Which treatment is the best approach is determined by the frequency and severity of the migraines and your overall health. These treatments can include medications, lifestyle changes, diet, and isolating other triggers that can cause migraines.
Medications that Relieve the Pain
In milder forms of migraines, pain relievers such as Tylenol, Aspirin, Advil, Motrin, and Aleve can be tried. Combination medications such as Excedrin Migraine can be of benefit in some people.
Stronger medications containing narcotics can be used in more severe migraines but have the side effect of addiction.
Ergots have been used for many years with some success and there are combinations drugs such as Cafergot and Migergot that can be tried.
Nausea Treating Medications
Anti-nausea medications can be used as many people have significant nausea and vomiting.
This is a newer class of drugs for the treatment of migraines. Medications in this class include
Imitrex, Zomig, Maxalt, Replax, Axert, and Frova. These medications have been effective in
treating the symptoms of migraines.
Midrin is a combination drug that has success in many people. If the person has an aura before the headache, you take this medication immediately. In many cases it will prevent the headache portion of the migraine or decrease the severity of the migraine.
Medications that May Prevent Migraines
Certain medications have been shown to decrease the frequency and possible severity of migraines. Depending on the frequency and severity, this may be a method of treatment that should be considered.
Beta blockers are commonly used to treat high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. Beta blockers have been shown to decrease the frequency and severity of migraines.
Calcium channel blockers may decrease the frequency and severity of migraines. A blood pressure medication called lisinopril may work as well.
Anti-seizure medications such as Topomax, Neurotin, and Depacon may decrease the frequency of migraines.
Antidepressants such as tricyclic antidepressants may help decrease the frequency of migraines. You do not have to have depression for these to work. The method of action appears to be related to the changing of serotonin levels in the brain.
Injection of Botox in the forehead and/or neck has been shown to decrease the frequency of migraines. The injection may have to be given every 3 or 4 months.
Stress and Sleep
For people with migraines, it is important to control the stress levels in their life. This could include meditation, yoga, exercise, message, acupuncture, and biofeedback treatments.
Certain foods are associated with contributing to the development of migraines. Avoiding foods or other substances that you feel could cause your migraines should be avoided.
Increased estrogen levels can contribute to migraines and efforts to control this should be discussed with your doctor.