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Migraine Headaches Treatments

Man considers different migraine treatments for his headacheWhile there isn’t a quick cure, there are a variety of migraine headache treatments that can combat the symptoms. This page can be used as a resource for anyone who suffers from recurrent migraines.

Researchers in Alabama and around the world are continuing to develop better migraine headache treatments– some may even seem unconventional. Still, you’ll want to be well versed in the medications that have been approved by the FDA and are available to you today!

Have you had trouble treating your chronic migraines with more conventional treatments? We’re conducting migraine clinical trials in Birmingham, Alabama that you could qualify for.

The wide assortment of migraine headache treatments can be organized into two main categories:

  • Preventive Treatments – Repeat migraine sufferers take these medications on a regular basis to limit the severity and number of migraine attacks.
  • Pain-relieving Treatments – These are drugs that are taken during a migraine attack to combat the most painful symptoms in place. Also referred to as abortive or acute migraine treatment.

The effectiveness of your migraine treatment strategy will depend on the frequency and severity of the individual’s migraine headaches, as well as other underlying conditions. Children and women who are breastfeeding or pregnant should avoid some medications. Your primary doctor can help you identify the best migraine drugs to take for your symptoms.

Preventative Migraine Headache Treatments

Individuals who get at least four migraine attacks per month could be a good candidate for preventive therapy. Doctors may need to assess how long their average attack lasts, if other medications are working, or if the patient’s symptoms include a prolonged aura, before prescribing preventive treatment.

Preventive drugs are designed to reduce the severity, length, and frequency of migraine headaches. This therapy could also help make pain-relieving medication more effective during an attack.

Your doctor might advise you to take these medications daily, or when a specific trigger (like menstruation) is drawing near.

There are factors that should be weighed before taking this approach. Preventive therapy will not stop migraines completely in most cases, and some can cause adverse side effects. If this type of treatment has produced positive results (i.e. migraine attacks are more subdued), doctors may reduce dosage to assess how their patient’s symptoms react.

The following are used to help prevent frequent migraine attacks:

  • Antidepressants
    • Tricyclic Antidepressants (Amitriptyline)
    • Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (Venlafaxine)
  • Cardiovascular Drugs (Beta Blockers)
    • Propranolol
    • Metoprolol tartrate
    • Timolol
  • OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox)
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Naproxen

Pain-Relieving Migraine Headache Medications

To get the best results, pain-relieving medications should be taken as soon as migraine symptoms manifest. It is also a good practice to lay down in a darkened, quiet room for a while after taking them.

Best choices for migraine sufferers include:

  • Pain Relievers
    • Aspirin
    • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB)
    • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
    • Combination of acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine (Excedrin Migraine)
  • Triptans
    • Rizatriptan (Maxalt)
    • Sumatriptan (Imitrex)
    • Naratriptan (Amerge)
    • Frovatriptan (Frova)
    • Eletriptan (Relpax)
    • Zolmitriptan (Zomig)
  • Ergots
    • Migergot
    • Cafergot
    • Dihydroergotamine
  • Anti-Nausea Drugs
    • Prochlorperazine (Compro)
    • Metoclopramide (Reglan)
    • Chlorpromazine
  • Opioid Medications
    • Codeine
  • Glucocorticoids
    • Dexamethasone
    • Prednisone

Record Your Migraine Attacks

Many of these medications come with a risk of adverse side effects, so you are advised to work closely with your doctor when forming a new migraine headache treatment strategy.

Patient maintains a migraine headache diary

If you are dealing with the signs and symptoms of migraine attacks on a regular basis, then you may want to keep a record of your headaches and how you treated them. This could help your doctor optimize your treatment plan.