Oxygen for headaches

1 Jun

Oxygen is (reasonably) well known as a treatment for cluster headaches (peri-orbital with lacrimation/injection) but this trial is trying to see if it works for all primary headache subtypes.


  • blinded RCT in turkey
  • all comer headaches (primary headache types)
  • all got 15 l/min oxy or air for 15 mins


  • n = 200
  • VAS better in all groups but only minimally so
  • only one score crossed the magic 13mm
  • most headaches were tension or migraine as opposed to the classic cluster (only 1%)


  • there seems something there but it’s so minimal i’m not sure it’s going to be actually usefulness
  • another example of somewhere where statistical difference does not equal clinical significance
  • long term results (ie a day or two) would be nice to know rather than just improvement in the ED

1. Ozkurt B, Cinar O, Cevik E, Acar AY, Arslan D, Eyi EY, et al. Efficacy of high-flow oxygen therapy in all types of headache: a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Emerg Med. 2012 May 2. PMID 22560101

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