About 1 out of 8 Americans has migraines. They usually begin during the teenage years. After puberty, migraines are more likely to affect girls and women.
Experts still aren't sure what causes these headaches. But they seem to involve a wave of unusual activity in brain nerve cells, along with changes in blood flow in the brain.
Though migraines can trigger severe pain in the head, they aren't simply headaches. They often also cause other uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
A commonly used medicine for halting status migrainosus is dihydroergotamine (DHE-45, Migranal). This is a migraine treatment that dates back to the 1940s. The drug may be taken as a nasal spray or through an injection.
Another drug that can halt status migrainosus is sumatriptan. It is given as an injection, nasal spray, pill, or skin patch.
However, people with blood vessel disease should avoid these drugs.
If you have frequent migraines you may want to take medicines to prevent them. These may not completely prevent migraines. But they may reduce the number or severity of attacks that can turn into status migrainosus.