The Effect of Propofol Anesthesia on the Pain Severity and Frequency of Migraine Attacks in Patients with Chronic Migraine Headache over a Six Month Follow Up: An Observational Study

Document Type : Research article


1 Anesthesiology Research Center, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Taleghani Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Neurology, Islamic Azad University, Medical Branch, Tehran, Iran.

4 Faculty of Paramedical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



ropofol is a short-acting intravenous anesthetic that is commonly used for induction and maintenance of anesthesia. Subanesthetic low doses of propofol has also been used to treat intractable migraine attacks in emergency wards with dramatic results. However, there is little information on the long-term efficacy of this drug in migraine headaches. The aim of this nonrandomized prospective observational study was to assess the effect of propofol anesthesia on the pain severity and frequency of migraine attacks in a 6-month follow-up period after anesthesia in patients with migraine headaches. The study was conducted on 51 known cases of migraine ranging in age from 21 to 66 years. Before anesthesia, patients completed a questionnaire including their characteristics, pain intensity of the headache using a visual analog scale, and a number of headache repetitions per month. All patients received propofol as the main anesthetic agent. At the end of anesthesia, the total amount of propofol usage was recorded. Patients were then followed up by telephone in the first, third, and sixth months after anesthesia, and the severity and frequency of the headache were recorded. Pain intensity or pain frequency significantly improved in 22 patients (43.1%), remained unchanged in 24 (47%), and worsened in 5 cases (9.8%) 6 months after anesthesia compared to before the anesthesia. In conclusion, since about half of the patients had significant improvement in the headache, propofol anesthesia may be considered as an acceptable anesthetic method in patients with migraine. 

Graphical Abstract

The Effect of Propofol Anesthesia on the Pain Severity and Frequency of Migraine Attacks in Patients with Chronic Migraine Headache over a Six Month Follow Up: An Observational Study


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