Migraine Term of the Day: Acute

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: Acute.

Acute can mean different things depending on how it's used:

  1. characterized by sharpness or severity (acute pain)
  2. having a sudden onset, sharp rise, and short course (an acute disease)
  3. providing or concerned with short-term medical care especially for serious acute disease or trauma (acute care, acute medication)

Most discussions of Migraine and headache involving acute refer to** acute** medications, medications taken for an individual headache or Migraine as opposed to preventive medications or IV infusions used to treat intractable Migraine or headache. Abortive medications are examples of** acute** medications.

You can read more about acute medications in:

Medical review by John Claude Krusz, PhD, MD.