Background: High-altitude headache (HAH) is a hypobaric hypoxia-induced symptom which is commonly experienced by newcomers to high-altitude areas. Objective: To assess the efficacy of gabapentin in prevention of HAH.
Methods: A placebo-controlled randomized trial was performed at an altitude of 3500 meters. Two hundred and four unacclimatized 15 to 65 years old (mean age[Â±SD], 31.5Â±11.7) hotel guests were randomly assigned to a 600mg 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: The incidence of HAH was not significantly different between subjects under gabapentin (44[43.1%]) compared with placebo (56[54.9%]; Ñ€=0.09). In contrast, moderate/severe HAH had lower incidence in gabapentin group (27[26.5%) versus placebo group (42[41.2%]) showing that gabapentin reduced HAH attack intensity (Ñ€=0.03).
Conclusions: Gabapentin was effective for prevention of HAH and had satisfactory tolerability. (controlled-trials.com identifier:ISRCTN26123577)
- acute mountain sickness
- high-altitude headache
- hypobaric hypoxia