Preventive Med Use

Preventive Med Use

Taking preventive meds every day can help prevent migraines and reduce the severity of any headaches you do have. Make sure you are using preventive meds correctly to get the most migraine relief.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: confusion, speech problems, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, exhaustion, depression, muscle weakness, aching, burning, pain, pain with movement, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, communication problems, fainting, lightheadedness, congestion, stuffy nose, sweating a lot, neck stiffness, 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: sex, smoking, altitude changes, bright lights, fumes, noise, strong smells, menstruation, stress, birth control pills, weather changes, alcohol, being hungry, foods

Treatments: Blocadren, timolol, Corgard, nadolol, Inderal, propranolol, Lopressor, Lopressor LA, metoprolol, Tenormin, atenolol, Toprol XL, Calan, verapamil, Cardizem, Dilacor, diltiazem, Isoptin, verapamil, Nimotop, nimodipine, Tiazac, Verelan, Zestril, lisinopril, Aventyl, nortriptyline, Elavil, Endep, amitriptyline, Pamelor, Vivactil, protriptyline, Sinequan, doxepin, Tofranil, imipramine, Sansert, methysergide, Depakote divalproex sodium, Neurontin, gabapentin, Topamax, topiramate

Categories: Meds

Duration

30

Help Doc With Dosing

Often doctors start with a low dose of a med to prevent migraines and increase it gradually if needed.

It may take time to find the dose that best prevents migraines or eases their intensity. You may need more than one med. In your Journal, track pain and the time along with type and dose of preventives you use. Share your Pain Control Report with your doctor.

Prompt: Starting prevention?

CTA: Be patient.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: confusion, speech problems, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, exhaustion, depression, muscle weakness, aching, burning, pain, pain with movement, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, communication problems, fainting, lightheadedness, congestion, stuffy nose, sweating a lot, neck stiffness, 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: sex, smoking, altitude changes, bright lights, fumes, noise, strong smells, menstruation, stress, birth control pills, weather changes, alcohol, being hungry, foods

Treatments: Blocadren, timolol, Corgard, nadolol, Inderal, propranolol, Lopressor, Lopressor LA, metoprolol, Tenormin, atenolol, Toprol XL, Calan, verapamil, Cardizem, Dilacor, diltiazem, Isoptin, verapamil, Nimotop, nimodipine, Tiazac, Verelan, Zestril, lisinopril, Aventyl, nortriptyline, Elavil, Endep, amitriptyline, Pamelor, Vivactil, protriptyline, Sinequan, doxepin, Tofranil, imipramine, Sansert, methysergide, Depakote divalproex sodium, Neurontin, gabapentin, Topamax, topiramate

Categories: meds

Track Progress

After you find the right dose and combination of preventive meds, it can take up to 3 months before you reach the maximum improvement in your migraine symptoms. Continue to track your meds and their doses in your Journal and compare to tracked pain levels to see what's working. Also add Notes about side effects. Keep sharing your Pain Control Report with your doctor to note progress or tweak treatment.

Prompt: Track progress.

CTA: Know what to expect -- and when.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: confusion, speech problems, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, exhaustion, depression, muscle weakness, aching, burning, pain, pain with movement, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, communication problems, fainting, lightheadedness, congestion, stuffy nose, sweating a lot, neck stiffness, 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: sex, smoking, altitude changes, bright lights, fumes, noise, strong smells, menstruation, stress, birth control pills, weather changes, alcohol, being hungry, foods

Treatments: Blocadren, timolol, Corgard, nadolol, Inderal, propranolol, Lopressor, Lopressor LA, metoprolol, Tenormin, atenolol, Toprol XL, Calan, verapamil, Cardizem, Dilacor, diltiazem, Isoptin, verapamil, Nimotop, nimodipine, Tiazac, Verelan, Zestril, lisinopril, Aventyl, nortriptyline, Elavil, Endep, amitriptyline, Pamelor, Vivactil, protriptyline, Sinequan, doxepin, Tofranil, imipramine, Sansert, methysergide, Depakote divalproex sodium, Neurontin, gabapentin, Topamax, topiramate

Categories: meds

Report Side Effects

Don't change your dose or stop preventive meds on your own. If you're having trouble with side effects or can't afford your meds, talk with your doctor. Changing or stopping your meds suddenly may cause headaches or other side effects. If you need to stop taking meds, your doctor may help you avoid problems by gradually reducing your dose.

Prompt: Don't stop.

CTA: Tell your doc about problems.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: confusion, speech problems, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, exhaustion, depression, muscle weakness, aching, burning, pain, pain with movement, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, communication problems, fainting, lightheadedness, congestion, stuffy nose, sweating a lot, neck stiffness, 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: sex, smoking, altitude changes, bright lights, fumes, noise, strong smells, menstruation, stress, birth control pills, weather changes, alcohol, being hungry, foods

Treatments: Blocadren, timolol, Corgard, nadolol, Inderal, propranolol, Lopressor, Lopressor LA, metoprolol, Tenormin, atenolol, Toprol XL, Calan, verapamil, Cardizem, Dilacor, diltiazem, Isoptin, verapamil, Nimotop, nimodipine, Tiazac, Verelan, Zestril, lisinopril, Aventyl, nortriptyline, Elavil, Endep, amitriptyline, Pamelor, Vivactil, protriptyline, Sinequan, doxepin, Tofranil, imipramine, Sansert, methysergide, Depakote divalproex sodium, Neurontin, gabapentin, Topamax, topiramate

Categories: meds

List Old Meds

Keep track of meds you've already tried that didn't work. This way you can discuss meds that didn't help prevent your migraines with your doctor. Also note in your Journal what side effects you had from those meds.

Prompt: Note stopped meds.

CTA: Track ones that don't work.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: confusion, speech problems, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, exhaustion, depression, muscle weakness, aching, burning, pain, pain with movement, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, communication problems, fainting, lightheadedness, congestion, stuffy nose, sweating a lot, neck stiffness, 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: sex, smoking, altitude changes, bright lights, fumes, noise, strong smells, menstruation, stress, birth control pills, weather changes, alcohol, being hungry, foods

Treatments: Blocadren, timolol, Corgard, nadolol, Inderal, propranolol, Lopressor, Lopressor LA, metoprolol, Tenormin, atenolol, Toprol XL, Calan, verapamil, Cardizem, Dilacor, diltiazem, Isoptin, verapamil, Nimotop, nimodipine, Tiazac, Verelan, Zestril, lisinopril, Aventyl, nortriptyline, Elavil, Endep, amitriptyline, Pamelor, Vivactil, protriptyline, Sinequan, doxepin, Tofranil, imipramine, Sansert, methysergide, Depakote divalproex sodium, Neurontin, gabapentin, Topamax, topiramate

Categories: meds

Prevent and Abort

Preventive meds may not stop every migraine headache. You may still need to take the meds your doctor prescribed to stop a migraine that's already started. They're called abortive meds. Ask your doctor how you should respond if you still get a migraine after taking your preventive meds, then you'll know what to do.

Prompt: Be prepared.

CTA: Continue abortive meds.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: confusion, speech problems, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, exhaustion, depression, muscle weakness, aching, burning, pain, pain with movement, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, communication problems, fainting, lightheadedness, congestion, stuffy nose, sweating a lot, neck stiffness, 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: sex, smoking, altitude changes, bright lights, fumes, noise, strong smells, menstruation, stress, birth control pills, weather changes, alcohol, being hungry, foods

Treatments: Blocadren, timolol, Corgard, nadolol, Inderal, propranolol, Lopressor, Lopressor LA, metoprolol, Tenormin, atenolol, Toprol XL, Calan, verapamil, Cardizem, Dilacor, diltiazem, Isoptin, verapamil, Nimotop, nimodipine, Tiazac, Verelan, Zestril, lisinopril, Aventyl, nortriptyline, Elavil, Endep, amitriptyline, Pamelor, Vivactil, protriptyline, Sinequan, doxepin, Tofranil, imipramine, Sansert, methysergide, Depakote divalproex sodium, Neurontin, gabapentin, Topamax, topiramate

Categories: meds

Refill Early

Don't wait until you're out of meds to refill your preventive prescription. It's a good idea to refill prescriptions at least 48 to 72 hours before you run out. This way, you won't miss a day -- or more -- of your meds.

Prompt: Get refills early.

CTA: Don't wait on meds.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: confusion, speech problems, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, exhaustion, depression, muscle weakness, aching, burning, pain, pain with movement, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, communication problems, fainting, lightheadedness, congestion, stuffy nose, sweating a lot, neck stiffness, 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: sex, smoking, altitude changes, bright lights, fumes, noise, strong smells, menstruation, stress, birth control pills, weather changes, alcohol, being hungry, foods

Treatments: Blocadren, timolol, Corgard, nadolol, Inderal, propranolol, Lopressor, Lopressor LA, metoprolol, Tenormin, atenolol, Toprol XL, Calan, verapamil, Cardizem, Dilacor, diltiazem, Isoptin, verapamil, Nimotop, nimodipine, Tiazac, Verelan, Zestril, lisinopril, Aventyl, nortriptyline, Elavil, Endep, amitriptyline, Pamelor, Vivactil, protriptyline, Sinequan, doxepin, Tofranil, imipramine, Sansert, methysergide, Depakote divalproex sodium, Neurontin, gabapentin, Topamax, topiramate

Categories: meds

Vacation Prevention

Don't forget to pack your meds when you're traveling for pleasure or work. Preventive meds typically work best when taken every day. If you miss a dose, you risk a migraine when you're on vacation or at some important business meeting. You may even want to take an extra supply for longer trips in case you get delayed.

Prompt: Traveling?

CTA: Bring your meds along.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: confusion, speech problems, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, exhaustion, depression, muscle weakness, aching, burning, pain, pain with movement, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, communication problems, fainting, lightheadedness, congestion, stuffy nose, sweating a lot, neck stiffness, 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: sex, smoking, altitude changes, bright lights, fumes, noise, strong smells, menstruation, stress, birth control pills, weather changes, alcohol, being hungry, foods

Treatments: Blocadren, timolol, Corgard, nadolol, Inderal, propranolol, Lopressor, Lopressor LA, metoprolol, Tenormin, atenolol, Toprol XL, Calan, verapamil, Cardizem, Dilacor, diltiazem, Isoptin, verapamil, Nimotop, nimodipine, Tiazac, Verelan, Zestril, lisinopril, Aventyl, nortriptyline, Elavil, Endep, amitriptyline, Pamelor, Vivactil, protriptyline, Sinequan, doxepin, Tofranil, imipramine, Sansert, methysergide, Depakote divalproex sodium, Neurontin, gabapentin, Topamax, topiramate

Categories: meds

Treatment Plan

Using preventive meds is one way to help control migraines. But even if you take meds, you may still need to make lifestyle changes and use other treatments that are part of your overall plan, such as:

* Avoiding triggers

* Getting enough sleep

* Eating regular meals

* Getting regular exercise

* Using treatments such as biofeedback, cold packs, or stress reduction as you need

* Taking meds -- abortive meds -- as prescribed to end migraines that start

Prompt: Follow your plan.

CTA: Make lifestyle changes.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: confusion, speech problems, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, exhaustion, depression, muscle weakness, aching, burning, pain, pain with movement, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, communication problems, fainting, lightheadedness, congestion, stuffy nose, sweating a lot, neck stiffness, 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: sex, smoking, altitude changes, bright lights, fumes, noise, strong smells, menstruation, stress, birth control pills, weather changes, alcohol, being hungry, foods

Treatments: Blocadren, timolol, Corgard, nadolol, Inderal, propranolol, Lopressor, Lopressor LA, metoprolol, Tenormin, atenolol, Toprol XL, Calan, verapamil, Cardizem, Dilacor, diltiazem, Isoptin, verapamil, Nimotop, nimodipine, Tiazac, Verelan, Zestril, lisinopril, Aventyl, nortriptyline, Elavil, Endep, amitriptyline, Pamelor, Vivactil, protriptyline, Sinequan, doxepin, Tofranil, imipramine, Sansert, methysergide, Depakote divalproex sodium, Neurontin, gabapentin, Topamax, topiramate

Categories: meds

Ending Prevention

You may want to take preventive meds for months or years. If you've been migraine free for at least 6 months, your doctor may suggest you taper off preventives.

Remember, don't stop them cold turkey or you risk rebound headaches and other side effects.

Prompt: When can I stop?

CTA: Know how long to take meds.

Conditions: Migraine

Symptoms: confusion, speech problems, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, exhaustion, depression, muscle weakness, aching, burning, pain, pain with movement, throbbing pain, aura, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, vision changes, communication problems, fainting, lightheadedness, congestion, stuffy nose, sweating a lot, neck stiffness, 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: sex, smoking, altitude changes, bright lights, fumes, noise, strong smells, menstruation, stress, birth control pills, weather changes, alcohol, being hungry, foods

Treatments: Blocadren, timolol, Corgard, nadolol, Inderal, propranolol, Lopressor, Lopressor LA, metoprolol, Tenormin, atenolol, Toprol XL, Calan, verapamil, Cardizem, Dilacor, diltiazem, Isoptin, verapamil, Nimotop, nimodipine, Tiazac, Verelan, Zestril, lisinopril, Aventyl, nortriptyline, Elavil, Endep, amitriptyline, Pamelor, Vivactil, protriptyline, Sinequan, doxepin, Tofranil, imipramine, Sansert, methysergide, Depakote divalproex sodium, Neurontin, gabapentin, Topamax, topiramate

Categories: meds

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on May 23, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

American Headache Society: "Migraine Treatments."

Dowson A. Current Medical Research and Opinion, 2002.

National Migraine Association: "Treatment and Management."

Ramadan N. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports, March 2006.

Silberstein S. Neurology. 2000.

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

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