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Experts recommend Aspirin® for the treatment of migraine


- 8th Headache Congress of the European Headache Federation

- The active ingredient acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) provides safe, reliable relief.

Thursday - April 27, 2006, Valencia/Spain – Aspirin® is well tolerated and effective in the treatment of migraine and tension headache, according to the findings of clinical trials presented by a group of international medical experts and scientists today (April 27, 2006) at the 8th Headache Congress of the European Headache Federation in Valencia. At a satellite symposium on the topic of “New Reasons for Aspirin in Headache” held by Bayer HealthCare and Bayer Vital, these experts confirmed that acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), the active ingredient in Aspirin®, provides fast and effective relief from primary headache symptoms and need not shy away from any comparisons with triptans.

“Studies have confirmed that ASA is as effective in the treatment of migraine attacks as the prescription drug sumatriptan,” said Professor Hans-Christoph Diener, Head of the Neurology Department at Duisburg-Essen University. Taken in effervescent tablet form (Aspirin® Migraine), 1,000 milligrams acetylsalicylic acid proved to be as effective as 50 milligrams sumatriptan. Professor Diener achieved similarly good results in placebo-controlled comparison studies with sumatriptan and Aspirin i.v., the injectable form of the active substance ASA. Furthermore, intravenous administration of acetylsalicylic acid caused markedly fewer side effects in the trial subjects. Aspirin® is therefore also suitable for the treatment of acute migraine attacks in emergencies.

Worldwide, between six and eight percent of all men and almost one in five women suffer from these severe headaches, usually on only one side of the head, with the typical accompanying symptoms such as sensitivity to light and noise, nausea and vomiting. The condition not only has severe consequences for the quality of life of the individual affected; the painful attacks also generate considerable costs for health care systems every year. Good therapeutic results in cases of acute migraine can generally be achieved by administering analgesics such as acetylsalicylic acid.

Even more widespread than migraine are chronic and episodic tension-type headaches (CTTH and ETTH), which affect around two-thirds of all adult men and more than 80 percent of women. These disorders are often trivialized as “normal” headaches that only rarely immobilize patients and which can therefore be treated without consulting a doctor by means of over-the-counter medicines (ETTH). The findings of British comparison studies to investigate the efficacy of Aspirin® versus paracetamol in the treatment of ETTH suggest that this view may be false. “About one in five of all subjects was still suffering from persistent functional impairment four hours after treatment, and in more than half of these individuals more than nine hours elapsed before they were back to normal,” said Principal Investigator Dr. Timothy J. Steiner, Division of Neuroscience, Imperial College London, United Kingdom. The best therapeutic response in these tests was achieved with the administration of 1,000 milligrams acetylsalicylic acid. Thanks to its great efficacy, ASA shortens the time to functional recovery.

Tried and tested, fast-acting, with reliable effects and, what’s more, well tolerated – these are the most frequently named benefits of Aspirin®. As another benefit, acetylsalicylic acid also boosts production of the stress protein hemoxygenase-1 (HO-1) and reduces the formation of free radicals, thereby reducing oxidative stress in gastric mucosa. “The activation of these signal paths in the gastric mucosa is the reason why patients tolerate ASA markedly better than other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs,” explained Professor Henning Schröder, holder of the Chair in Pharmacology and Toxicology in the Pharmacy Department of Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg.

No other drug product worldwide has been as intensively investigated in clinical studies as acetylsalicylic acid, the active ingredient of Aspirin®. Every year, more than 3,500 scientific publications concerning ASA appear, many of them leading to the discovery of new indications for the substance. These studies also confirm what millions of people suffering from migraine and tension headache have known and appreciated for decades: Aspirin® is always a good choice.

Bayer HealthCare

Bayer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, is one of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the health care and medical products industry based in Leverkusen/Germany. In 2005, the Bayer HealthCare subgroup generated sales amounting to some 9.4 billion Euro. Bayer HealthCare employed 33.800 people worldwide in 2005.

The company combines the global activities of the divisions Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, Diagnostics and Pharmaceuticals. Since January 1, 2006 the new Pharmaceutical Division consists of the former Biological Products and Pharmaceutical Division and now comprises three business units: Hematology/Cardiology, Oncology and Primary Care.

Bayer HealthCare’s aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. The products enhance well-being and quality of life by diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.

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