A prospective, double-blind study of metoclopramide hydrochloride for the control of migraine in the emergency department

Ann Emerg Med. 1990 Oct;19(10):1083-7. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(05)81508-2.


Study objective: To determine the effectiveness of IV metoclopramide as sole therapy for relieving the pain of acute migraine in the emergency department.

Design: Prospective study. Fifty patients were divided randomly into subjects and placebo controls with blinding of the treating physician and the patient.

Participants: Patients presenting to the ED with migraine requiring parenteral treatment.

Interventions: Subjects received 10 mg IV metoclopramide and controls received IV normal saline; patient assessment of relief was followed by means of a numerical scale.

Measurements and main results: Sixty-seven percent of subjects compared with 19% of controls had effective pain relief within one hour (P less than .001). Subjects achieved mean relief scores of 2.46 compared with 1.69 for controls (P less than .02). No significant side effects were observed.

Conclusion: IV metoclopramide as a single agent is effective and safe therapy for migraine in the ED.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Metoclopramide / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Metoclopramide