Migraine medication like Sumax, Cefaliv, Cefalium, Aspirin or paracetamol, can be used to stop a crisis. These drugs work by blocking pain or reducing blood vessel dilation, therefore controlling the symptoms of migraine, but should only be used under medical advice.
In addition, there are also medications that are used to prevent new migraine attacks, which are generally used in people who have more than 4 crisis in a month, that last for more than 12 hours, or who do not respond to any analgesic medication.
The most appropriate doctor to guide the use of these medications is a neurologist after evaluating the symptoms and identifying what type of migraine the person has. To discover the type, you can do an exam like a tomography, for example.
Medication you can take when pain arises
Here are some medicinal options to relieve pain provoked by migraines and that may be prescribed by a doctor:
- Painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs, such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin, which can help relieve pain in some people;
- Triptans, such as Zomig, Naramig or Sumax, which can cause the constriction of blood vessels and block pain;
- Ergotamine, present in drugs such as Cefaliv or Cefalium, for example, which are less effective than triptans;
- Antiemetics, such as metoclopramide for example, are used for nausea caused by a migraine and are usually combined with other medications;
- Opioids, such as codeine, which are generally used in people who can not take triptans or ergotamine;
- Corticosteroids, such as prednisone or dexamethasone, may be used in combination with other medicines.
A good medication for migraines with aura is Paracetamol that should be taken as soon as you notice the visual symptoms like blinking lights before the headache arises, and avoid any kind of stimulus, staying in a quiet, calm and dark place. This medicine can also be used in the event of a migraine crisis during pregnancy.
Medication to prevent the pain from returning
If you have 4 or more migraine crisis in a month, or they last for more than 12 hours not responding correctly to the treatment you are using or you feel weak and dizzy, you may need to see your doctor so he can indicate preventive treatment.
The medications used to prevent migraines may reduce their frequency, intensity, and duration which can increase the effectiveness of the medications you may use to treat the migraine itself. The most commonly used remedies for prevention are:
- Medication used in cardiovascular diseases, such as propranolol, timolol, verapamil or lisinopril;
- Antidepressants, for changing the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters, with amitriptyline being the most used;
- Anti-convulsants, which seem to reduce the frequency of migraines, such as valproate or topiramate;
In addition, taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen may also help prevent migraine and reduce symptoms.
Main side effects
Migraine medication can be very useful in controlling headaches, but can cause unpleasant symptoms. The most common side effects that may appear are:
- Triptans: Nausea, dizziness and muscle weakness;
- Dihydroergotamine: Nausea and sensitivity changes to the fingers and toes.
- Ibuprofen, Aspirin and Naproxen: Used for long periods of time, that can cause headache, stomach ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders.
If you experience one of these side effects you should see your doctor so that he can evaluate the possibility of changing the medication dosage or indicate another drug that has the same positive effect, without provoking any of the negative side effects.
Alternative treatment for migraines
Another way to prevent and treat migraine attacks is to use a device called Cefaly headband for 20 minutes a day. This device is a type of tiara that is placed on the head and has a vibrating electrode, stimulating the trigeminal nerve endings, which is closely related to the onset of migraine. You can buy the Cefaly headband over the internet.