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    Treating Your Migraine Headache

    Types of Treatment continued...

    NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Many doctors recommend these as the go-to treatment for mild to moderate migraines. Some examples are:

    • Aspirin
    • Ibuprofen
    • Diclofenac (Cambia, Voltaren)
    • Naproxen

    You can buy some over the counter. But stronger NSAIDs need a prescription. If you take triptans and don’t get enough relief, you can take NSAIDs with them.

    Combination painkillers. Acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine combined into one pill are a safe option for people with blood vessel problems. You don't need a prescription for it.

    Studies show caffeine makes pain relievers more effective and may help your body absorb other drugs, Calhoun says. But it has some drawbacks. If you get used to caffeine, you can get headaches if you miss it.

    "Caffeine is a two-edged sword," Calhoun says. "It can help an acute [sudden] migraine, while making the next one more likely to occur."

    Corticosteroids. People who have hard-to-treat headaches, a history of headaches that keep coming back, or a severe type of migraine called “status migrainosus” can benefit from taking the steroid prednisone.

    Anti-nausea medications. These drugs may help you absorb your pain medication. 

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    Reviewed on April 17, 2016

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