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What medicines will my doctor suggest for a prolonged migraine?

ANSWER

If you have three or more severe, prolonged migraines per month, your doctor may suggest:

Devices to prevent migraines include:

  • Blood pressure drugs like metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL),  propranolol (Inderal, Inderal LA, Inderal XL, InnoPran XL), verapamil (Calan SR, Isoptin SR, Verelan), and others
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-seizure drugs like topiramate (Qudexy XR, Topamax Topamax Sprinkle, Trokendi XR) or valproate (Depakote, Depakene, Stavzor),
  • Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) inhibitors like eptinezumab (Vyepti), erenumab (Aimovig), galcanezumab-gnlm (Emgality) and fremanezumab (Ajovy) ,
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Relaxation and biofeedback techniques
  • Avoiding foods that trigger your migraines
  • Cefaly: This small headband device sends electrical pulses through your forehead to stimulate a nerve linked with migraines
  • SpringTMS or eNeura sTMS: This device gives off a magnetic pulse that stimulates part of your brain. You hold it against the back of your head at the first sign of a headache.
  • gammaCore: This hand-held portable device is also known as a noninvasive vagus nerve stimulator (nVS). When you place it over the vagus nerve in your neck, it sends a mild electrical stimulation to the nerve's fibers to relieve pain.

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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