Intranasal Lidocaine in Acute Treatment of Migraine: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Study objective:

The study aims to evaluate the efficacy and safety of intranasal lidocaine administration for migraine treatment.


This single-center, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial was conducted in a tertiary care emergency department. Included patients met the migraine criteria of the International Headache Society. Patients were randomized to intranasal lidocaine or saline solution; all participants received 10 mg of intravenous metoclopramide. Patient pain intensity was assessed with an 11-point numeric rating scale score. The primary outcome measure was the change in pain scores at 15 minutes; secondary outcomes were changes in pain intensity after pain onset and need for rescue medication.


Patients (n=162) were randomized into 2 groups with similar baseline migraine characteristics and numeric rating scale scores. The median reduction in numeric rating scale score at 15 minutes was 3 (interquartile range [IQR] 2 to 5) for the lidocaine group and 2 (IQR 1 to 4) for the saline solution group (median difference=1.0; 95% confidence interval 0.1 to 2.1). The reduction in pain score at 30 minutes was 4 (IQR 3 to 7) for the lidocaine group and 5 (IQR 2 to 7) for the saline solution group (median difference=1.0; 95% confidence interval 0.1 to 2.1). Need for rescue medication did not differ between the groups, and local irritation was the most common adverse event in the lidocaine group.


Although intranasal lidocaine was found no more efficacious than normal saline solution in our study, future studies should focus on patients who present earlier after headache onset.

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