All About Migraine Headache Treatment Options

By Lonnie Whitcher
Updated April 7, 2015
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All About Migraine Headache Treatment OptionsWhen you suffer from migraine headaches, you may find yourself experiencing intense pains within your head, typically somewhere around the sides or the front of your skull. This pain is often accompanied by a variety of other symptoms too, including sensitivity to light, problems dealing with loud noises, vomiting and even instances of nausea. Although migraines cannot currently be cured, it's important to remember that there are migraine headache treatment options out there that could help you in managing your symptoms. A variety of medications have actually been designed with the specific purpose of treating migraines, and some drugs that are used primarily for the benefit of people with other conditions could actually prevent or relieve migraine symptoms.

Finding A Strategy

Generally, the migraine headache treatment options that your doctor will recommend will fall into one of two categories. The first is the category of pain relieving medication, which is also known as abortive or acute treatment. These drugs are generally taken during migraine attacks and have been designed as a way of stopping the pain that has already begun to cause problems. The second category, on the other hand, is preventive medication, which is a kind of drug that is taken regularly in order to reduce how often you suffer from migraine headaches.

Choosing the right option for you will depend on your symptoms, and the frequency of your headaches, but your doctor should be able to help you decide on a route that will be best for your specific needs.

Pain Medications For Migraines

The first option in migraine headache treatment options, is the use of medications to treat pain. Usually, doctors recommend that patients take their pain medication immediately after they begin to experience the initial signs of a migraine, as they can be less effective later.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, Motrin, and Ibuprofen can be useful for relieving mild headaches, and other pain relieving drugs such as acetaminophen can be useful for reducing symptoms in some people. Drugs that have been created specifically to help with migraines generally contain a combination of caffeine, aspirin and acetaminophen, and these can be useful in dealing with moderate pain, but are rarely effective when it comes to relieving severe migraines.

A lot of people who experience migraine attacks also use triptans as a form of treatment. These drugs work by constricting blood vessels and blocking the pathways that nerves use to send pain signals to the brain. Medications such as these include sumatriptan, naratriptan and rizatriptan. Side effects of these drugs can include drowsiness, nausea and muscle weakness, and they should not be used by people at risk of heart attacks or stroke.

Preventive Treatment Options

Another option to consider with migraine headache treatment options is the use of preventive measures. You may find that you are suitable for preventive measures if you suffer from more than four attacks a month, or pain medication does not help you when a migraine presents itself. Preventive medications are useful for reducing the length, severity and frequency of migraines, and they can also improve the effectiveness of other medications used during a migraine attack.

* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.