The Philadelphia Inquirer - "Many Migraine Sufferers Given Unnecessary Opioids" - Amy Norton
Too many people with migraines are prescribed potentially addictive opiate painkillers, while too few may be getting recommended medications, a new study suggests. Researchers found that of nearly 2,900 Americans who visited the doctor for migraine relief, 15 percent were prescribed opioids such as oxycodone or hydrocodone. Opioids are not only less effective than recommended migraine drugs, they're also risky. Lauren Natbony, MD, assistant professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai treats migraine patients at Mount Sinai’s Center for Headache and Pain Medicine. She said that the most common cause of chronic migraine is medication overuse – including opioids. The painkillers should only be used in rare circumstances, Dr. Natbony said, such as for certain patients who simply can’t tolerate migraine specific medications. “The 15 percent figure in this study is way too high,” added Dr. Natbony, who was not involved in the study.
- Lauren Natbony, MD, Assistant Professor, Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai