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What medicine should I take to relieve a migraine headache?

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One class of drug, called triptans, is the mainstay of migraine treatment. They include eletriptan (Relpax), lasmiditan (Reyvow), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex), zolmitriptan (Zomig), and others. You can take them as pills, injections, or nasal spray. A form of ergotamine, called dihydroergotamine (DHE), also treats migraine headaches. You can get it as an injection or as a nasal spray.

Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) also can help if you take them at the first sign of a migraine attack. NSAIDs also include ibuprofen and naproxen. Ditans and gepants are new treatments for migraines that can be used if the existing treatments are not helping or are not safe because of different health issues. Lasmiditan (Reyvow) is a ditan which is now available to treat migraine pain. Rimegepant (Nurtec) and ubrogepant (Ubrelvy) are gepants that are approved to treat migraines once they have started.

SOURCES:

Buchholz, D. , Workman Publishing Company, 2002. Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain

Livingstone, I. , Novak Owl Books, 2004. Breaking the Headache Cycle: A Proven Program for Treating and Preventing Recurring Headaches

Smith T. , 2004. Drugs

Young, W. , Demos Medical Publishing, 2004. Migraine and other Headaches

Cady R. , July 2005. Mayo Clinic Proceedings

News release, NuPathe Inc.

News release, FDA.

International Headache Society.

American College of Rheumatology: "NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on July 12, 2020

SOURCES:

Buchholz, D. , Workman Publishing Company, 2002. Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain

Livingstone, I. , Novak Owl Books, 2004. Breaking the Headache Cycle: A Proven Program for Treating and Preventing Recurring Headaches

Smith T. , 2004. Drugs

Young, W. , Demos Medical Publishing, 2004. Migraine and other Headaches

Cady R. , July 2005. Mayo Clinic Proceedings

News release, NuPathe Inc.

News release, FDA.

International Headache Society.

American College of Rheumatology: "NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on July 12, 2020

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