Abortive Med Use

Abortive Med Use

Abortive meds help stop a migraine once it starts. Make it a goal to be sure you are using them correctly and safely, so you don't have to spend any extra time in pain.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms:   nausea, vomiting, dizziness, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, seeing colors, seeing lights, seeing shapes, sensitivity to smells, 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

Take ASAP

Abortive meds work best when you take them at the first sign of a migraine. Track your early warning signs in your Journal and then take abortive meds as soon as you notice them. Don't wait for a headache. Early symptoms include:

* Seeing flashing, brightly colored lights

* A blind spot in your vision

* Mild headache pain

Prompt: Use meds early.

CTA: Heed migraine signs.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms nausea, vomiting, dizziness, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, seeing colors, seeing lights, seeing shapes, sensitivity to smells, 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, Imigran, rizatriptan, Maxalt, almotriptan, Axert, naratriptan, naramig, Amerge, zolmitriptan, Zomig, frovatriptan, Frova, eletriptan, Relpax, Migergot, Cafergot, ergotamine

Categories: Meds

Medicine Calendar

Keep track of how often you take abortive meds and the dose in the Notes section of your Journal. Be sure to note how well the meds work and any side effects you have. You can also use Notes to list any changes your doctor makes to your dosages.

Prompt: Keep a calendar.

CTA: Record your meds.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, seeing colors, seeing lights, seeing shapes, sensitivity to smells, 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, Imigran, rizatriptan, Maxalt, almotriptan, Axert, naratriptan, Naramig, Amerge, zolmitriptan, Zomig, frovatriptan, Frova, eletriptan, Relpax, Migergot, Cafergot, ergotamine

Categories: Meds

Side Effects

Abortive drugs can cause side effects. Triptans can cause facial flushing, a feeling of warmth or coldness,  tingling of the skin, tightness in the chest and throat, drowsiness, fatigue, and dizziness.

A common side effect of ergots is nausea and vomiting.

Sometimes these side effects go away on their own. Keep track of any side effects in the Notes section of your Journal, and then tell your doctor.

Prompt: Track side effects.

CTA: Note any side effects.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, seeing colors, seeing lights, seeing shapes, sensitivity to smells, 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, Imigran, rizatriptan, Maxalt, almotriptan, Axert, naratriptan, Naramig, Amerge, zolmitriptan, Zomig, frovatriptan, Frova, eletriptan, Relpax, Migergot, Cafergot, ergotamine

Categories: Meds

On the Go

Remember to take your meds with you wherever you go. Abortive meds work best when taken within 2 hours your first migraine symptoms, so you don't want to be caught without them. 

Prompt: Have a traveling plan.

CTA: Pack your meds.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, seeing colors, seeing lights, seeing shapes, sensitivity to smells, 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, Imigran, rizatriptan, Maxalt, almotriptan, Axert, naratriptan, Naramig, Amerge, zolmitriptan, Zomig, frovatriptan, Frova, eletriptan, Relpax, Migergot, Cafergot, ergotamine

Categories: Meds

If Meds Don't Work

Ideally, abortive meds typically help relieve pain within a matter of hours and have you back to your normal activities.

During a migraine, consider tracking your pain levels in your Journal every hour. Also track the meds you take and the time you take them in your Journal. When you feel better, evaluate the rate of pain relief.  Then tell your doctor if your meds are not working as well as you'd like. You may need to try a few different kinds,  increase your dose, or add an additional medication. For instance, triptans work well with NSAIDs.

Prompt: Not working?

CTA: When you don't get relief.

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, Imigran, rizatriptan, Maxalt, almotriptan, Axert, naratriptan, Naramig, Amerge, zolmitriptan, Zomig, frovatriptan, Frova, eletriptan, Relpax, Migergot, Cafergot, ergotamine

Categories: Meds

List Old Meds

Keep track of abortive meds you've already tried that didn't work. This way your doctor won't prescribe them again or in the same way. Also note if you had any side effects from the meds and what they were.

Prompt: Note stopped meds.

CTA: Track drugs that didn't work.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms:  nausea, vomiting, dizziness, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, seeing colors, seeing lights, seeing shapes, sensitivity to smells, 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, Imigran, rizatriptan, Maxalt, almotriptan, Axert, naratriptan, Naramig, Amerge, zolmitriptan, Zomig, frovatriptan, Frova, eletriptan, Relpax, Migergot, Cafergot, ergotamine

Categories: Meds

Treatment Plan

Using abortive meds is one way to control migraines. But even if you take them, it's important to make lifestyle changes and use other treatments as part of your overall plan. These include:

* Avoiding triggers

* Getting enough sleep

* Eating regular meals

* Getting regular exercise

* Reducing stress

* Using treatments such as biofeedback and cold packs as needed

Prompt: Complete care.

CTA: Have a migraine-resistant lifestyle.

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, Imigran, rizatriptan, Maxalt, almotriptan, Axert, naratriptan, Naramig, Amerge, zolmitriptan, Zomig, frovatriptan, Frova, eletriptan, Relpax, Migergot, Cafergot, ergotamine

Categories: Meds

Not for You

If you become pregnant, you will likely need to stop taking your abortive migraine meds if you are taking a triptan or ergot med. Talk with your doctor about your other options for migraine relief during pregnancy.

Prompt: Pregnant?

CTA: Know when not to take migraine meds.

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, Imigran, rizatriptan, Maxalt, almotriptan, Axert, naratriptan, Naramig, Amerge, zolmitriptan, Zomig, frovatriptan, Frova, eletriptan, Relpax, Migergot, Cafergot, ergotamine

Categories: Meds

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

Sources

SOURCES:

American Headache Society: "Migraine Treatments."

Goetz, C., Pappert. E: Textbook of Clinical Neurology, 2nd ed, Saunders, 2003.

National Headache Foundation.

National Guideline Clearinghouse: "Pharmacologic management of acute attacks of migraine and prevention of migraine headache."

Annals of Internal Medicine,  Nov. 19, 2002.

National Library of Medicine: PubMed Health: "Serotonin Syndrome."

National Migraine Association: "Treatment and Management."

Patwardhan, M. Headache, 2006.

UpToDate.

Silberstein, S. Neurology, 2000.

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

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.