Medications That Can Prevent Migraine Headaches

Medications That Can Prevent Migraine Headaches

A migraine prevention medication is a kind of drug which you can take every day to help reduce the frequency of your migraine attacks. Also known as the preventative medication, it is usually used in additional to the usual migraine prescriptions such as the Triptans or other painkillers. Experts believe that the best way to treat migraines is to treat the symptoms and at the same time to prevent them from occurring in the first place. As you read on, you will find out more about the various drugs that are serving as effective migraine prevention medications. You can usually get these drugs from your doctor or headache specialist.

Why Should You Take Migraine Prevention Medication?

As the name already suggests, these kinds of drugs are useful if you want to reduce the number of attacks, if you have frequent headaches. Although you can sometimes use them to help with very severe migraines, they generally cannot be used to cure your migraines though.Preventatives are generally not needed if your migraines always respond well to your migraine prescriptions.

If you are on a preventative prescription, then it is generally recommended for you to stay on it for about 6 months and then slowly reduce the dosage over 2 to 3 weeks. By doing this, you can help the drug to stay effective for the body. However, if the migraine attacks again over the last few weeks, then the dosage can be increased again.

In some situations when a migraine preventative does not work, it is generally advisable to continue for a minimum of 2 to 3 months to give it the best chance of success. You should not give up easily unless the drug is causing other undesirable side effects for you. Try keeping a headache journal or diary to help you keep track of the medications as well as their effectiveness.

List of Migraine Prevention Medications

1. Amitriptyline

This is a tricyclic anti depressant that can help to prevent tension type headaches and migraines. It is also generally effectively with other pain conditions as well as disturbed sleep. Do note that being prescribed with Amitriptyline does not necessarily imply that you are suffering from a depression.

2. Methysergide

Using this drug 3 times per day is proven to be very effective against the prevention of migraine and cluster headache. Headache specialists often turn to use this drug if the other kinds of treatments are not successful.

3. Anti Epileptic Drugs

These drugs are generally not recommended for pregnant women and should be used at low dosage. When taken once or twice daily with gradual increase of dosage, these can help to effectively prevent migraines.

However, do note that these drugs may induce side effects for some people. For example, Topiramate may lead to weight loss, needles feeling in the limbs and mood swing. These side effects will gradually subside once the body get used to the drug. Sodium Valproate is another example that has side effects which include weight gain, hair loss, tiredness and nausea feeling.

4. Beta Blockers

These drugs are generally not suitable for patients who have other medical conditions such as asthma. Although they are sometimes prescribed as a migraine preventative, these are common treatment drugs for angina and high blood pressure. Common examples of the beta blockers include the Atenolol and Metoprolol. When taken twice daily, these are very effective in preventing migraines. However, they can lead to side effects such as dizziness, tiredness and cold limbs.

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