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Gabapentin for prevention of hypobaric hypoxia-induced headache: Randomized double-blind clinical trial
  1. S Jafarian1,
  2. R Abolfazli2,
  3. F Gorouhi1,
  4. S Rezaie1,
  5. J Lotfi1,3
  1. 1
    Department of Neurology, Shariati Hospital, Medical Sciences/University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
  2. 2
    Department of Neurology, Amiralam Hospital, Medical Sciences/University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
  3. 3
    Iranian Center for Neurology Research, Imam Hospital, Medical Sciences/University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
  1. Sirous Jafarian, MD, Department of Neurology, Shariati Hospital, Medical Sciences/University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran; jafarian_s{at}yahoo.com

Abstract

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.

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Footnotes

  • Funding: Funding was provided by the Iranian Center for Neurology Research, Imam Hospital, Medical Sciences/University of Tehran.

  • Competing interests: None declared.

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