How Are Symptoms of Migraine With Aura Relieved?
Your doctor may recommend these actions to help relieve symptoms when a migraine with aura occurs:
- Stay in a quiet, dark room.
- Place cold compresses or use pressure on the painful areas.
- Take pain-relieving medications such as aspirin, or Tylenol ( acetaminophen).
- Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (call NSAIDS) to ease pain, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or Toradol ( ketorolac).
- Take prescription medications, such as Imitrex or Maxalt, that help constrict or tighten blood vessels.
- Take prescription analgesics to relieve pain and encourage sleep.
- Use drugs to treat related symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
- Use the Cerena Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS), a prescription device placed on the back of the head at the onset of a migraine with aura. It then releases a pulse of magnetic energy and stimulates part of the brain, which may stop or lessen pain.
How Can Future Migraines With Aura Be Prevented?
Your doctor may suggest ways to help prevent additional migraines with aura. These steps include taking certain medications and identifying any triggers that cause migraines.
Medications to prevent migraines. Certain drugs developed for other purposes have been used successfully in preventing migraines. These include:
- Beta-blockers such as Tenormin ( atenolol), Inderal ( propranolol), and Blocadren ( timolol)
- Antidepressants such as Elavil ( amitriptyline) and Pamelor ( nortriptyline)
- Ergot derivatives such as Sansert (methysergide)
- Antihistamines such as Periactin ( cyproheptadine)
- Anticonvulsants such as Depakene and Depakote ( valproic acid)
Cefaly. Cefaly is the first FDA-approved device for preventing migraines in people over age 18. The portable headband-like device gives electrical impulses on the skin at the forehead. This stimulates the trigeminal nerve, which is associated with migraine headaches. Cefaly is used once a day for 20 minutes, and when it's on you'll feel a tingling or massaging sensation.
Keeping a headache diary. Keeping a headache diary can help identify anything that might trigger migraines with aura. Diary entries should include the date and time of the headache, any foods you ate, activities you participated in, and medication you took just before the headache began. It may take six to eight weeks or longer to begin to see patterns and triggers.