Top 5 Migraine Treatments and Medications
Migraine headaches affect nearly 30 million Americans, according to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Two main types of treatments for migraines are used to fight back: 1) Relieving pain and other symptoms during a migraine attack. 2) Reducing the number of future attacks and the length and severity of attacks.
As suggest by one of the top spine surgeons in the country, Dr. Dryer here are some tips to relieve pain and other symptoms of an attack, the 5 top treatments include:
#1 Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs include over-the-counter and prescription doses of aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium, available in brands like Excedrin®, Aleve®, Motrin®, Bayer®, Ecotrin®, Nurofen®, Advil® and more. NSAIDs are most effective for mild migraine headaches. Some of these migraine patients attest to their success with the product, Excedrin® Migraine, but it is important to consider the placebo effect: The active ingredients for Excedrin® Migraine are exactly the same as Excedrin® Extra Strength.
#2 Anti-Nausea Medication
Because migraine headaches often cause nausea and vomiting for many sufferers, it is common to include over-the-counter anti-nausea medication along with a pain relief drug. Pepto-Bismol®, Emetrol®, Tums® are common. Home remedies can be equally as effective, like hot mint tea, dry crackers, flat cola soda pop, or lemon-lime soda pop.
Severe migraine attacks are often relieved by prescription triptan drugs when NSAIDs are not effective. Imitrex is the first name-brand triptan to become available in a generic drug form, named Sumatriptan. It is just as effective as Imitrex and costs less. Other popular triptan brand names include Maxalt, Axert, Relpax, Zomig, Amerge, and Frova. Each works slightly different, so migraine patients may need to try several different triptans before learning which one is most effective with the least side effects for them. See more about this at “New Generic Migraine Drugs” by Lynn Pritchett.
Prevention is the ultimate goal for all migraine patients. No one wants to face another migraine headache attack. Taken on a daily basis, like one might take vitamins, migraine prevention drugs today are two-fold in their task: 1) Help end the pain quicker when a migraine does occur. 2) Reduce the number of migraine attacks, as well as the length and severity of the attack.
Migraines are triggered by many different causes, not necessarily including depression. However, tricyclic antidepressants are considered first-line treatment for reducing migraines, by regulating certain brain chemicals, like serotonin, which fluctuate for everyone. Migraine sufferers appear to be more sensitive to some of these fluctuations and regulating with the older tricyclic class of antidepressants like amitriptyline has proven results. The newer antidepressants do not appear to be as effective, according to the Mayo Clinic.
#5 Anti-Seizure Drugs
Seizures are not known to be usually associated with migraines. However, like anti-depressants, anti-seizure drugs are commonly found helpful in the prevention of migraine headaches. Depakote and Topamax are brands prescribed most often. In 2009, the generic competition also helps the migraine patients’ finances, with Topiramate at a much lower cost than the brand name Topamax, according to the recent article: “New Generic Migraine Drugs Save Cash” by Lynn Pritchett.
There is no cure for migraine headaches. However, a combination of non-drug health practices and medication therapies do help many migraine patients to a quality of life that earlier generations could not even imagine. Diet, exercise, stress, amount of sleep, and many more lifestyle factors all play an important part in migraine treatment and prevention.
Jesse Waters is head content writer and article at God Men. He found out about his love for writing when he was struggling with cancer. His works are very sensitive and he writes with his heart.