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Antihypertensive drugs help prevent headaches

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 08 December 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:0-e

Research question Do blood pressure lowering drugs prevent headaches?

Answer Yes. Commonly used antihypertensive drugs reduce the prevalence of headache by a third compared with placebo.

Why did the authors do the study? Doctors and patients have been debating for 50 years whether high blood pressure causes headache. Most doctors believe it doesn't, although there's limited evidence from clinical trials that treating hypertension can relieve headache, especially migraine. These authors wanted to clarify the picture by synthesising all high quality, unbiased data on the link between lowering blood pressure with drugs and headache

What did they do? They did a systematic search for all double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trials of four …

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