Migraine Term of the Day: Abortive Medication

Patient Expert
HealthCentral

When we're looking at Migraine and headache information, whether it's from our doctor, a book, or an online article, we sometimes come across medical terms that can be confusing.

Sometimes, it's easy enough to substitute another word or a short phrase for the medical term. At other times, substituting just doesn't convey quite the same meaning or takes more than a few words.

Some of you have expressed an interest in learning more of the medical terminology that comes up when discussing Migraine disease and other headache disorders. So, I'll be posting a "term of the day," probably a couple of times a week. If there are terms you'd like to have defined, please leave a comment to let me know what it is.

Today's term: Abortive Medication.

Abortive medications are medications medication that works in the brain to stop the Migrainous process and its symptoms. Triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, Amerge, Relpax, Axert, and Frova -- as well as Treximet, which is a combination of Imitrex and Naproxen Sodium) ergotamines (DHE-45 and Migranal), and Epidrin (same as Midrin) are abortive medications.

Abortive medications are used for Migraine attacks, cluster headaches, and some Migraine-like headaches such as post-traumatic headaches.

You can read more about the abortive medications in: