Migraine Headache

Medication to Treat Migraines

A migraine is a splitting headache that can take place on either or both sides of the head and is often accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. In extreme situations, a patient may exhibit incoherent speech, temporary loss of vision and flashes

Little is known about the underlying reasons of a migraine, except that it is a result of the blood vessels and the nerves in the brain become inflamed.  A lot of research has been carried out on migraines and a number of theories exist about the causes. What is known is that migraines are a hereditary condition and there are a number of triggers that set off a migraine.

Since no single cure for migraine has been devised or formulated, management of the disease is of utmost importance. In order to manage migraines in patients a combination of preventive therapy, trigger prevention and pain management is used.

There are a number of drugs that help in the treatment of migraine. Drugs that are used to manage the migraine condition fall primarily into two classes. The first is the set of drugs that are used to treat the acute symptoms of migraine. Any of the second set of drugs is taken on a regular basis to prevent migraine from occurring, after consulting a physician.

One of the first lines of defenses against migraines is Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDS. These are drugs that can be used in isolation or are available in a pre-formulated combination and are meant to east the pain that occurs from mild to moderate migraine headaches.
Examples of NSAID are ibuprofen, aspirin and caffeine.

Another category of drugs that are meant to treat severe cases of migraines is triptans.  This category of drugs is used primarily to lessen the secondary symptoms of severe migraine headaches, such as pain, nausea, vomiting, flashes of light and sensitivity to sound.

Ergot and opiate based medications and combinations that contain Butalbital are also used on a selective basis to treat migraine headaches.