Try Abortives

Abortives

Abortive meds are used to help stop a migraine in its tracks. Your doctor may prescribe them if migraines often disrupt your life. Learn about abortive meds to see if they might be a good choice to help relieve your migraine pain and other symptoms.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: headaches, migraine, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, aching, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, irritability, restlessness, back of head headache, forehead headache, left side headache, right side headache, whole head headache, pain around eyes, back of head pain, both sides of head pain, forehead pain, left side of head pain, neck pain, right side of head pain, scalp pain, pounding pain, pulsing pain, blind spots, blurred vision, feeling cold, loss of vision, prickling, seeing colors, seeing lights, seeing shapes, sensitivity to smells

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories: Meds

Duration

14

OTC Meds

You may not need prescription meds if you don't have migraines often and your only symptom is mild pain, without other problems such as nausea. In those cases, start with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as these:

* Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Advil, Nuprin, Motrin IB, and Medipren (ibuprofen), Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn (naproxen), and aspirin

* Tylenol (acetaminophen)

* Combos of aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine, including Excedrin Migraine and Genaced

Prompt: OTCs for migraines?

CTA: Use first for mild migraines.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: headaches, migraine, , nausea, vomiting, dizziness, aching, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, irritability, restlessness, back of head headache, forehead headache, left side headache, right side headache, whole head headache, pain around eyes, back of head pain, both sides of head pain, forehead pain, left side of head pain, neck pain, right side of head pain, scalp pain, pounding pain, pulsing pain, blind spots, blurred vision, feeling cold, loss of vision, prickling, seeing colors, seeing lights, seeing shapes, sensitivity to smells,  

Triggers:

Treatments: acetaminophen, Tylenol, Panadol, Tempra, Aleve, Advil, Motrin IB, ibuprofen, naproxen

Categories: Meds

Rx Migraine Meds

NSAIDs and acetaminophen can be helpful to treat some migraines. For moderate to severe migraine attacks -- the kind that disrupt your daily activities -- your doctor  may prescribe meds that can reverse migraines. These migraine-specific meds work by narrowing arteries, and include 2 main types: triptans and ergots.

Prompt: Need Rx migraine meds?

CTA: Ease symptoms beyond pain.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: headaches, migraine, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, aching, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, irritability, restlessness, back of head headache, forehead headache, left side headache, right side headache, whole head headache, pain around eyes, back of head pain, both sides of head pain, forehead pain, left side of head pain, neck pain, right side of head pain, scalp pain, pounding pain, pulsing pain, blind spots, blurred vision, feeling cold, loss of vision, prickling, seeing colors, seeing lights, seeing shapes, sensitivity to smells

Triggers:

Treatments: acetaminophen, Tylenol, Panadol, Tempra, Aleve, Advil, Motrin IB, ibuprofen, naproxen, Anaprox, Naprelan, Nuprin

Categories: Meds

Triptans

Triptans are one type of abortive migraine med. If your migraines cause you to miss activities frequently, your doctor may suggest a triptan as your first treatment instead of trying NSAIDs or acetaminophen first. When used at the onset of a migraine before there is moderate or severe pain, triptans can stop a majority of headaches within 2 hours.

Common triptans include: Amerge, Naramig (naratriptan), Axert (almotriptan), Frova (frovatriptan), Imigran, Imitrex (sumatriptan), Mazalt (rizatriptan), Relpax (eletriptan) and Zomig (zolmitriptan).

Prompt: Explore triptans.

CTA: Is this migraine abortive for you?

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: headaches, migraine, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, aching, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, irritability, restlessness, back of head headache, forehead headache, left side headache, right side headache, whole head headache, pain around eyes, back of head pain, both sides of head pain, forehead pain, left side of head pain, neck pain, right side of head pain, scalp pain, pounding pain, pulsing pain, blind spots, blurred vision, feeling cold, loss of vision, prickling, seeing colors, seeing lights, seeing shapes, sensitivity to smells

Triggers:

Treatments: acetaminophen, Tylenol, Panadol, Tempra, Aleve, Advil, Motrin IB, ibuprofen, naproxen, Anaprox, Naprelan, Nuprin

Categories: Meds

Have Heart Problems?

Triptans work because they narrow arteries in the brain. Based on how they work, there is a possible — though not proven— increased risk of heart attack and stroke. If you have uncontrolled hypertension or an increased risk for heart attack or stroke, triptans should be avoided. You also shouldn't use triptans if you've already had a heart attack or stroke -- or if you have angina or TIAs.

Prompt: Have heart problems?

CTA:  Use caution with triptans.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: headaches, migraine, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, aching, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, irritability, restlessness, back of head headache, forehead headache, left side headache, right side headache, whole head headache, pain around eyes, back of head pain, both sides of head pain, forehead pain, left side of head pain, neck pain, right side of head pain, scalp pain, pounding pain, pulsing pain, blind spots, blurred vision, feeling cold, loss of vision, prickling, seeing colors, seeing lights, seeing shapes, sensitivity to smells

Triggers:

Treatments:  acetaminophen, Tylenol, Panadol, Tempra, Aleve, Advil, Motrin IB, ibuprofen, naproxen, Anaprox, Naprelan, Nuprin

Categories: Meds

Take an SSRI?

In rare cases, triptans interact with SSRI antidepressants, such as Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram), Prozac, Sarafem (fluoxetine), Paxil, Pexeva (paroxetine), and Zoloft (sertraline). Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of being on both of these meds.

A potential interaction is a condition called serotonin syndrome. Call your doctor right away if you notice any of its symptoms:

* Confusion or agitation

* Diarrhea

* Fever

* High blood pressure

* Sweating

* Tremor

Prompt: Take an SSRI?

CTA: Be aware of interactions with triptans.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: headaches, migraine, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, aching, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, irritability, restlessness, back of head headache, forehead headache, left side headache, right side headache, whole head headache, pain around eyes, back of head pain, both sides of head pain, forehead pain, left side of head pain, neck pain, right side of head pain, scalp pain, pounding pain, pulsing pain, blind spots, blurred vision, feeling cold, loss of vision, prickling, seeing colors, seeing lights, seeing shapes, sensitivity to smells

Triggers:

Treatments: sumatriptan, Imitrex, rizatriptan, Maxalt, almotriptan, Axert, naratriptan, Amerge, zolmitriptan, Zomig, frovatriptan, Frova, eletriptan, Relpax, Migergot, Cafergot, ergotamine, Celexa, citalopram, lexapro, escitalopram, Paxil, paroxetine, Prozac, fluoxetine, Saraphem, Pexeva, Zoloft, sertraline

Categories: Meds

Explore Ergots

Ergots are a type of abortive migraine medication. These meds work by constricting blood vessels. Sometimes ergots are part of a combination pain reliever -- along with caffeine or other pain relievers.

Common ergots include Cafergot, Ergomar, and Wigraine (ergotamine) and Migranal (dihydroergotamine).

Prompt: Explore ergots.

CTA: Is this migraine abortive for you?

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: headaches, migraine, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, aching, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, irritability, restlessness, back of head headache, forehead headache, left side headache, right side headache, whole head headache, pain around eyes, back of head pain, both sides of head pain, forehead pain, left side of head pain, neck pain, right side of head pain, scalp pain, pounding pain, pulsing pain, blind spots, blurred vision, feeling cold, loss of vision, prickling, seeing colors, seeing lights, seeing shapes, sensitivity to smells

Triggers:

Treatments: acetaminophen, Tylenol, Panadol, Tempra, Aleve, Advil, Motrin IB, ibuprofen, naproxen, Anaprox, Naprelan, Nuprin, Excedrin migraine

Categories: Meds

Have Heart Problems?

Ergots, like triptans, work by narrowing blood vessels. With ergots, the narrowing lasts longer. If you have a history of heart disease or stroke, or uncontrolled blood pressure, you cannot take ergots.

Prompt: Have heart problems?

CTA:  Use caution with ergots.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: headaches, migraine, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, aching, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, irritability, restlessness, back of head headache, forehead headache, left side headache, right side headache, whole head headache, pain around eyes, back of head pain, both sides of head pain, forehead pain, left side of head pain, neck pain, right side of head pain, scalp pain, pounding pain, pulsing pain, blind spots, blurred vision, feeling cold, loss of vision, prickling, seeing colors, seeing lights, seeing shapes, sensitivity to smells

Triggers:

Treatments: acetaminophen, Tylenol, Panadol, Tempra, Aleve, Advil, Motrin IB, ibuprofen, naproxen, Anaprox, Naprelan, Nuprin, Excedrin migraine

Categories: Meds

Midrin

Midrin is an abortive med used for migraine and tension headaches. It is a combination of 3 drugs:

* Isometheptene: a blood vessel constrictor

* Dichloralphenazone: a mild sedative

* Acetaminophen: a pain reliever and fever reducer

Your doctor might not prescribe Midrin if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, liver disease, or if you are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as Marplan (isocarboxazid), Nardil (phenelzine), or Parnate (tranylcypromine). 

Prompt: Why Midrin?

CTA: End migraines and tension headaches.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms:

Triggers:

Treatments: acetaminophen, Tylenol, Panadol, Tempra, Aleve, Advil, Motrin IB, ibuprofen, naproxen, Anaprox, Naprelan, Nuprin, Excedrin migraine

Categories: Meds

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on May 22, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

American Headache Society: "Migraine Treatments."

Annals of Internal Medicine, Nov. 19, 2002.

National Migraine Association: "Treatment and Management."

Patwardhan, B. Headache, May 2006.

Cady, R. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2002.

Silberstein, S. Neurology, 2000.

Snow, V. Annals of Internal Medicine, Oct. 1, 2003.

UpToDate.

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