If you suffer from migraines or know someone who deals with them, you might have a real good idea of how painful and debilitating the experience is. Strangely enough, there is no cure for migraines. But the good news is — there are many ways to save yourself from the debilitating effects of migraine. These consist of both OTC medications and home remedies.
According to a study results posted by Health Magazine, around 30 million people in the United States are suffering from migraines; where men are affected 3 times more than female.
What is Migraine?
Migraine is a pulsating pain that one typically feels around one side of the head; originating from one eye and travelling all the way down to the pit of the skull. There are various accompanying symptoms associated with migraine such as nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity; and if culminates higher, the process goes on to affect the vision.
The sad truth is: migraines have no cure. But there are various medicines available that can help curb the symptoms of migraines to a manageable level. Some medications even claim to help prevent the migraine before it begins. A doctor may treat a patient with a headache and a history or migraines by treating the symptom at the onset. Thus, restricting it from culminating into a more severe degree.
There are two approaches to treating migraines. Prevention and Treatment.
A person who goes through episodes of migraine at least twice in a month is encouraged to take preventive medications on a regular basis to restrict the symptoms from accumulating that typically brings on a migraine. Some of these medications are as follows:
Although not approved by the FDA but this medication called tricyclic antidepressants are also used by migraine patients. It does not require the person to have depression but rather its reapplication works for migraine by affecting the levels of serotonin and other chemicals in the brain.
2 Cardiovascular Drug:
A class of drug called calcium channel blockers are generally prescribed for cardiovascular disease; however, studies have shown that the drug is also effective in preventing symptoms of migraines.
One interesting preventive strategy for migraine stems into cosmetic surgical procedure that entails injecting botox into the muscles of the forehead and neck. This method has recently been approved by FDA to address migraine issues. The treatment needs to be readministered every 12 weeks if it works.
4 Antiseizure medicine:
Topamax, Neurntin and Depacon have shown results while taking preventive measures against migraine. However, the anti-seizure medicines do have severe side effects such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, hair loss and cramps. Thus, doctors only resort to this once other options fail to translate to success.
Treating Migraine at the Onset
A person who has begun showing signs of migraine occurring should consume the following medicines as soon as it begins in order to restrict the due course in severity.
1 OTC Pain Relievers:
Over the counter medicines commonly referred to as OTC medicine does not need doctors prescriptions but can be bought off the pharmacy any time you feel the symptoms are beginning to form. Some of these medicines include ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen and aspirin are known to render some relief.
It is the most commonly administered pain medication. Imitrex, Axert and Maxalt all belong to the same class of drugs and can be prescribed interchangeably depending upon which medication suits.
This medicine is taken during the onset of a migraine headache and prevents further expansion of the dilated blood vessels.
These drugs contain narcotics as components and therefore should be administered with care as they have higher likelihood of forming addiction with increased usage.
This medication is given as a combination with other drugs to ease the pain migraine that brings on. There is also the risk of steroid toxicity and should be used under vigilance.
It works the same way as Midrin i.e. by preventing further dilation of the blood vessels. Ergot and Caffeine are generally used to treat migraines. Caffeine is known to increase the absorption level of pain medications, making it more effective.
7 Anti-nausea medicines:
Severe migraine culminates into symptoms that include nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Under such circumstances, the doctor may prescribe anti-nausea medicine such as compazine or phenergan to help alleviate the uneasiness.
Alternative Strategy: Home Remedies:
Sometimes we are not comfortable with getting our body accustomed to medication early on. Under the circumstances, there are various alternative methods one can adopt to find relief from some of the symptoms of migraine. Some of the treatments are listed as follows:
A Good night’s sleep can do wonders for health. Deprivation of sleep is known to cause headaches due to narrowing of nerves –and nerves around the brain are no exception. It is important to have at least 6 to 8 hours of rest each day to curb onset of migraine.
Practice a daily routine which includes time for relaxation. For most people it may translate in indulging in exercise. For others, a relaxing time could mean meditation or yoga. Whichever option is chosen should have the same goal i.e. release from anxiety and stress.
Some vitamins are known to assist in rendering ease with migraine. On the flip side of the coin, a few herbs are also known to escalate symptoms of migraine. Therefore, vitamins and other supplements should be taken only after consulting a doctor.
Administer a cold pack or an ice gel pack around the back of your neck or across the forehead. It is known to give relief from migraine.
It is an alternative medicine which involves inserting needles in the body at set points that are said to create an energy flow. Somehow, this technique has also been proved fruitful in treatment of migraine.