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Migraines & Headaches Health Center

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Drugs to Treat Migraine Headaches

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Drugs for Migraine Prevention

Some people with frequent migraines take drugs on a daily basis. These drugs can also help if you can’t take migraine-specific drugs or if they don’t work for you. This treatment helps lessen the number and severity of your headaches.

You have to take them one or more times every day for them to work. Your doctor may have to change the medications and adjust how much you take to figure out which drug or combination of drugs, and at which dosages, work best for you.

While you’re taking these drugs, write down how often you have headaches and how bad they are to help your doctor judge how well the meds are working. Most need days or weeks to take full effect.

Once your headaches are under control for 6 months or a year, it may be possible to taper off or stop these drugs. You may need to take the drugs for a longer time, though. Your doctor will advise you.

The medications listed include both over-the-counter and prescription drugs. These drugs aren't habit-forming, but any medication can cause unwanted side effects. Your doctor will adjust the dosage to give you the most relief with the fewest side effects.

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