Ketorolac versus meperidine-plus-promethazine treatment of migraine headache: evaluations by patients

Am J Emerg Med. 1995 Mar;13(2):146-50. doi: 10.1016/0735-6757(95)90081-0.


This study was designed to compare and contrast the speed and efficacy of meperidine (75 mg)/promethazine (25 mg) intramuscularly to ketorolac (60 mg) intramuscularly, in a double-blind study in reducing the symptoms of migraine headache. Forty-two patients who presented to the emergency department between July 1992 and February 1993, with previous diagnoses of migraine headache, were considered for this study. Patients subjectively evaluated parameters of their migraine headaches (eg, pain and nausea) using a numeric scale and were later asked to reevaluate these same parameters at 30, 60, and 360 minutes after a single intramuscular injection of either ketorolac (60 mg) or meperidine (75 mg)/promethazine (25 mg). Sixty-eight percent of patients given meperidine/promethazine responded whereas 55% of patients given ketorolac responded. The responder group showed a statistically significant reduction in headache within 30 minutes with both drug regimens. There was no statistically significant difference between the number of responders in either group. The responders from both groups had relief that lasted 6 hours after injection. In the nonresponder groups, most of the patients withdrew within 1 hour after treatment. As determined by patient response to treatment of their migraine headaches, there was no statistically significant difference between the ketorolac and the meperidine/promethazine groups.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ionophores
  • Ketorolac
  • Male
  • Meperidine / administration & dosage
  • Meperidine / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Promethazine / administration & dosage
  • Promethazine / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tolmetin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Tolmetin / therapeutic use


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ionophores
  • Meperidine
  • Tolmetin
  • Promethazine
  • Ketorolac