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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:

Category Generic Name Brand Name May be used during an aura? Possible Side Effects
Over-the-counter Ibuprofen Motrin   Stomach upset
  Aspirin-Acetaminophen-Caffeine Excedrin Migraine, Excedrin, Goody's   Heartburn
Anxiety
Insomnia
Allergic reaction
Liver Damage
Blood in stool or vomit
Dizziness
Easy bruising
  Naproxen Aleve   Gastrointestinal upset
Gastrointestinal bleeding
Nausea
Vomiting
Rash
Liver damage
Ergot dihydroergotamie 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 Yes Sedation
Nausea
Triptans sumatriptan 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
  zolmitriptan Zomig Yes Head, jaw, chest, and arm discomfort, tightening or tingling
Throat discomfort
Muscle cramps
Flushing
  rizatriptan Maxalt Yes Head, jaw, chest, and arm discomfort, tightening or tingling
Throat discomfort
Muscle cramps
Flushing
  naratriptan hydrochloride Amerge Yes Head, jaw, chest, and arm discomfort, tightening or tingling
Throat discomfort
Muscle cramps
Flushing
  almotriptan Axert Yes Head, jaw, chest, and arm discomfort, tightening or tingling
Throat discomfort
Muscle cramps
Flushing
  frovatriptan Frova No Head, jaw, chest, and arm discomfort, tightening or tingling
Throat discomfort
Muscle cramps
Flushing
  Eletriptan Relpax Yes Chest tightness
Dizziness
Dry mouth
Headache
Nausea
Numbness and tingling
Sleepiness
Jaw, throat discomfort
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