Migraine Medications: Finding The Right One For You

 In Blog

Migraines and headaches are a very common health problem worldwide. They can cause a great deal of pain and disability. There are many different medications available to help treat migraines and headaches. The two main types of drugs used to treat migraines are preventatives and rescue medications. Preventative medications are taken on a regular basis in order to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Rescue medications, on the other hand, are taken only when a migraine is already underway to provide relief as quickly as possible.

Some of these medications include pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. These medications can help to relieve the pain of a migraine or headache. However, they will not prevent or stop a migraine from happening. Triptans are a group of drugs that act on the brain to relieve migraine symptoms. They can be taken as pills, nasal sprays, or injections. They are the most commonly prescribed medication for the treatment of migraine, however, people with hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and those who take certain medications may not be able to take triptans.

Ergotamine is another drug that is used to treat migraines. It is usually taken along with caffeine. Opioids are drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain. They may be used for migraines or headaches that do not respond to other treatments. however, they can also lead to dependence and should only be used as a last resort. Antidepressants are sometimes used to treat migraines and headaches. They are thought to work by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain. The most common types of antidepressants used for this purpose are tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Over the past few years, there has been a new class of drugs to treat migraines that have been shown to be very effective. These are monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). MAbs are man-made proteins that mimic the body’s natural antibodies. They are designed to bind to specific proteins in the body, such as the ones that are involved in migraines. There are four mAbs that have been approved by the FDA to treat migraines: erenumab (Aimovig), fremanezumab (Ajovy), galcanezumab (Emgality), and Eptinezumab (Vyepti). Three of these drugs are self-injectable, once-monthly treatments. The fourth is administered via an IV infusion once every 3 months. They are all indicated for migraine prevention and some have indications for cluster headaches, episodic and chronic migraines.

These types of drugs can be extremely effective in managing migraines, and which one is best for a particular person will depend on a variety of factors. As always, it is important to consult with a doctor before starting any new medication.

The Brain Center is here to support patients and their caregivers in their journey. Contact us to learn more from our Neurologists.