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    Drugs to Treat Migraine Headaches

    Some medications can relieve the pain and symptoms of a migraine headache. Other medications can prevent further attacks.

    Below are some of the treatments for migraines.

    Drugs That Stop 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. This often prevents common symptoms like pain, nausea, and sound and light sensitivity. Some medications should not be used during a migraine with aura, so follow your doctor's instructions.

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

    Category Generic Name Brand Name May be used during an aura? Some Possible Side Effects
    Over-the-counter ibuprofen Motrin   Stomach upset or bleeding,
    Rash,
    Swelling
      aspirin + acetaminophen + caffeine Excedrin Migraine,
    Excedrin,
    Goody's
      Heartburn,
    Anxiety,
    Insomnia,
    Allergic reaction,
    Liver damage,
    Blood in stool or vomit,
    Dizziness,
    Easy bruising
      acetaminophen Tylenol,
    Valorin,
    Excedrin Tension Headache
      Liver damage,
    Allergic reactions,
    Rashes
      naproxen

    Aleve (Anaprox, 
    Naprosyn by prescription only)

     

      May raise risk of heart attack or stroke,
    Gastrointestinal upset,
    Gastrointestinal bleeding,
    Nausea,
    Vomiting,
    Rash,
    Liver damage
    Ergot dihydroergotamine Ergomar,
    DHE-45 injection,
    Migranal intranasal
    Yes, as indicated for Migranal intranasal only Nausea,
    Numbness of fingers and toes
    Vasoconstrictor combination acetaminophen + isometheptene mucate + dichloralphenazone

    Midrin,
    Duradrin,
    Nadolar

    Yes Liver damage,
    Sedation,
    Nausea
    Triptans sumatriptan succinate Imitrex injection, oral, or intranasal;
    Zecuity skin patch
    No (injection)
    Yes (oral, patch, or intranasal)
    Dizziness,
    Tingling,
    Flushing,
    Feelings of heaviness, burning, or tightness,
    Chest discomfort,
    Nausea
      zolmitriptan Zomig Yes Dizziness,
    Tingling,
    Flushing,
    Feelings of heaviness, burning, or tightness,
    Chest discomfort,
    Nausea
      rizatriptan Maxalt Yes Dizziness,
    Tingling,
    Flushing,
    Feelings of heaviness, burning, or tightness,
    Chest discomfort,
    Nausea
      naratriptan hydrochloride Amerge Yes Dizziness,
    Tingling,
    Flushing,
    Feelings of heaviness, burning, or tightness,
    Chest discomfort,
    Nausea
      almotriptan Axert Yes Tiredness,
    Dizziness,
    Headache,
    Nausea,
    Numbness,
    Tingling
      frovatriptan Frova No Dizziness,
    Flushing,
    Palpitations,
    Chest pain,
    Headache,
    Tingling,
    Nausea
      eletriptan Relpax Yes Dizziness,
    Tingling,
    Flushing,
    Feelings of heaviness, burning, or tightness,
    Chest discomfort,
    Nausea,
    Headache
    Combination triptan + NSAID sumatriptan + naproxen Treximet   May raise risk of heart attack or stroke,
    Head, jaw, chest, and arm discomfort, tightening or tingling,
    Throat discomfort,
    Muscle cramps,
    Flushing,
    Gastrointestinal upset or bleeding,
    Nausea,
    Vomiting,
    Rash,
    Liver damage
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