Migraine Treatments


Detailed Information

Knowing what triggers a patients migraines and avoiding these triggers, can help them manage their migraines. Common migraine triggers include:

  • stress & anxiety
  • missing meals & dieting
  • lack of sleep & fatigue
  • certain odors
  • hormone fluctuations
  • having an illness
  • some medications
  • alcohol
  • certain foods including cured meats, chocolate, caffeine, nuts, pickled foods, monosodium glutamate (MSG), aged cheese, yogurt, brown vinegar etc

The most effective medicines used to treat migraines are best taken as soon as migraine symptoms are noticed.

Most over-the-counter headache medicines are only helpful for people who have mild or moderate, rather than severe, migraine pain. Mild migraine pain may be helped by anti-inflammatory medicines such as aspirin. However, when taken right at the onset of symptoms, aspirin can relieve even severe migraines.

Some people find that taking caffeine, for example, by drinking a cup of strong coffee, helps stop a mild migraine progressing. This is thought to be because caffeine causes the blood vessels in your brain to narrow, which counteracts the dilation of blood vessels that is thought to partly cause the pain of migraine.

As nausea and vomiting are common with migraines, and may prevent absorption of oral migraine medicines, it is often recommended to take an anti-nausea medicine such as metoclopramide (e.g. Maxolon) or prochlorperazine (e.g.Stemetil) along with other migraine medicines.

No migraine medicine is effective for all people, and those who do not respond to over-the-counter preparations may need special migraine medicines prescribed by their doctor.

Some special migraine  medicines include the triptans (e.g. Imigran, Naramig, Zomig ), ergotamine (e.g. Cafergot) and dihydroergotamine (Dihydergot, given as an injection). The triptans are available as tablets as well as nasal sprays, wafers that dissolve on the tongue and self-injection devices, which are helpful if you have nausea and vomiting with your migraines and can't keep tablets down.

All migraine medicines are best given at the first sign of a migraine. People who have severe or frequent migraines (more than 2-3 times a month) may need to be prescribed preventive medicine.

Preventative medicines that are more commonly associated with treatment of other conditions, such as depression, high blood pressure or convulsions, are now also being used to prevent migraines. Some examples include amitriptyline, Sandomigran, Propranolol (e.g. Inderal), Sodium Valproate, Topiramate (e.g. Topamax, Epiramax) and Verapamil. This type of preventive medicine is usually taken every day and is useful for people who have frequent, severe migraines or who have a condition that prevents them from taking any of the migraine treatment medicines.

The commonly used wrinkle treatment injections such as BTX are now commonly and successfully used as a preventative treatment for migraines. The medicine is injected into specific head and neck muscle areas. Repeat injections may be needed after 3 to 6 months.

If you get severe headaches that are not helped by the usual over-the-counter pain medicines, see your doctor for a correct diagnosis and the best treatment options. If you are having regular migraines, ask the medical staff at MD Cosmedical Solutions if injection treatments are suitable for you.

Migraine Treatments Video