Non-opioid Intravenous Drugs for Pain Management in Patients Presenting with Acute Migraine Pain in the Emergency Department: A Comprehensive Literature Review

Context: Migraine is one of the most common causes of disability worldwide and the sixth cause of loss of life years due to disability. Migraine is reported mainly in young and middle-aged people, so it can cause a person to face many problems in doing daily tasks. The emergency department annually accepts 1.2 million patients with migraine. Therefore, timely diagnosis of the disease, knowledge of valuable drugs in an emergency, knowing how to use them, and finally, early treatment can play an essential and decisive role in improving patients’ symptoms and reducing the disability caused by the disease. An essential and valuable drug category in the emergency department to manage pain is non-opioid intravenous (IV) drugs. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate non-opioid IV drugs to manage pain in patients with acute migraines in the emergency department. Method: This study conducted a comprehensive literature review to access the latest scientific studies and documents using keywords (acute migraine, non-opioid IV drugs, pain management) in reliable databases such as PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane, and Google Scholar. We reviewed 87 articles, 53 of which were evaluated and compared. Results: A review study considers intravenous acetaminophen as a suitable option for the first-line treatment of acute migraine in the emergency department if the patient does not tolerate aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Various studies have obtained positive effects of NSAIDs and dihydroergotamine (DHE) in treating acute migraine. Prescribing anti-dopaminergic drugs can effectively reduce associated symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Dexamethasone and magnesium sulfate are effective in preventing migraine and severe attacks. Intravenous sodium valproate is effective in moderate to severe migraine attacks or treatment-resistant migraines. In the emergency department, prescribing intravenous haloperidol, lidocaine, and propofol can help manage migraine and improve other associated symptoms, such as nausea or vomiting. Conclusions: Non-opioid IV drugs are essential to manage pain and improve other migraine symptoms in the emergency setting. Knowing the above drugs and their optimal use has a decisive role in managing patients with acute migraine in the emergency department.