Statins should be given to people who suffer from severe migraines, according to an editorial in the British Journal of General Practice.
Dr. David Kernick, a GP at the St Thomas Health Center in Exeter, United Kingdom, said that people who experience an 'aura' - flashing lights or confusing thoughts - before a migraine strikes should be considered for the cholesterol-busting drugs.
‘People who experience an - flashing lights or confusing thoughts - before a migraine strikes are at greater risk of strokes and heart disease. The expert said the threshold at which statins are prescribed for such patients should be reduced.’
Migraines are common and some patients experience warning signs in the hour before the headache strikes.
Studies suggest that people who experience such aura migraines are at greater risk of strokes and heart disease. Dr. Kernick said the threshold at which statins are prescribed should be reduced for patients who experience aura migraines.
He said that even young patients and those experiencing relatively infrequent attacks, should be considered for the cholesterol-lowering drug.
Statins are taken by 7million people in the UK and guideline changes which reduced the prescription threshold last year mean another 10 million are now eligible.
Dr Kernick said that this threshold should be reduced even further for the four in every 100 people in the country who report aura migraines.
He said a 'pragmatic approach' must be taken for assessing the risk of heart disease or stroke in these patients.
'Over the past decade there has been an increasing recognition of the importance of statins in preventing cardiovascular disease,' said Dr Kernick.