How are migraines treated?
Migraine headaches are chronic. They can’t be cured, but they can be managed and possibly improved. There are two main treatment approaches that use medications: abortive and preventive.
- Abortive medications are most effective when you use them at the first sign of a migraine. Take them while the pain is mild. By possibly stopping the headache process, abortive medications help stop or decrease your migraine symptoms, including pain, nausea, light sensitivity, etc. Some abortive medications work by constricting your blood vessels, bringing them back to normal and relieving the throbbing pain.
- Preventive (prophylactic) medications may be prescribed when your headaches are severe, occur more than four times a month and are significantly interfering with your normal activities. Preventive medications reduce the frequency and severity of the headaches. Medications are generally taken on a regular, daily basis to help prevent migraines.
What medications are used to relieve migraine pain?
Over-the-counter medications are effective for some people with mild to moderate migraines. The main ingredients in pain relieving medications are ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen and caffeine.
Three over-the-counter products approved by the Food and Drug Administration for migraine headaches are:
- Excedrin® Migraine.
- Advil® Migraine.
- Motrin® Migraine Pain.
Be cautious when taking over-the-counter pain relieving medications. Sometimes overusing them can cause analgesic-rebound headaches or a dependency problem. If you’re taking any over-the-counter pain medications more than two to three times a week, report that to your healthcare provider. They may suggest prescription medications that may be more effective.
Prescription drugs for migraine headaches include:
Triptan class of drugs (these are abortives):
Calcium channel blockers:
Calcitonin gene-related (CGRP) monoclonal antibodies:
- Valproic acid.
- Gabapentin (Neurontin )
Your healthcare provider might recommend vitamins, minerals, or herbs, including:
Drugs to relieve migraine pain come in a variety of formulations including pills, tablets, injections, suppositories and nasal sprays. You and your healthcare provider will discuss the specific medication, combination of medications and formulations to best meet your unique headache pain.
Drugs to relieve nausea are also prescribed, if needed.
All medications should be used under the direction of a headache specialist or healthcare provider familiar with migraine therapy. As with any medication, it’s important to carefully follow the label instructions and your healthcare provider’s advice.
Alternative migraine management methods, also known as home remedies, include:
- Resting in a dark, quiet, cool room.
- Applying a cold compress or washcloth to your forehead or behind your neck. (Some people prefer heat.)
- Massaging your scalp.
- Applying pressure to your temples in a circular motion.
- Keeping yourself in a calm state. Meditating.
What is the best migraine medicine you have tried, and why is it the best?
i have had migraines off and on for years, due to a car accident. The last 2 years, the migraines have cropped up more often and my physician will prescribe a headache med for me to have on hand. The problem is, she says that they are all very similar.
So , the question for yahoo users will be, in your personal migraine encounters, what prescription migraine medicine worked best, and were there side effects, etc?
There are maybe a lot of solutions for this question. But I think the best answer is:
Answer simply by IndyMom
I have had migraines for 30 years. None are the best. The question is in finding the best one for you. You are the only one who can determine that will. Ask the Doc. in order to prescribe the migraine contraceptive medications one at a time until you find the one that works best for you.
Fioricet is the best migraine medicine!
I personally use Imitrex. I have also attempted Maxalt, Zomig and all of the others that I don’t remember the names of. Imitrex has been the best for me.
The key with any of these is to take them immediately, as soon as you realize that the pain is arriving or expect that it is heading to migraine level. If you wait around until you have a full taken migraine, no medication will work.
Keep a daily headache journal when you try the new medications. At the end of a few days, or several weeks depending on how often you get them, you will have the details for the Doctor. Help them to help you.
Best of luck.
include your own answer in the feedback!