Migraine Term of the Day - Analgesic

Patient Expert

Writer's note: 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," on a regular basis. If there are terms you'd like to have defined, please leave a comment below.

When we're given migraine and headache information, whether from our doctor, a book, or an online article, we sometimes come across medical terms that can be confusing. While it's easy enough to substitute another word or a short phrase for the medical term, there are times when substituting doesn't quite convey the same meaning.

Analgesic is one of those terms. We see it frequently in discussions of medications to treat migraine, and it's an important word for migraineurs to understand.


Webster's Medical Dictionary defines antibody as:

"an agent for producing analgesia."

They define analgesia as:

"insensibility to pain without loss of consciousness."

In other words, analgesics are medications that relieve pain without the effects of anesthesia.

Here's an example of how it's used in a sentence:** Analgesics** are among the medications sometimes recommended and prescribed for the acute treatment of migraine.


Analgesics include a wide range of medications of different classes or types, including:

  • simple over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.;
  • prescription NSAIDs such as indomethacin, prescription strength ibuprofen, and others;
  • opioids;
  • combination analgesics — both over-the-counter and prescription — such as Excedrin, acetaminophen/caffeine/isometheptene mucate (Midrin equivalents); acetaminophen/butalbital/caffeine with or without codeine (Fioricet, Esgic), acetaminophen/hydrocodone (Vicodin), and others.

For more terms, see our Migraine Medical Terms Glossary Index.


Webster's Medical Dictionary