A migraine is an incapacitating, severe and extremely intense headache that is often accompanied by warning signs and associated problems such as visual disturbances like spots and flashes of light. Sufferers also have increased sensitivity to light and sound, so understandably most people that suffer with migraines will tell you they only get relief if they take their medication and go lay down in a quiet and dark room until the migraines subsides. Severe problems associated with migraines include nausea and vomiting, nausea is more common however vomiting problems brought on by migraines do more harm than good considering the vomiting only intensifies the headache. Migraines can last for a few hours or even days in some cases.
Blood vessel enlargement and releasing of chemicals from nerve fibers. When someone is having a migraine arteries enlarge in the head which causes the release of the chemicals and they intern cause inflammation, pain and further enlargement of the arteries.
While everything is not fully known or understood about migraines there have been many strides made in the prevention and treatment of migraines for sufferers. It hasn’t been that long ago that pain medications were the main treatment for migraines but today medical professionals know that pain medications do help but that the typical migraine sufferer wants relief from the headaches and control in frequency vs the deadening and masking of their pain from pain medications alone. Here are some of the more common medications for migraines.
1. Topamax or Topiramate – is an oral medication used to prevent seizures. It likewise has been approved for migraine prevention.
2. Inderal or Propranolol is a hypertension medication called a beta blocker. Beta blockers affect the heart and circulation of the blood flow through the arteries and veins. Inderal is used as a treatment for angina or better known as chest pain, hypertension, heart rate disorders along with other heart and circulatory conditions. It has been further been useful in reducing the severity and frequency of migraines.
3. Imitrex or sumatriptan is an abortive migraine medication that helps stop migraines if taken at the first sign of a migraine. It supposedly works by narrowing the blood vessels in the head. It has been proven to reduce the associated problems that come about from a migraine such as nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Triptans range from Imitrex through a long list of other medications that are all known to abort migraines and cluster headaches.
4. Ergomar or Ergotamine is another migraine medication that stops migraines from progressing if taken early on during the first states of the migraine. Ergotamine is from a group of drugs known as alkaloids and used in treating vascular headaches and likewise migraines.
5. Fioricet or Butalbital with Caffeine and Codeine has also been proven to stop migraines if taken at the first signs of a migraine before the migraine has time to progress Fioricet is a non-narcotic pain reliever with a relaxant that is used to treat tension headaches which are caused by muscle contractions in the head and neck region. Butalbital is a relaxant known as a barbituate which relaxes the tension in a person and thereby combats the muscle tension. The mixture of Fioricet is what relaxes and ultimately relieves headaches
I have had migraines for over 25 years and they are not the typical headache that most people suffer with. They are intense stabbing and debilitating painful headaches that sometimes are restricted in one side of the head. However the associated pains and problems from migraines are vast since not all people have the same problems. I have learned how to manage my migraines with medication and proper timing to stop a severe attack.
References for this article include: Health Central, Mayo Clinic and Web MD.