The analgesic and antiemetic efficacy of gabapentin or ergotamine/caffeine for the treatment of postdural puncture headache

Erol, D. D.
June 2011
Advances in Medical Sciences (De Gruyter Open);2011, Vol. 56 Issue 1, p25
Academic Journal
Purpose: We investigated the analgesic and antiemetic efficacy of gabapentin or ergotamine/caffeine (Cafergot), in addition to conservative treatment consisting of bed rest and adequate fluid intake, for the treatment of postdural puncture headache (PDPH).Methods: In this randomized, prospective, controlled study, gabapentin or Cafergot was administered to 42 adult patients suffering from PDPH. Patients were asked to record the severity of their headache and the number of vomiting episodes on a visual analogue scale (VAS) on days 1, 2, 3 and 4. The pain scale consisted of a 10 cm horizontal line marked from 0 (denoting no pain) to 10 (denoting worst possible imaginable pain) Emesis was scored as 0 = no emetic symptoms, 1 = nausea or 2 = vomiting.Results: Demographic and anesthetic variables were similar between the groups. Gabapentin group had less pain, nausea and vomiting compared to the Cafergot group. No patients withdrew, gabapentin and Cafergot were well tolerated, and adverse events (somnolence, dizziness, tremor, and ataxia) did not occur.Conclusions: Gabapentin significantly reduced pain, nausea and vomiting compared to Cafergot in patients with PDPH. Lastly, we hypothesize that the gabaergic action of gabapentin, perhaps combined with other mechanisms, such as calcium channel blockade, may be responsible for its remarkable effects on PDPH.


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