Migraines and Menopause
Treating Menopause Migraines continued...
You can also try medicines to relieve your headaches. Migraine drugs fall into two categories.
Medicines that help prevent migraines from starting:
Medicines that relieve a migraine once it has already started:
- Pain relievers: acetaminophen (Panadol, Tylenol), aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve)
- Triptans: eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Alsuma, Imitrex, Treximet), zolmitriptan (Zomig)
For some women, taking the same female hormones used to treat menopause symptoms like hot flashes can also help prevent migraine pain. But hormone replacement therapy (HRT) doesn't work for everyone. And some women find that the hormones make their headaches worse.
HRT has been linked to greater risks of heart disease and breast cancer. Talk to your doctor about whether it's right for you. If so, ask for the lowest possible dose of hormones needed to control your symptoms. You can get the hormones through a patch or gel that you rub on your skin.
Once estrogen production stops and periods end, you may get a reprieve from your migraine pain. Sometimes, though, menopause doesn't spell the end of migraines.
If you're getting regular migraines before, during, or after menopause, talk to your doctor. Together you can find a treatment that helps prevent or relieve your headache pain.