Best time to take Migraine abortive?

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  • Full Question:

    I've been in a bad cycle of one migraine after another. I can tell I'm going to get an attack as I've gotten pretty good at noticing the prodrome. Many times this happens at night so I'm asleep when the aura hits. When do I take an abortive?

    I've tried taking it when I notice the prodrome, but that seems to be too early as I still get the migraine. What works? Any ideas? Allison.



    Dear Allison;


    Good question! As you may know, research has shown that treating a Migraine early in the attack gets better results. But, as you've discovered there is such a thing as taking abortive medications too early. This can vary from one patient to another, but for most patients, the best time is when you first notice aura symptoms (if you have aura) or when the headache phase first begins (if you don't have aura).

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    How are your sleep patterns and the quality of your sleep? This is something all patients should look at with their doctors, but especially if you're waking with or because of Migraines. If sleep isn't the issue, efforts should be made to identify what's triggering these Migraines. Try keeping a good diary to share with your physician, if you're not already doing so. If you need a diary, you can download a diary workbook from our article Your Migraine and Headache Diary.


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert



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    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    Last updated August 12, 2010.

Published On: August 12, 2010