Things started to change for me when I found the right migraine headaches treatment and prevention drugs.
Looking back now I can see that me dismissing ineffective medications and praying for it to go away was just not enough to cope with the migraine attacks short term. Never mind long term.
Finding effective pain relief was the first step in gaining more control and getting my life back. My fun life!
Although there is currently no cure for migraines, the condition can be managed with pain relieving medications in combination with migraine prevention drugs.
The strategy chosen to manage your migraines will depend on the headache severity, the frequency of your migraines, other medical conditions and the disability that your migraines cause. Keeping a migraine diary will help you and your doctor determine this.
While pain-relieving medications offer the most effective, short-term results, many individuals that deal with chronic migraines find that preventive medications, aka prophylactics, are more effective are reducing their number of migraines.
Preventive medications also have the ability to reduce the length of migraines and make pain-relieving medications more effective when a migraine does occur.
These medications may not completely stop an attack, but they can help better control migraines overall for chronic sufferers.
Several different types of migraine prevention drugs are available.
Some individuals have to try several different options before they find one that works well.
Triptans are most widely used now to abort an attack.
Talking to your doctor about your migraines and your other medical conditions should help you and your doctor come up with the best options to try for migraine headaches treatment and prevention.
And as I always say, I recommend keeping medication notes or keeping a journal of medication results.
This medication tracker is what I use. Feel free to print both of them out as many times as you need them.
The following are the different types of drugs used for migraine prevention:
Some antidepressants have been shown to help prevent migraines and other headaches.
Tricyclic antidepressants have been shown to help prevent migraines in some individuals.
They may be able to prevent migraines by affecting the levels of various brain chemicals, like serotonin.
Currently, only Amitriptyline has been proven to be effective at migraine prevention, but some doctors may prescribe similar tricyclic antidepressants that come with fewer side effects.
Beta blockers have also been shown to be helpful migraine prevention drugs.
While they are usually used to treat coronary artery disease and high blood pressure, they also may help to reduce migraine severity and frequency.
Some of the most effective beta blockers for migraine prevention include timolol, metoprolol tartrate and propranolol.
Usually it takes several weeks to see results after beginning these medications.
Calcium channel blockers may also help to prevent migraines, such as the drug Verapamil.
Botox has proved to be helpful in treating chronic migraines in adults, but this treatment must be completed every 12 weeks to reap the effects.
Botox injections for migraines are made into the neck and forehead muscles and they work well for some individuals.
Certain anti-seizure drugs, including Topamax and Depacon may also help to prevent migraines. However, if they are used in high doses, they can cause certain side effects to occur.
I wrote about the common side effects on migraine prevention medications.
When should you begin considering migraine prevention drugs?
How do you know if they may be right for you?
Here are several indicators that you should consider talking to your doctor about preventive medications for migraines:
- You deal with three or more moderate or severe migraines each month
- The medications you are currently taking for migraine attacks are not proving to be effective
- You deal with uncommon migraine conditions and symptoms
- Migraines are interfering with your life and disabling you regularly
- Your quality of life is seriously affected by migraines
- You have to take pain-relieving migraine medications regularly
- Current migraine medications are causing unwanted side effects
- You simply would prefer working to prevent migraines before they occur
Here is a list of articles I've already written on preventing migraines.
Unfortunately, there are many of us who will not find a medication we can rely on to abort a migraine attack.
I was in this position for over 14 years. It was dreadful. You may need to look at other ways to treat and prevent migraines.
I find reducing glare, walking around the block, and using guided CD relaxation techniques all very helpful.
I say helpful, but they have all become a vital part of my daily or weekly routine. So I should say essential to survival!
If you can't take medications, here are my top 3 recommendations for migraine headaches treatment necessities:
Until next time, be well and be pain free.