Medications for Migraine Headaches

Medications are excellent options for many patients who respond to these modalities. Neurologists, pain management physicians, and other medical specialists have had great success with migraine headache patients, and even in cases where surgery is a great option Dr. Lowenstein strongly urges his patients to followup with their medical headache specialist.

Medications can be classified into those that try to prevent the onset of a headache and those that try to abort a headache once symptoms begin. Medications such as ergots (DHE) and triptans ( Amerge, Axert, Frova, Imitrex, Maxalt, Relpax, Zomig,) are used to try to stop migraine headache symptoms once they have started. Other drugs such as anti-depressants, anti-seizure drugs, and blood pressure medications can be used to try to prevent headaches from starting.

Unfortunately, another class of medication that is sometimes needed to control pain is narcotics, also called opioids. These medications are addictive and can ruin lives unto themselves, inducing addictive behaviors, hospitalizations, and even deaths. The department of Health and Human Services estimates that in 2014 the economic impact of the opioid epidemic was 55 billion dollars. One of the main advantages in the use of migraine headache surgery is the ability of migraine headache patients to cut down on if not completely stop the use of medications and opioids in particular.

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