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Migraine (Treatment) and Prevention

How to prevent migraine?

If you have migraine, you tend to develop an attack with the same set of triggers.

When these triggers are sufficiently intense to activate a series of events, you develop a migraine attack.

So, identifying and avoiding the specific trigger at the right time is the key to prevent an attack.

 

Prevention

Identify triggers- these could be internal factors- hormonal changes, or external factor in your surroundings.

Avoiding triggers- avoiding bright light or loud sound, specific food, sleep disturbances, emotional stress, etc.

Lifestyle changes-

You may reduce the risk by bringing about lifestyle changes and living a healthy life.

This includes doing:

• Regular exercises

• Meditation

• Catching good sleep

• Maintaining good hydra

• Eating healthy,

• Avoiding caffeine and alcohol

Medicines: Many people benefit by taking medication early when they start experiencing symptoms.

 

Preventing Stubborn Recurrent Migraine

Sometimes the symptoms are troublesome, frequent, or difficult to be managed by the above-discussed measures.

For this, you need to consult a doctor who may prescribe you medicines to prevent such episodes of migraine.

If you experience headaches with the following traits, you are said to have chronic migraine.

1. Occurring for more than 15 days in a month,

2. For 3 months

3. Amongst which at least 8 episodes show symptoms of migraine

For chronic migraine, your doctor would keep you on preventive medicines. Commonly prescribed preventive drugs are

• Beta-blockers- such as propranolol or atenolol

• Antidepressants- like amitriptyline

• Antiseizure medicines- such as topiramate or valproate

Alternative treatment options like acupuncture and neuromodulation therapy may prove useful in some patients.

Read more about: Symptoms and Causes of Migraine

What is the treatment of migraine?

 

Supportive treatment

Resting in a dark and quiet place- it makes many people comfortable and allows them to tackle the attack better.

Other supportive measures- some people get help from:

o Eating food or drinking water

o Keeping an ice pack or cold cloth on the forehead.

 

Pain killers

Quiet often taking an over-the-counter pain killer may help you in managing migraine. You may take:

• Ibuprofen

• Aspirin

• Paracetamol

Taking these medicines when you experience the early signs of migraine is most effective. This gives the medicine sufficient time to act before you develop stronger symptoms.

The tablets that dissolve in water (soluble painkillers) act faster and may help you better.

Precautions:

You need to take several precautions with these medicines-

• Dose and frequency- not to exceed the above recommendation.

• Avoid in certain conditions- avoid painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen if you have some stomach issues (hyperacidity, ulcer), liver or kidney issues.

Avoid in children: Should be given to children below 16 only after getting a prescription from a doctor.

 

Antiemetic drugs

Antiemetics are the medicines that help you to treat the accompanying nausea and vomiting. The drugs are also believed to enhance the effect of the painkillers. Similar to painkillers, they are more effective when taken early.

You may take the following medicines:

• Metoclopramide

• Ondansetron

 

Triptans

Role in migraine: For moderate to severe cases of migraine where painkillers fail to help, doctors prescribe triptans.

It has a specific role in the treatment of migraine. Triptans help by reversing the changes in the head that leads to migraine.

Drugs

Commonly prescribed triptan are

• Sumatriptan

• Zolmitriptan

• Rizatriptan

They are available in the form of tablets, injections, and nasal sprays.

Effectiveness: Complete relief from migraine is seen in about 70% of the people within 2 hours of consuming the medicine. The best response is seen when triptan is started early, like other medicines in migraine.

Side effects: Commonly observed ones are feeling of tingling sensation, warmth, flushing or heaviness of face, limbs, or chest. Some may have dryness of mouth or drowsiness.

Precautions:

Cardiovascular disease: triptans can affect the blood flow to the heart. Thus, people with cardiovascular disease need to be careful with them. You must follow your doctors’instructions if you have such issues.

SSRI antidepressants: should be avoided taking with antidepressants of the SSRI family. Consult a doctor to find an alternative.

Read more: Yoga for Migraine

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