Migraine Prevention: What You Can Do
Preventive Migraine Medications continued...
When you take medication to prevent migraines, keep these tips in mind:
- Your doctor will likely start you on a low dose and gradually increase it over time. It may take several months to find the best dose with the fewest side effects.
- Don't suddenly stop taking preventive medications. That could trigger a rebound headache. If you do need to stop taking them, you’ll need to gradually taper off under your doctor's care.
- These meds probably won't completely get rid of your headaches. You may still need to take medicine when you do have one.
If you can't take medications or don’t want to, you might want to think about using a device to keep migraines away. Cefaly is the first FDA-approved device for preventing migraines in people over age 18. It’s a portable headband-like tool that gives electrical pulses through the skin of the forehead. They stimulate a nerve that’s linked with migraine headaches. You use it once a day for 20 minutes, and when it's on, you'll feel a tingling or massaging sensation on your forehead.
Your everyday habits can go a long way to help you have fewer, less-severe migraines. Some things that may help include:
. Go to bed and get up about the same times every day, including on weekends and holidays. When you hit the sack at random times or you get too much or too little shut-eye, that can trigger a headache.
regularly. You may be tempted to avoid being active, afraid it might trigger a migraine. Overdoing a workout may trigger a headache for some people, but research suggests regular, moderate aerobic exercise may make migraines shorter, less severe, and happen less often for many people. It also helps control stress, another trigger.
Eat regular meals. A drop in blood sugar can set off a migraine, so keep it steady by not skipping meals. Also, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, which can trigger the headaches.
Limit stress. Tension's a common trigger. So, take time each day to relax. You could:
- Listen to calming music.
- Take a short walk.
- Do yoga.
Try complementary techniques. Along with your prescribed treatment, you might want to try one of these to help prevent migraines, such as: