Eye drops to treat an acute migraine

Beta blockers (Inderal or propranolol and similar drugs) are used for the preventive treatment of migraine headaches. Over the years, a few patients have told me that they take a beta blocker only when they have an attack of migraine with very good results. A report published in Missouri Medicine describes seven patients whose acute migraine headache went away with eye drops containing a beta blocker. These eye drops are used for the treatment of glaucoma. The authors argue that having medicine go into the eye allows it to get absorbed quickly into the blood stream. This is certainly true, but my first thought was that there is too little medicine in eye drops to produce an effect outside the eye. However, beta blocker eye drops can worsen asthma, lower the blood pressure and slow the heart rate, suggesting that the amount of medicine in eye drops is sufficient to cause effects beyond the eye. Oral beta blockers used daily for the preventive treatment of migraines are also contraindicated in those medical conditions. Considering that eye drops are probably safer than many oral medications used to treat an acute migraine attack and that they most likely work faster, this treatment is worth trying.

  1. Dr I J Horner ijhorner@inter.net.il says: 01/07/20154:55 pm

    I would think it’s highly preferable to the Tryptans. It’s so much cheaper and with less side effects

  2. Dr I J Horner says: 01/07/20154:49 pm

    Since reading the Missouri article I have now treated about 20 acute migraine attacks in o10 patients with phenomenal success All have responded within 15 minutes after administration In some of them the drops were administered sublingually
    There were no significant side effects bar marked burning ocular sensation in one patient This patient was not able to tolerate the ocular administration and continued with sublingual administration successfully.
    I highly recommend this treatment for the acute attack. It’s simply a game changer.

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