Betsy J. Pepper, MD


Severe Migraine: Options for Acute Therapy in the Emergency Department

March 02, 2006

A 36-year-old man with a 15-year history of episodic migraine presents to the emergency department (ED) at 5 AM witha right-sided throbbing headache of 4 hours' duration. The headache awakened him, which is typical of his more severemigraine attacks. Unfortunately, the patient forgot to refill his prescription for pain medication and did not "catch" thisheadache in time. He took an over-the-counter combination of aspirin and caffeine, which seemed to help for about 60minutes, but the headache has returned full force. He has vomited twice-another characteristic typical of his migraineattacks