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Preventive Headache Medicines - Topic Overview

Preventive medicines are used to avoid severe or chronic headaches, such as migraines or cluster headaches. They are not used to treat headaches after they begin.

Examples of preventive medicines are:

Recommended Related to Migraines/Headaches

Tips for Avoiding Migraine Triggers

You can take control of your headache pain by learning the triggers that lead to your migraines. Red wine, caffeine withdrawal, stress, or skipped meals are among the common culprits. The first step is to track your migraines in a diary. Make notes of what you were doing before and when your headache came on. What were you eating? How much sleep did you get the night before? Did anything stressful or important happen that day?

Read the Tips for Avoiding Migraine Triggers article > >

In order for these medicines to work, you will need to use them exactly as your doctor tells you to. You may need to take them daily even when you do not have a headache. Some people only have to take preventive medicines for a few months. Other people need to take them long-term. Botulinum toxin is given as multiple shots every 12 weeks.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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