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Anti-Migraine Drugs

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Anti migraine drugs are medicines that are used to prevent or reduce the severity of migraine headaches. When there is migraine headaches, there is a throbbing pain on one side of the head. This can be accompained by nausea, vomiting, dizziness , increased sensitivity to light and sound and other symptoms. Migraine attacks can last for few hours or for a day or more and may come as often as several times a week. Though most migraine attacks take place without any signal, some have warning signals like restlessness, tingling in an arm or leg, or seeing patterns of flashing lights before the attack. This set of signals is called an aura. To treat migraine, migraine drugs are available but should always be taken with a doctor's prescription.

Migraine Drugs Classification
Preventive Migraine Medication

Antimigraine drugs or drugs that prevent migraine or cure migraine are classified as follows:

  • Beta Blockers: The drugs prevent the widening of the arteries in your head by blocking the beta receptors.
  • Anticonvulsants: These drugs treat seizures. Like many preventative migraine medications, they increase levels of an amino acid known as GABA, which may play an important in migraine development.
  • Methysergide: This is one of the more toxic medications, and so is usually reserved for more serious cases.
  • Calcium Channel Blockers: These medications have the ability to stop the spasm of the arteries, block the release of serotonin and inhibit platelet clumping.
  • Antidepressants: It's believed that the anti-migraine effect of these medicines is a whole different reaction than what happens when treating depression.
  • Clonidine: Clonidine is an alpha blocker that also protects the blood vessels.
  • Cyproheptadine: It's most often prescribed to children, and seems to be only slightly effective for adults.
  • NSAIDs: Though primarily used to stop headaches once they start, they have also been used as a preventative medication.
  • Combinations: Sometimes combinations of the above types of drugs will be prescribed.

Abortive Migraine Medication

Depending on your physical check up and past history, your doctor may prescribe treatment to stop the headaches once they have started. Medicines to treate migraines are called "abortive medications" and include:

  • Analgesics with caffeine like Excedrin® Migraine (acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine)
  • Analgesics with caffeine and barbiturates lie Fiorinal® and Fioricet®.
  • Non steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil® and Aleve® .
Popular Migraine Medicines
  • Inderal (propranolol)
  • Blocadren (timolol)
  • Toprol (metoprolol)
  • Corzide (nadolol)
  • Triptans
  • Dihydroergotamine
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Depakene (sodium valproate)
  • Depakote (divalproex sodium)
  • Isoptin (Verapamil)
  • Nimotop (Nimodipine)
  • Elavil
  • Sinequan
  • Norpramin
  • Prozac
  • Zoloft
  • Paxil etc.

Prescription Drugs   Non-Prescription Drugs