Background: High-altitude headache (HAH) is a hypobaric hypoxia-induced symptom that is commonly experienced by newcomers to high-altitude areas.
Objective: To assess the efficacy of gabapentin in the prevention of HAH.
Methods: A placebo-controlled randomised trial was performed at an altitude of 3500 m. Two hundred and four unacclimatised 15–65-year-old (mean age (±SD), 31.5 (SD 11.7)) hotel guests were randomly assigned to a 600 mg single-dose of gabapentin capsule or identical placebo. HAH incidence and intensity were measured to assess gabapentin efficacy. Intention-to-treat analysis was performed.
Results: HAH incidence was not significantly different between subjects under gabapentin (44 (43.1%)) compared with placebo (56 (54.9%); p = 0.09). In contrast, moderate/severe HAH had a lower incidence in the gabapentin group (27 (26.5%)) versus the placebo group (42 (41.2%)), showing that gabapentin reduced HAH attack intensity (p = 0.03).
Conclusions: Gabapentin was effective for the prevention of HAH and had satisfactory tolerability.
Trial registration number: ISRCTN26123577.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Funding: Funding was provided by the Iranian Center for Neurology Research, Imam Hospital, Medical Sciences/University of Tehran.
Competing interests: None declared.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.