: Headaches are a common complaint presenting to the emergency department (ED), accounting for 1-2% of all ED visits, with migraines as the second most common primary headache syndrome. Patients that ultimately present to the ED have failed outpatient therapy and exhibit severe and persistent symptoms. Treatment options have been traditionally with a parenteral opiod, generally Demerol. Unfortunately, patients with chronic painful conditions like migraines have been prone to dependency. In 1986, a nonopioid, compazine was noted serendipitously to relieve migraine headache pain. 1 Nonopioid regimens have evolved as standard therapy in the treatment of migrainne headache in the ED. Today, there are a number of nonopioid treatment options, but not without their own individual concerns. Ergotamine and dihydroergotamine are effective, but commonly cause nausea and vomiting. Sumatriptan is expensive has recurrence rate, is ineffective in about 20-30%, and is contra-indicated in patients with cardiac disease. Metoclopramide, a dopamine receptor antagonist, commonly used as an anti-emetic agent, has been widely studied for use with acute migraines. Its side effects include drowsiness and dystonic reactions. Compazine has been successfully used to treat migraine headaches for the past several decades, and has been accepted as standard treatment of headaches in the ED. 2 Its side effect profile includes extrapyramidal effects, dysphoria, drowsiness and akathisias. The ideal medication for treating headaches would have no addictive properties, few side effects, quick onset, be highly effective and have a low rate of recurrence. Somatostatin is known to have an inhibitory effect on a number of neuropetides, which have been implicated in migraine. Native somatostatin is an unstable compound and is broken down in minutes, but octreotide, a somatostatin analogue has a longer half life. Intravenous somatostatin has been shown to be as effective as ergotamine in the acute treatment of cluster headache. 3 The analgesic effect of octreotide with headaches associated with growth hormone secreting tumor has been established. 4 Five somatostatin receptors have been cloned with octreotide acting predominantely on sst2 and sst5. The distribution of sst2 within the central nervous system strongly suggests that this particular somatostatin receptor has a role in cranial nociception, being highly expressed in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis and periaqueductal grey. Kapicioglu et.al performed a double blind study comparing octreotide to placebo in treating migraine. They found there to be a significantly greater relief of pain with octreotide at 2 and 6 hours compared to placebo (76% vs 25%, p<0.02). They noted that 47% of those in the octreotide group had complete relief compared to no patients in the placebo group. They went on to note that those patients in the octreotide group had earlier relief of symptoms and no side effects. The only minor adverse event related to the administration of octreotide was a local reaction in 3 patients (18%). In a study performed recently in Netherlands, no clinically relevant changes in vital signs, routine chemistry, and urinalysis were observed with octreotide use. Electrocardiogram analyses showed no newly occurring or worsening of known cardiac abnormalities 2 and 24 h after injection with octreotide. 5 Levy et. al also compared octreotide to placebo in a double blinded study but found no difference. This was a poorly designed study, in that the patients treated themselves at home with an injection of either placebo or octreotide for 2 episodes of headache and recorded their level of pain relief at 2 hours. Matharu et. al also performed a double blind study comparing octreotide to placebo, but looking at cluster headaches rather than migraines. They found there to be a significant improvement with the use of octreotide over placebo (52% vs 36%). At Darnall Army Community Hospital the cost of 100 mcg Octreotide and10 mg Compazine, is $10.46, $2.02-8.00, respectively.
Show detailed description