Types of Medications for Migraines


Morphine, Codeine, and other opiate pain killers provide relief for severe migraines, although they are know to have side effects that vary from person to person, headaches due to medicine also known as rebound headaches or analgesic overuse headache. Other side effects vary from one medicine to the next; also you have the risk of addiction. Most physicians try to avoid narcotics by using non-narcotics such as over-the-counter medication.

Over-the-counter medications

Over-the-counter medications also known as abortive medications are usually the first line of medication to try to relieve your symptoms of a migraine. Abortive medications help stop or prevent other symptoms including pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea.

Most commonly used over-the-counter medications used are aspirin, benadryl, acetaminophen, caffeine pills, etc. These should be taken when you first get signs a migraine is starting.

These can provide relief from the symptoms of a migraine. These have more effect on people who have infrequent migraines, usually less than three a month, any more than 3 a month you should consult a physician due to the fact frequent use of can interfere in long term treatment.

Some of these medications are often combined with another to form a dual action medication; sometime you need a prescription for them.

These do provide some relief for mild or moderate migraine cases. If the over-the-counter medications don’t work for you your physician may try a non-narcotic prescribed medication, basically pain medicine stronger than over-the-counter medications but still not strong enough to be classified as a narcotic.

You may be prescribed fiorinal or fioricet, this is a pill that combines acetaminophen, caffeine, butalbital and or acetylsalicylic acid.

The risk of some side affects are still there such as rebound headaches and a low risk of addiction, much lower than a narcotic. In some cases where there is vomiting and you can’t hold down any medications your physician may give you a anti-emetic by injection or suppository the sooner in the attack this drug is taken the better effect you will have.

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