Top 75 Migraine and Headache Questions, #29

Ask the Clinician Health Pro
  • Full Question:
    I’ve read several different articles stating that anti-depressants can be used to prevent headaches and Migraines, but none of them talk about how they work to in prophylaxis. Can you explain? Thank you, Marijane.


    Dear Marijane;

    Depends on what type of headache. There is very little positive data on tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and SSRIs having stunning effects on Migraines. There is no agent in either category that is officially approved for Migraine treatment in the US. Yet, many doctors use TCAs to suppress Migraines, and they do help in some cases. For treating chronic daily headaches, there is some data with these agents but, again, no agent is officially approved. The mechanism is not understood but it may have to do with their effects on serotonin in the brain.

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    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

    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. If you have a question for this section of our site, please click HERE. Accepted questions will be answered by publishing the answers here. No questions will be answered privately.

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Published On: April 09, 2007