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Different Migraine Treatments

There are two types of medication that can be prescribed to treat migraine symptoms: pain-relieving drugs and painkillers. Painkillers, also known as acute or migraine treatments, are designed to stop migraines before they occur.

Preventive medications are often taken daily and designed to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines over time. They have also been shown to be useful in reducing the length and/or severity of migraine.

There is no cure for migraines, although there is a number of treatments available to relieve symptoms. You may need to try different types and combinations of medications to find the one that works best for you. If you find that you cannot control your migraine with over-the-counter medications, your General Practitioner may prescribe something stronger.

Migraine prevention is often prescribed as a treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders. Certain antidepressants can help prevent all types of headaches, including migraines. Tricyclic antidepressants can reduce migraine headaches by affecting serotonin or other brain chemicals, although amitriptyline is the only antidepressant that has been shown to be effective against migraine.

Aspirin and paracetamol can be combined with caffeine and sedatives as a single medication for headaches. Triptan helps to relieve migraines by narrowing blood vessels and blocking pain pathways in the brain. Ergotamine and caffeine, or a drug in combination with caffeine, are sometimes used to treat people who have migraine pain that lasts 48 hours or more.

Some medications are given after the headaches have started as acute treatment, and others are taken to reduce the incidence of severe and frequent headaches. If headaches are present, some prophylactic or preventive medications can be taken in the first days or weeks after a migraine attack to reduce the frequency of seizures, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are also situations that can be managed even with light painkillers and over-the-counter products. You may be taking painkillers such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, or a combination of both to treat mild migraine symptoms.

It can take several weeks for certain medications to build up in the system before they are effective. However, if taken too often, they can lead to ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, rebound headaches, and even death. Therefore, manage your intake and make sure you consult with your doctor.

– Disclaimer –

This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by Dr. Syra Hanif, M.D. on 07/30/2020

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  • About The Author

    Dr. Syra Hanif M.D.

    Board Certified Primary Care Physician

Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.

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