Migraine Headache

Preventive Medications For Migraine Headaches

Dealing with migraine headaches can be a difficult thing to do. Since this headache types brings along excruciating pain, it would only be wise if you look for means to prevent the problem. Here are some preventive treatments for migraine that you can use to keep the problem at bay.

FDA approved medications
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved four medications that can be used to prevent migraine namely propranolol, timolol, topiramate, and divalproex sodium. These medications are the first choice for treating medicines. However, they may not be of great help in some cases because of the side effects they bring along. They may also prove to be ineffective for some individuals. In such a case, your doctor may replace these medications with some other medicine.

Beta blockers
This is yet another category of medicines that can be used to prevent migraine. Though the primary purpose of beta blockers is to prevent hypertension, they may also be used to treat migraine headaches. Atenolol, metoprolol (long acting) and nadalol are some examples of beta blockers that can help combat migraine. A major drawback of using these medicines to treat migraine is that they can cause several side effects. Some of the commonly caused side effects as a result of using beta blockers include nausea, drowsiness, uneasiness, insomnia, weakness and fatigue. People suffering from hypotension, asthma or any other heart conditions should not use beta blockers.

Antidepressants
Amitryptyline is an antidepressant that can be used to treat migraine headaches. Even though amitryptyline is not approved by the FDA to treat migraine, it has proved to be helpful in most cases. This medication falls under the category of TCA or Tricycline Antidepressants. Though all migraine sufferers can use this medicine, it is particularly of great help where migraine keeps on changing character or is accompanied by insomnia or depression. This medicine too has its share of side effects which include drowsiness, weight gain and dry mouth.

Anticonvulsants
Though this category of medication is meant to treat epileptic seizures, it works for treating migraine headache as well. Divalproex is one such medication that can be used to prevent migraine headaches. This medication may cause gastrointestinal upset. Contraindications of this medicine include pregnancy, history of pancreatitis and liver diseases. Gabapentin and topiramate are some other anticonvulsants that can be used to treat migraine headaches.

Others
Besides the above mentioned medications, there are several other medicines as well that can be used to prevent migraine. Some of these medicines include lisinopril and atacand. While lisinopril is an ACE inhibitor, atacand is an angiotension receptor blocker (ARB). Some NSAIDs such as naproxen can also be used o prevent migraine headaches.

Ask your health care provider about these medications and you may be able to keep migraine headaches away.