofen or Ketorolac is the other one.
Acetaminophen is the other medication that can sometimes be given.
For patients who have a more moderate to severe headache,
and that's generally what we're seeing in the Emergency Department,
it would be unusual for someone to come in with a headache
that they described as being a little bit more mild.
So for the more moderate to severe headaches,
we wanna think about giving a dopamine agonist,
or an antiemetic medication.
And the classic ones that we give are metoclopramide or prochlorperazine.
And those are generally given intravenously
in order for them to be the most effective.
We also wanna consider giving some kind of dihydroergotamine
such as sumatriptan, parenteral steroids,
so IV steroid can sometimes also benefit
especially if the initial medications don't necessarily work.
IV fluids, there is some evidence out there that just giving a patients some fluids
can actually really improve their headache
as well as Depakote or valproic acid is another medication for patients
who were having a refractory headache.
So those are generally the medications that we start with.
There’s definitely other things that can be given as well.
But those are the most common treatment pathways
that we use for patients with migraine headache in the Emergency Department.
One thing that’s important for you to remember to avoid are opioid medications.
And the reason that we avoid opioid medications are multi.
But for the most part, they can lead to a rebound headaches.
So if you give someone an opioid medication
or they’re chronically an opioid medications for migraine headaches,
once that medication wears off, the patient can get a rebound headache
or potentially a more severe headache.
There are also issues associated with opioid medications being addictive for patients.
So for the most part in the Emergency department,
that’s a medication that you wanna try and avoid giving for patients
who presents with headaches.