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Migraine: pharmacotherapy in the emergency department
  1. Anne-Maree Kelly
  1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Western Hospital, Footscray 3011, Australia
  1. Correspondence to: Professor Kelly, Director of Emergency Medicine (Anne-Maree.Kelly{at}


Migraine can be a disabling condition for the sufferer. For the small number of patients who fail home therapy and seek treatment in an emergency department, there are a number of therapeutic options. This paper reviews the evidence regarding the effectiveness and safety of the following therapies: the phenothiazines, lignocaine (lidocaine), ketorolac, the ergot alkaloids, metoclopramide, the “triptans”, haloperidol, pethidine and magnesium. Based on available evidence, the most effective agents seem to be prochlorperazine, chlorpromazine and sumatriptan, each of which have achieved greater then 70% efficacy in a number of studies.

  • migraine

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