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Drugs to Treat Migraine Headaches

Medication for migraine headaches can relieve the pain and symptoms of a migraine attack. Other medications can prevent further migraine attacks.

Below are the treatments for migraines.

What Are Abortive Drugs for Migraines?

Abortive drugs are used at the first sign of a migraine and can stop the process that causes the headache pain after it has started. By stopping the headache process, these medications help prevent common symptoms of migraines such as pain, nausea, and sound and light sensitivity. Some medications should not be used during a migraine aura; please follow the instructions of your doctor.

The following medications are used to stop the migraine headache process:

CategoryGeneric NameBrand NameMay be used during an aura?Possible Side Effects
Over-the-counterIbuprofenMotrin Stomach upset
 Aspirin-Acetaminophen-CaffeineExcedrin Migraine, Excedrin, Goody's Heartburn
Anxiety
Insomnia
Allergic reaction
Liver Damage
Blood in stool or vomit
Dizziness
Easy bruising
 NaproxenAleve Gastrointestinal upset
Gastrointestinal bleeding
Nausea
Vomiting
Rash
Liver damage
ErgotdihydroergotamieDHE-45 injection Migranal intranasalYes -- as indicated for Migranal intranasal onlyNausea
Numbness of fingers and toes
Vasoconstrictor Combinationacetaminophen isometheptene mucate dichloralphenazoneMidrin, DuradrinYesSedation
Nausea
Triptanssumatriptan succinate

Imitrex injection, oral, or intranasal

Zecuity skin patch

No (injection); Yes (oral, patch, or intranasal)Head, jaw, chest, and arm discomfort, tightening or tingling
Throat discomfort
Muscle cramps
Flushing
 zolmitriptanZomigYesHead, jaw, chest, and arm discomfort, tightening or tingling
Throat discomfort
Muscle cramps
Flushing
 rizatriptanMaxaltYesHead, jaw, chest, and arm discomfort, tightening or tingling
Throat discomfort
Muscle cramps
Flushing
 naratriptan hydrochlorideAmergeYesHead, jaw, chest, and arm discomfort, tightening or tingling
Throat discomfort
Muscle cramps
Flushing
 almotriptanAxertYesHead, jaw, chest, and arm discomfort, tightening or tingling
Throat discomfort
Muscle cramps
Flushing
 frovatriptanFrovaNoHead, jaw, chest, and arm discomfort, tightening or tingling
Throat discomfort
Muscle cramps
Flushing
 EletriptanRelpaxYesChest tightness
Dizziness
Dry mouth
Headache
Nausea
Numbness and tingling
Sleepiness
Jaw, throat discomfort

WebMD Medical Reference

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