Most Widely Used Migraine Treatments for 2020
Migraines can be extremely frustrating for those who suffer from them. People who regularly suffer from migraines may still have a hard time identifying what is causing or triggering their migraines.
There are many options for people looking to treat their migraines with medicine. There are two main categories of migraine medications.
- Pain-relieving medications: These medications are known as acute or abortive treatment. These are typically taken during a migraine to stop the symptoms.
- Preventive medications: These drugs are taken on a regular basis (often daily) to help reduce the severity or the frequency of migraines.
- Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers
- Opioid Medications
- Anti-Nausea Drugs
- Botox Injections: Periodic botox injections can help dull or prevent migraine headaches.
- Anti-Seizure Drugs: Anticonvulsant drugs used to prevent seizures are also used to prevent migraine attacks.
- Antidepressants: Antidepressants have some pain-relieving properties and can reduce the duration and frequency of migraines.
- Blood Pressure Medication: For people who suffer from migraines with aura, blood pressure-lowering medications like beta-blockers can help prevent migraines.
Home Remedies for Migraines
- Relaxation Techniques: Certain relaxation techniques have been shown in some cases to reduce the frequency or severity of migraines.
- Follow a Consistent Schedule: Following a routine where you wake up, eat and go to sleep at set times can help prevent any irregularities that could trigger a migraine.
- Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water has benefits beyond being a possible migraine remedy but could help prevent or reduce your migraines.
- Keep A Migraine Journal: If you have a detailed record of when you've had migraines, and what you've eaten around your attacks, you may be able to narrow down what is causing your migraines.
Alternative Treatments for Migraines
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been shown to reduce pain from headaches, including migraines.
- Biofeedback: Biofeedback involves using special equipment to teach you how to monitor certain physical responses to stress and to minimize your body's responses.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy is a way to help with pain management. It can help minimize pain or the perception of pain from migraines.
What Causes Migraines?
The exact cause of migraine is not fully understood. Most researchers think that migraine is due to abnormal changes in levels of substances that are naturally produced in the brain. When the levels of these substances increase, they can cause inflammation. This inflammation then causes blood vessels in the brain to swell and press on nearby nerves, causing pain.
Genes also have been linked to migraine. People who get migraines may have abnormal genes that control the functions of certain brain cells.
Experts do know that people with migraines react to a variety of factors and events, called triggers. These triggers can vary from person to person and don't always lead to migraine. A combination of triggers — not a single thing or event — is more likely to set off an attack. A person's response to triggers also can vary from migraine to migraine.
Possible Migraine Triggers
- Increased stress
- Lack of sleep
- Working out too hard
- Hormonal changes
- Bright lights or loud noises
- Certain Additives in foods
Migraine Diary Can Help Identify Triggers
It may seem like a lot of work, but if you maintain a journal which records your daily activities, your diet, and sleep habits you may be able to identify certain changes that you may have made before experiencing a migraine. Identifying triggers can be extremely difficult, but having records can quickly make certain triggers more obvious.
Future of Migraine Treatment: Targeted Therapy
Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a molecule that is synthesized in neurons (nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord). It has been implicated in different pain processes, including migraine, and functions as a vasodilator — that is, it relaxes blood vessels. Once scientists identified this target molecule, they began trying to develop ways to stop it from being activated at the start of migraines, as a kind of abortive treatment. An agonist makes a molecule work more efficiently while an antagonist blocks or reduces the molecule’s effect. The CGRP antagonist did work to decrease migraine pain based on certain measures, but there were some serious side effects including liver toxicity.
- Migraine - Women'sHealth.gov
- Migraine Diagnosis and Treatment - Mayo Clinic
- Treatments for Migraine - Emergency Medicine News
- Study Determines Most Effective Migraine Medications - National Headache Foundation
- Migraine Triggers - Healthline
- CGRP: A New Era for Migraine Treatment - Harvard Health Publishing
This article has not been paid for by any advertiser. This content is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice or analysis.