Best Prescription Medicine For Migraines
If youve got moderate or severe migraines and OTC options arent cutting it, visit your doctor to see if a migraine RX could work for you. A class of drugs called triptans are the go-to and include meds like Imitrex , Amerge and Zomig . Another effective RX is dihydroergotamine , available as a nasal spray or an injection. Meds to relieve nausea can also be prescribed.
Medication Then Medication Overuse Headache: A Vicious Cycle
Pain relieving or antimigraine medications may stop headache attack when taken as needed to relieve headache. But if a person with a primary headache disorder, such as migraine or tension-type headache, takes these headache-relieving medications more than two to three days a week, they may trigger medication overuse headache.
A variety of medications can lead to rebound headaches. For example, people with migraine who take over-the-counter pain-relieving medications such as acetaminophen , ibuprofen , or naproxen on more than 15 days per month are at risk for medication overuse headache. So are people who take combination medications such as Excedrin, which contains caffeine, aspirin, and acetaminophen people who take combination medications that contain the barbiturate butalbital and those who take triptans, including sumatriptan , ergots, or opioids, if they take these medications on more than 10 days per month. In fact, butalbital-containing medications and opioids have been shown to increase the risk of a persons migraine progressing from episodic to chronic .
Interestingly, the same pain-relieving medications taken for other conditions such as back pain, neck pain, or arthritis usually do not trigger medication overuse headache in people without a pre-existing primary headache disorder.
Small Amount Of Coffee Or Tea
One or two cups of coffee or tea each day may provide headache relief, especially if it is a headache triggered by a lack of caffeine. Caffeine can decrease the size of blood vessels, enabling better blood flow. The key is to find a balance and not consume too much caffeine. Too much caffeine can trigger a headache.
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What Is Migraine Exactly
You may think of a migraine as a really bad headachebut the pain that accompanies it is far more severe. Migraine is actually a neurological disease. During an attack, groups of your brain cells become overactive, your blood vessels narrow, and blow flow to your brain shifts, which may contribute to the onset of symptoms, per Johns Hopkins Medicine. To be diagnosed, you have to experience the attacks repeatedly, which means having at least five excruciating headaches lasting 4 to 72 hours each per month, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Migraine has specific hallmarks to distinguish it from everyday headaches: The pain usually throbs, pounds, and/or pulses . This is usually accompanied by an upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting, which gets worse with physical activity. Migraine can also cause sensitivity to light, noise, and smells.
Migraine headaches can be brought on by triggers and these can vary wildlyanything from specific foods to stress to dehydration can spur an attack. However, not all migraine episodes have triggers, and if they do, you might not know what your individual triggers are. The headaches often feel dull and achy when they begin and gradually become more severe, eventually causing intense, throbbing pain. At their worst, migraine can make your whole head, face, jaw, and neck pulsate with pain.
How Can You Tell If It’s A Migraine Vs Headache
The diagnosis of migraine headache rests solely on what a patient describes to a doctor or other medical professional. A doctor’s physical examination of the patient typically reveals nothing out of the ordinary, but a neurological examination will often be performed to rule out other causes of headache.
Additional tests may be ordered because of other types of headaches such as tension or cluster headache, stroke, tumor, inflammation of a blood vessel, and infection of the brain’s coverings or of the sinuses. Other headache tests include:
- Blood tests
- CT scan or MRI of the head to look for bleeding, stroke, or tumor
- A spinal tap to look for evidence of infection or bleeding
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What Is A Migraine
Common painkillers such as paracetamol, aspirin, and ibuprofen may be used for quick relief. Some natural home remedies may also help in symptomatic relief.
There are no long-term complications of migraines, but it greatly affects your quality of life during an episode. There is no structural abnormality of the brain or blood vessels. Migraine may be associated with a very small risk of stroke, but it is very rare.
Who’s More Prone To Migraines
Certain people are more prone to developing migraines. Theres a strong genetic component. In fact, approximately 80% of people who experience migraines have a parent, sibling, or child with the condition. People who menstruate are more likely to get migraines than people who do not. Obesity is another risk factor.
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Can Migraines Be Prevented Or Avoided
Medicine to prevent migraines may be helpful if your headaches happen more than 2 times a month. You may want to consider this medicine if your headaches make it hard for you to work and function. These medicines are taken every day, whether you have a headache or not.
Preventive medications for migraines can include prescription drugs often used to treat other ailments. Anti-seizure medicines, antidepressants, medicines to lower blood pressure, and even Botox injections are some of the preventive medications your doctor may prescribe. Calcitonin gene-related peptide inhibitors can also help prevent migraines. They do so by blocking a gene-related peptide in your sensory nerves. This peptide is known to increase during a migraine attack, so blocking it can help prevent migraines.
There are also a number of non-medical treatments designed to help minimize migraine pain and frequency. One is an electrical stimulation device, which has been approved by the FDA. It is a headband that you wear once a day for 20 minutes to stimulate the nerve linked to migraines. Another non-medical treatment is counseling aimed at helping you feel in more control of your migraines. This counseling works best when paired with medical prevention of migraines, as well.
How Many Australians Have Headache
Around 12 million Australians that suffer from migraine and/or tension-type headaches combined.
In Australia, sufferers generally tend to be pretty self-reliant. Most people will elect to self-manage their own headache. Nine out of 10 people say that they will self-manage, rather than going to see a doctor for their headache, even if that headache is severe.
About 1% to 2% of the Australian population are thought to suffer from a condition called medication overuse headache . Medication overuse headache has a controversial name. The name may imply blame on the person who has the headache condition, which is completely unfair. Medication overuse headache is associated with frequent use of medications, analgesic medications and migraine specific medications that are used to manage those acute attacks. We will discuss this type of headache further shortly.
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How To Prevent Migraines
The best way to manage migraines is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some important ways to do it:
- Keep track of what triggers your migraines so you can avoid those things in the future.
- Get regular sleep, 7 9 hours each night.
- Eat a consistent, healthy diet.
- Get regular exercise, but avoid sudden and intense exertion.
- Avoid stress as much as you can, and use stress-management techniques when you need to.
- Practice mindfulness or meditation.
- Follow your doctor-prescribed medication regimen.
- Consider holistic treatments like acupuncture or biofeedback.
Seeds And Nuts Provide Magnesium And Fiber
Magnesium deficiency is one of the most common nutritional causes of persistent or cluster headaches, says Sarah Thomsen Ferreira, RD, MPH, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinics Center for Functional Medicine in Ohio.
Prioritizing ample amounts of magnesium-rich foods daily is one of the best ways to keep these headaches at bay, Ferreira says.
Flaxseeds, sprouted pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds are all good , says Ferreira. Pumpkin seeds are also high in fiber, preventing the constipation that sometimes comes with migraine. Cashews are high in magnesium, too, she says.
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What Causes A Migraine
The cause of migraine headaches is complicated and not fully understood. When you have a headache its because specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your head. Its unclear why your nerves do that.
Stopping The Vicious Cycle Of Rebound Headaches
- By Sait Ashina, MD, Contributor
Rebound headaches, also known as medication overuse headaches, are caused by the frequent or excessive use of pain-relieving and/or antimigraine drugs to treat headache attacks that are already in progress. In other words, the same medications that initially relieve headache pain can themselves trigger subsequent headaches if they are used too often. Medication overuse headaches can be disabling, forcing people with this condition to take sick leave and to be less productive at work and home.
To be diagnosed with medication overuse headaches, a person must experience headaches on more than 15 days per month for at least three months while taking pain relieving and/or antimigraine drugs. In addition to headache, other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, irritability, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, restlessness, and constipation.
Medication overuse headache is a common headache disorder. Approximately one to two out of every 100 people has experienced medication overuse headache in the past year. This headache is more common in women, and in people with chronic pain conditions and who have depression and anxiety.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Vestibular Migraine
Vestibular migraine is a type of migraine characterized by vertigo, dizziness, balance problems, ringing in the ears , motion intolerance, and sensitivity to light and sound . These symptoms may or may not be associated with a headache or visual aura .
Symptoms may last from a few minutes to three days during which the person may experience the following:
- Loss of balance or unsteadiness
How Can It Help Relieve Migraine Pain
Acupressure is said to be helpful for people dealing with depression, anxiety, nausea, chemotherapy side effects, and many other conditions. The idea is that any physical or emotional pain can be partly relieved by acupressure, so it almost goes without saying that it can be useful for migraineurs â especially when you consider that itâs free, usually safe for most people, and simple enough that you might even be able to perform it on yourself during a migraine.
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What Are Common Headache Triggers
Headache triggers can vary from person to person. The most common triggers for tension headaches and migraines range from alcohol to certain foods, changes in eating or sleeping patterns, stress and or a change in weather.
It’s not as easy to distinguish triggers when it comes to cluster headaches, but there are several risks, including age , smoking, alcohol use and family history. Unlike with migraines, cluster headaches are more common in men than in women.
Overview Of Common Headache Types & Symptoms
Generally headaches can be separated into two main categories. There are primary headaches, where the headache is the condition itself and secondary headaches, which are caused by an underlying condition or some other factor.
Most people have probably experienced a temporary cold or flu at some point in their life, thus have probably experienced a cold-associated headache. This type of headache would be a secondary type of headache.
The most common type of headache is tension-type headache. Statistically, the vast majority of the population has experienced a tension-type headache at some point. Tension-type headaches are the type of headaches that feel like a band of pressure around your head or a kind of tightening or squeezing feeling.
The pain is usually located on both sides of the head at once. The quality of the pain is usually a sort of a dull, aching type feeling and is usually fairly constant.. In terms of intensity, we generally call these headaches mild to moderate, however some people can experience severe tension-type headaches.
Tension-type headaches typically last for a few hours. Unfortunately for some people, they can last all day or even for multiple days in a row. Often tension-type headaches are associated with tension or tightness in the muscles and neck, which is where they originally got their name.
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Essential Oils For Migraines
While essential oils may seem like the ultimate woo-woo remedy, actual studies support their usefulness, specifically lavender and peppermint essential oils. To wit: A small placebo-controlled study out of Iran found that inhaling lavender for 15 minutes can be an effective and safe way to help manage migraines. And a larger 2019 double-blind study found that inhaling peppermint essential oil for just five minutes caused a considerable reduction in the intensity and frequency of migraines. To relieve your migraine fast, try placing a few drops in a diffuser as you rest in a dark and quiet room.
Can Migraines Be Cured
- Regular follow-up care with a doctor or other health care professional is necessary.
- Keeping a pain journal to monitor the frequency of attacks and the medications you use can be very helpful.
- It may take several doctor visits before you find an effective migraine treatment plan.
- After the headaches are under control, the prognosis is very good. Patience is key. It may take several attempts before you find an effective migraine treatment plan.
- No one treatment or drug is effective for every person. A drug that works well for one person may not provide any relief for another.
- A combination of different migraine medicine sometimes is needed to treat resistant headaches.
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What Can Cause A Migraine
Doctors are not sure what exactly causes migraines. But, many things can trigger a migraine. Different people have different triggers, which can include:
- Stress or anxiety
- Changes in hormones
- Bright lights, loud sounds, and strong smells
- Certain foods, such as chocolate, cheese, salty foods, or processed foods
- Food additives such as MSG or aspartame
- Not getting enough to eat
- Not getting enough sleep
- Some medicines
What Are The Causes Of A Migraine
Migraines arent the same as other types of headaches. Migraine is a genetic neurological disease in which there is an interplay between the pain neurons in the brain and the blood vessels.
Migraines can be set off by different stimuli, foods, and conditions. These triggers vary from person to person, with the most common including:
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What Else Can I Do To Prevent Migraines
While there are no sure ways to keep from having migraine headaches, here are some things that may help:
Eat regularly and do not skip meals.
- Keep a regular sleep schedule.
- Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise can help reduce tension as well as keep your weight in check. Obesity can contribute to migraines.
- Keep a migraine journal to help you learn what triggers your migraines and what treatments are most helpful.
How Do You Get Rid Of Hormonal Migraines
This treatment is available. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen that are available over-the-counter or have been authorized by your doctor can relieve menstrual migraines. You can prescribe strong NSAIDs at your local pharmacy. There are a number of treatments for the symptoms associated with migraine and cramps.
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Amazing Tips To Get Rid Of Migraine Pain
Migraine pain, it is one of the unbearable pain, it will make your day and mood worst. Migraine pain is usually an intense, throbbing pain on one, or sometimes, both sides of the head. Nowadays its getting common among the people, every next person is having a migraine problem. Sensitivity towards the light and sound is the common symptoms of it. So here we are going to explore the ways which help you to get rid of migraine pain.
Treatment For Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women
In general, migraine treatment with medicines should be limited as much as possible when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Instead, trying to identify and avoid potential migraine triggers is often recommended.
If medicine is essential, your GP may prescribe you a low-dose painkiller, such as paracetamol.
In some cases, anti-inflammatory medicine or triptans may be prescribed.
Speak to a GP or your midwife before taking medicine when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Page last reviewed: 10 May 2019 Next review due: 10 May 2022
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Talking With The Er Doctor
You may want to talk with the ER doctor about:
- Your history of severe migraines and whether you have been to the ER for a severe migraine before
- Any medicines you have taken to treat a severe migraine in the past, how well they worked, and any side effects you experienced from them
- Which medicine might be best to treat your severe migraine
- The possible benefits and side effects of the medicine
Ask your doctor