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: Preventive Medication.
Preventive medications are taken daily to reduce the frequency and severity of Migraine attacks and headaches. Most doctors recommend preventive medications if you average one Migraine a week or more.
There are four medications that are FDA approved for the prevention of Migraine:
- propranolol (brand name Inderal)
- timolol (brand name Blocadren)
- divalproex sodium (brand name Depakote, Depakote ER)
- topiramate (brand name Topamax)
There are many other medications (more than 100 total) that are being used effectively for Migraine prevention. It’s quite common for medications to be prescribed for conditions other than those for which they were first developed. This is called off-label prescribing.
You can read more about preventive medications in:
- Preventive, Abortive, and Rescue Medications - What’s the Difference?*** Migraine Preventive Medications - Too Many Options to Give Up!**
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate in the area of migraine and other headache disorders, and has been writing for the HealthCentral migraine site since 2007. She is a co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association. She received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award for “ongoing patient education, support, and advocacy,” in 2004 and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society in 2013. You can find links to Teri’s work on her web site and blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.
© Teri Robert, 2009
Last updated December ?, 2009
Author of “Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches”