Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Migraine Medications - Find The Right One To Help You Cope With The Pain

at 6:04 PM
Image source: finebalanceacupuncture.com
If you're a migraine sufferer, it's important you know there are medicines available that can help you achieve a higher quality of life. While your local pharmacy may seem like the best place to go because of all the over-the-counter remedies that are available, you'll want to first head to your doctor's office to discuss prescription pain relief.

All medicine for migraines is categorized as either preventive, abortive and rescue. Not only does each have a specific role but they are also used during varying stages of a migraine attack to maximize your pain relief.

Preventive medications:

Preventive medicines assist with the prevention of a migraine attack. If you average one migraine a week you may be a good candidate for preventive medicine. If you're interested in this type of medication, it's important for you to know that only four brands have been approved by the FDA for use. They are:

Inderal (propranolol) and Blocadren (timolol), both beta blockers
Depakote and Depakote ER (divalproex sodium), an anticonvulsant, originally developed for seizure disorders
Topamax (topiramate), another anticonvulsant

Of course you'll want to be sure to discuss your health history with your doctor to ensure he or she finds the best prescription migraine medication that's right for you.

Abortive Medicines:

You can probably guess what abortive medicines do based on their name: they attempt to derail the migraine while it is ongoing. Their main function is to attempt to reverse the dilation and remove inflammation in the blood vessels and the nearby nerves and tissues. There are quite a few migraine medications that fall into this category; here are the three most popular ones:

Triptans ~ such as Imitrex, Maxalt and others
Ergotamines ~ such as Migranal nasal spray Isometheptene compounds ~ such as
Midrin (which was discontinued recently)

If you suffer from cardiovascular disease, don't forget to mention this to your doctor as abortive medications can cause an unhealthy increase in blood pressure.

Rescue medicines:

If you're in the throes of a migraine attack, don't fret. Rescue medications are there to help save you when all else fails. Many rescue medications are pain relievers but as you'll see a few of them are used to reduce nausea and promote relaxation, thus helping you through the attack.

Here are just a few of the rescue medications that are available to you. Be sure to talk to your doctor so you can discuss which ones are best for you.

Acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) with codeine, or oxycodone, or hydrocodone such as Vicodin, Percocet, etc.
In some cases, doctors will prescribe medications that are injectable (such as Demerol) to be used when home or at work
Anti nausea medications
Muscle relaxants


Choosing which medications are included in your regimen depends on the intensity of your migraine attacks. Be sure to take the time to visit your physician so you can find the best medication to fit your needs. Every person's pain relief regiment is different, and your physician can help you determine which medicines are best for you.

Anyone who has suffered from a piercing migraine understands all the pain and other nuances that come along with it. Learn more about migraine treatments, triggers and symptoms at http://www.migraines.com.
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