Aspirin for Migraine relief?

My vision blurs a bit. It’s hard to focus on the computer screen. Then I notice the light refracting in my peripheral vision. It all adds up to one horrible feeling, a migraine is about to slam into my head.

I usually reach for some serious pain relievers, plus caffeine, go somewhere I can close my eyes and hope to head off the pain. I would never think to grab some aspirin, but a new study suggests that for many migraine sufferers that could help. Here's a short piece my colleague Sandy Bauers has written for Monday's Health and Science section:

The disabling pain of a migraine headache has driven many a sufferer home to a darkened, quiet room and an assortment of tactics and medications.

Now, a study has shown that a single dose of 1,000 milligrams of plain old aspirin is effective at relieving not only the pain, but also the associated symptoms, which can include nausea and sensitivities to light and sound.

Researchers at the University of Oxford in England report in the Cochrane Library that in one of four people, the aspirin would reduce the pain from moderate or severe to none in two hours. This compares to about one in ten who take a placebo. And it was similar to the relief provided by the prescription drug sumatriptan.

Adding 10 mg of the antiemetic drug, metoclopramide, substantially increased relief of nausea and vomiting compared with aspirin alone. But alas, it made little difference in the rate at which the pain subsided.