Migraine - common; Headache - migraine without aura
There is no cure for migraine. The goal is to control the symptoms and prevent further attacks.
Rest in a quiet, darkened room. This will often reduce the severity of the symptoms. Drink fluids to prevent dehydration, especially if vomiting occurs.
Several medications may help relieve symptoms. However, the effectiveness of migraine medications is highly variable in different people. If a medication has been effective in relieving a previous migraine, it may be tried before others.
Over-the-counter medicines may help reduce pain if they are taken early in the headache. If these are ineffective, talk to your doctor about other options.
Ergotamine tartrate preparations constrict the arteries of the head and may be used alone or in combination with other drugs such as caffeine (Cafergot), phenobarbital, or Fioricet.
Propoxyphene or other medications that relieve pain or inflammation may provide relief for some people. Nausea should be treated early with Reglan, Compazine, or other anti-emetics.
Some medicines can prevent migraines. These include propranolol, amitriptyline, ergonovine, cyproheptadine, clonidine, methysergide, calcium channel antagonists, valproic acid, carbamazepine, topiramate (Topamax), and many others.
Several medications may need to be tried before you find one that works. A class of drugs known as triptans can relieve a migraine once it starts. Various triptans can be injected, taken as a pill, or dissolved under the tongue.
Review Date: 11/21/2006
Reviewed By: Daniel Kantor, M.D., Director of the Comprehensive MS Center, Neuroscience Institute, University of Florida Health Science Center, Jacksonville, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.