Having a migraine can be painful, and finding the right medication for it can help treat symptoms or help prevent the headaches that occur. You may want to talk to your doctor to figure out which type of medication can work for your exact symptoms. There are some drugs that will stop migraines and help prevent the symptoms that come with them, which include pain, sensitivity to light, and nausea. There is also medication that can be used to help prevent migraines from happening in the first place. If you regularly suffer from migraines, these medications can lessen the number and severity of the headaches. Make sure you are follow doctor’s orders when taking any medication, and take notes about what is working or not working during your headaches so your doctor can judge if the medications are effective and prescribe or recommend different treatments.
Over-the-Counter Migraine Treatment
Over the counter medications include Excedrin Migraine, Advil Migraine, or Motrin Migraine. Excedrin combines acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine to help reduce the pain and relieve other symptoms. Advil and Motrin contain ibuprofen. These medications do have some side effects, which can include elevated risk of heart attack or stroke, allergic reaction, and rashes. These types of medications can work for milder migraines, but for more intense migraines you may want to try a stronger alternative. Many people find the combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine a great solution, making Excedrin Migraine a popular choice for migraine suffers. In a study of over the counter medications, more people found relief than with an ibuprofen-based medication. This shows that caffeine is an important ingredient that helps the body absorb more of medication and make the pain reliever more effective. It’s important to note that caffeine can cause more headaches for people that overuse the medication.
Abortive Migraine Drugs
Abortive drugs are also called triptans, and they work similar to over the counter choices but have more prescription strength medication in them. These include almotriptan, eltriptan, and Rizatriptan, and can be available as a dissolving tablet, making it a good choice for those that experience nausea with their migraines and can’t swallow traditional pills. Sumatriptan can be available in many different forms, again for those who have trouble swallowing pills. It can come in a nasal spray, tablets, or fast dissolving pill. Some common side effects of some of these medications include high cholesterol, increased susceptibility to strokes, and uncontrolled hypertension. These medications should be used for more intense migraines when over the counter medications are not working.
For those who suffer from many migraines, there are medications that can help prevent attacks from happening. These medications can follow under the categories of nonsteroidal anti inflammatories, tricyclic antidepressants, SNRI antidepressants, beta-blockers, and anticonvulsants. Some of these medications should not be taken with each other, so it’s important to consult with a doctor. Write down when you have migraines, and if your headaches are under control over a six-month period you may be able to wean off these medications.
In addition to using migraine medication, healthy habits like exercise and getting enough sleep can help control some migraines and the symptoms. Keep your migraine medication on hand so that you don’t have to suffer through it.