Migraine is primarily a disorder that is characterized by recurrent headaches. These headaches can be moderate to severe. This type of pulsating headache can be experienced in one half of the brain and last for 2-72 hours. The symptoms associated with migraines include nausea, vomiting, and heightened sensitivity to light, sound, and smell. The pain usually worsens with physical activity. At least one-third of people might suffer from Aura, which is a short period of visual disturbance, signaling that a headache might soon occur.
Medications used for treating migraines fall under two categories:
Therapies such as behavioral modification, psychological intervention, and biofeedback can be applied with the combination of some medications. Other therapies such as magnetic-field therapy, photic stimulation, acupuncture, aerobic exercises, and isometric neck exercises can reduce the frequency of migraines.
These treatments are also called as acute or abortive treatments, and involve use of medications. These medications are taken during migraine attacks to stop the recurring of the symptoms.
- Pain relievers
Medications such as aspirin and acetaminophen can help relieve mild bouts of migraines in some people. Drugs made from a combination of aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine might ease pain due to moderate migraines but are not effective on severe medications. Medications made from a combination of aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine can be used to ease the moderate migraine pain but are not effective for severe bouts of migraines.These medications can lead to ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, and headaches if taken for longer periods.
Indomethacin, which is a prescription-based pain reliever, helps in relieving severe migraines and helps in relieving from symptoms of nausea.
These treat migraines by constricting the blood vessels and block pain pathways in the brain. They are available in the form of pills, nasal sprays, and injections. The side effects of triptans include dizziness, drowsiness, and muscle weakness. Triptans are not recommended for people who suffer from heart conditions.
A combination of ergotamine and caffeine is less effective than triptans. They are effective for the migraines whose pain lasts for more than two days. The side effects include nausea and vomiting. Dihydroergotamine is a type of ergot that is more effective and has fewer side effects than ergotamine.
- Opioid medications
These are medicines that are used to treat migraines for people who cannot take triptans and ergots. These medicines can be habit-forming and strictly need to be taken under a doctor’s guidance.
- Preventive medications
Below are the most common preventive medications for migrainesCardiovascular drugs
They are beta blockers that are used to treat high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. They also reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
Tricyclic antidepressants reduce the frequency of migraines by altering the level of serotonin and other brain chemicals. Antidepressants can cause sleepiness, dry mouth, constipation, and other side effects.
Also known as Botox, this preventive medication has proved to treat chronic migraine in adults. During this procedure, the botox is injected into the muscles of the forehead and neck. This treatment needs to be repeated every 12 weeks.
Discuss your migraine issues with your healthcare advisor as they will provide you with treatment options on the basis of the symptoms’ severity.