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Migraine Management


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Migraines are painful syndromes that attack men and women all over the world on a daily basis, some with no relief. Managing and treating migraines is an ongoing process because of the increasing number of triggers, treatments and prescriptions available. Not to mention that not everyone experiences the same symptomology or can get relief from the same treatment. The objective for people who suffer from migraines is to empower yourself to manage the symptoms, the onset and the treatment of each migraine that may occur.


Experiencing a migraine for the first time can be scary and painful. But after experiencing it 3 times in the same week can be not only debilitating but also exhausting. Managing your migraines is important if you suffer from regularly induced migraines. The first step to managing your migraines is through diagnosis and education. Not everyone suffers from the same type of migraines and if you don’t know what kind you suffer from how are you going to be able to treat it. Learn about your condition and the symptoms you suffer from. Treatments may be available for only certain types of migraine sufferers but until you find out, you won’t know. Find a doctor who will advocate for you and your condition. Your doctor has to be a partner in your treatment steps as well as your diagnosis. Most doctors will just send you on your way once they diagnose you. A doctor who makes decisions with you and not for you will continue to help you along your management journey until you find the right treatment steps that work for you.

Triggers are the main cause of migraine attacks. Identifying what triggers your migraine attacks is vital in reducing and eliminating your migraines. Triggers can range from food, weather, air pollutants, odors, aromas, cigarettes, perfumes, sleeping problems, and circulation problems. Many of these triggers can be avoided or eliminated from your everyday lifestyle, which can reduce the occurrence of migraines. In addition to reducing triggers, treatments are available to reduce migraine activity. There are three types of treatments preventative, abortive and rescue.


Preventative treatment is recommended for people who have 3 or more migraine headaches in one month. Preventative medication should be taking daily to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. Although, most people are reluctant to take medication for the rest of their life, this medication can make life much easier and peaceful to live. The FDA has approved a total of four medications for migraine prevention Inderal, Blocadren, Depakote and Topomax. These medications consist of beta blockers and neuronal stabilizing agents since the migraine starts in the brain neurons. In addition to these four medications there are several hundred more medications that are considered off-label prescriptions. This is when a medication is prescribed for conditions other than it was originally developed for. Some of these types of medications include blood pressure medications, antihistamines, antidepressants, enzyme inhibitors, muscle relaxers, and medications for ADD, and dementia and dietary supplements such as Co Q10, Vitamin B2 and magnesium. Check with your doctor before taking any medication or supplement.

The second type of treatment is abortive treatment, used to stop a migraine attack in its tracks. When you stop the migraine process it stops the symptoms as well. However in some instances the postdrome or hangover type feeling may still occur. Abortive medications reverse the affects of a headache by constricting the blood vessels and reducing inflammation to the surrounding nerves and tissues. Medications include triptans such as imitrex, maxalt, zomig, ergotamines such as migranal nasal spray and DHE-45, and isometheptene such as midrin. Combination medications are being studied to see if one medication will work on the blood vessels and the other work on the inflammation.

Rescue medications are the last treatment. Rescue medications are to be taken in the event that an abortive fails or the person cannot take an abortive. Rescue medications are primarily pain relievers, to mask the pain during a migraine attack. Some medications include Butalbital compounds, Acetaminophen, analgesics, Antinausea medications, and muscle relaxants.  It is recommended that everyone who suffers from migraines keep a rescue treatment available.

woman pressing her temples because of a migraine, learn to manage your migraines