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If you are a migraine sufferer, then you are going to need some sort of migraine medicine whether it is over the counter migraine medicines, prescription migraine medicines, natural treatments or alternative remedies. You are not going to be able to treat the symptoms of your migraine headaches without some help. The goal of migraine medicines is to reduce the frequency, severity and duration of your migraine headaches. Whether you choose a preventative strategy or a pain-relieving migraine strategy depends on the frequency and severity of your migraine headaches as well as how much disability such headaches cause and if you have any other medical conditions.
Medicine for migraines – what are available?
In a minority of migraine sufferers, it is possible to reduce the migraines through diet changes so as to avoid the foods and beverages that may be triggering migraine outbreaks. There are many such foods and beverages that could be affecting you and you need to keep a diary so that you can monitor what you eat and when migraine outbreaks occur. With a bit of detective work, you can soon ascertain where the problem lies and make the necessary adjustment to your diet.
While other sufferers may also find it helpful to discover what triggers their migraine attacks, they will still need migraine treatment to either prevent the migraines in the first place or to treat them immediately they start. Sometimes external factors such as the weather or the environment are the triggers which cause the migraine attacks and you might not have any control over such factors. Other triggers such as stress, lack of sleep, fluctuations in hormonal levels or allergies are not always easy to address.
NSAIDs are helpful for early and mild migraine headaches. NSAIDs include the drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen and others. A recent study has concluded that a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine can effectively relieve the symptoms of many migraine patients. There is an over-the-counter migraine medicine which includes these ingredients known as Exedrin Migraine.
The more severe or unresponsive migraine headaches and other migraine symptoms may need to be treated with drugs that act on serotonin receptors in the smooth muscle surrounding the cranial blood vessels. Serotonin will constrict these vessels thereby relieving the migraine pain. So drugs that can mimic serotonin will have the same effect. Improved versions of these drugs with fewer side effects have recently come on to the market. They are even available in nasal sprays, injections and rectal suppositories. These are useful for those migraine sufferers who have vomiting as a strong symptom and who cannot therefore take medication by mouth. However, prescription drugs for migraines are strong and can have side effects. They need to be carefully monitored by your doctor to ensure you get the minimum dosage necessary for the maximum results and the least side effects. If you have very frequent migraines, then your doctor will also look at prescribing preventative medicines for migraines.
Apart from over the counter migraine medicines and prescription migraine medicines, there are also many natural and alternative remedies for migraines. These are well worth investigating as many sufferers have found them to be helpful and successful. They can often be used as additional therapy to the migraine medicines described earlier in this article or as stand alone symptomatic migraine treatments. It all depends on what you find will work for you.
Migraine headaches are a primary headache disorder with a genetic base. Those with migraines can describe their symptoms with ease and these include hallucinations, partial obstruction of the visual field, numbness or tingling, vomiting, a feeling of heaviness and of courses the migraine headaches. As there are no diagnostic tests for migraine, your doctor will rely solely on your description of your symptoms to diagnose your condition. This is why keeping a diary can be so helpful when you go to your doctor for diagnosis, advice and migraine relief medicine.
Go to our Migraine and Headache page