If you suffer from migraines, you know how hard it can be to do your day-to-day activities when you feel a migraine coming on. Migraines can be extremely painful and can make it hard for you to live a happy and comfortable life. Many different factors can cause migraines and headaches. Learning how to treat headaches caused by neck pain or other environmental factors might be the cure to extreme migraines so that you can get back to your daily activities.
Luckily, there are many treatment options. Some treatments work better than others, and it’s often a process of trial and error to see which treatment option is the best for you.
There are two main types of treatments available for migraines, and they include pain-relieving medications and preventative medications. Pain-relieving medications are used once the migraine has started, and they aim to minimize pain and other symptoms.
Preventative medications are taken to try and reduce the frequency of migraines. Depending on your health status and diagnosis, you might take preventative medications daily or weekly.
Migraine Treatment Options for Pain Relief
If you want to minimize the pain you feel when you have a migraine, you will need to take the medication as soon as you feel the migraine coming on. Here are the most common migraine treatment options for when you are experiencing pain:
- Lasmiditan: This drug is meant to improve headache pain but acts as a sedative, so it’s best to take it at night if possible or on a day when you do not have to drive anywhere.
- Dihydroergotamine: This medication is for those who tend to have migraines for 24 hours or longer. It needs to be taken right when symptoms start and can either be taken as an injection or given as a nasal spray. It’s not suitable for those who have high blood pressure or kidney or liver disease.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers: If your migraines are not extremely severe, you might be able to just take over-the-counter medications like aspirin or ibuprofen. If you have migraines all the time, though, it’s not a good idea to take over-the-counter medications every day. You will need to see a doctor and ask them to give you a different medication and treatment.
- Triptans: These medications block pain receptors in the brain so that you do not feel as much pain when you have migraines. They can be given as tablets, injections, or nasal sprays.
- Gepants: This medication can be taken as soon as someone is feeling pain. It’s mostly recommended for adults, so teens and children with migraines are not able to use them.
- Intranasal medicines: Nasal sprays are usually very effective at treating migraines. Zavegepant is one of the most commonly prescribed ones and can work for up to 48 hours after the person has used it.
- Opioid medications: These are usually only used as a last resort option because they can be highly addictive. If no other treatments are working, your doctor might give you opioids, but you only need to take them under supervision and at the recommended dose.
Above, we listed all the medications you can take once you have started experiencing pain from migraines. However, there are preventative medications you can take if you experience migraines often and you want to try to reduce the frequency at which they come. ‘
Here are some of the preventative medications that your doctor might give you.
- Medications for blood pressure: If you have been diagnosed with migraines with aura, you might be able to prevent them by ensuring your blood pressure does not get too high. Beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers are often used to help people lower their blood pressure and get rid of unwanted headaches.
- Antidepressants: Some antidepressants, like amitriptyline, can help to prevent migraines.
- Anti-seizure drugs: If your migraines are not too severe or frequent, anti-seizure drugs are often the first thing prescribed. They can have side effects, though, and are not recommended for pregnant women, so not everyone can take them.
- Atogepant: This medication needs to be taken every day to work when it comes to preventing migraines.
- Rimegepant: If you need a medication that can prevent migraines but also treat them once they have begun, this is the best option for you.
- Botox injections: Some adults have found that getting Botox injections helps them with their migraines. Injections will need to be given every 12 weeks to work.
- Nerve control health supplements: If you are looking for a holistic route, natural supplements can help supplement your diet with necessary herbs to kickstart your nervous system and maintain your body’s function.
Before giving you any medications for migraines, your doctor will have to first see if what you are experiencing is because of migraines or something else. Neurologists usually diagnose migraines, but you might need a referral to see a neurologist from your primary care doctor, depending on where you live.
If you have a medical history of migraines or there are other people in your family with migraines, you might not have to do all the testing.
However, here are some tests done by doctors for people who are experiencing migraines.
- MRI Scans: This scan will help doctors to see the inside of your brain and see if you are experiencing migraines because of a large condition like bleeding in the brain, infections in the brain, tumors, or strokes.
- CT Scans: This type of scan will also allow the doctors to see if you have any tumors, brain damage, or brain infections.
Sometimes, migraines have no obvious cause, so doctors will not see anything on the scans. In this case, they will just take a look at your medical history and see if you have any allergies to certain medications.
Migraines can hinder the way you work and live. If you frequently have migraines, you will need to see your doctor and see if they can make a diagnosis and begin treatment. Depending on your situation and health, you might be given pain relievers, or you might be given preventative medications.
Many of these medications can be taken together, so your doctor might give you more than one medicine if they think you could benefit from both.