Methodology: 3.5/5
Usefulness: 4/5

Friedman BW, et al. Neurology. 2023 Oct 3;101(14):e1448-e1454. 

Question and Methods: This double-blinded RCT of 209 patients presenting to the ED with moderate to severe migraines compared high- to low- dose dexamethasone (16 mg vs 4 mg) on sustained headache relief 48 hours post discharge.  
Findings: There was no significant difference in sustained headache relief between the high- (41%) and low- (34%) dose dexamethasone groups when co-administered with metoclopramide (absolute difference 7%, 95% CI -6% to 20%). 
Limitations: The major limitation of this study is generalizability to patients receiving alternative abortive treatments in the ED in addition to early discontinuation of the study which may blunt the true magnitude of absolute difference.  

Interpretation: Treatment of moderate-to-severe migraines in the ED would benefit from low-dose dexamethasone which mitigates potential adverse events from higher doses and alternative abortive agents should be considered to improve sustained headache relief.  

By: Dr. Amanda Mattice 

JC Supervisor: Dr. Jeff Perry 




  • Amanda Mattice

    Dr. Amanda Mattice is a junior editor for the EMOttawa Blog, and is a FRCPC resident in the Department of Emergency Medicine, at the University of Ottawa.

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  • Hans Rosenberg

    Dr. Rosenberg is an emergency physician at the Ottawa Hospital, associate professor at the University of Ottawa, and Director of the Digital Scholarship and Knowledge Dissemination Program.

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  • Jeff Perry

    Dr. Perry is an Emergency Physician and full Professor in the department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine. He has a special research interest in subarachnoid hemorrhage, TIA and stroke.

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