Medicating Migraines

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Migraines are a serious condition. They can change the way that you deal with day to day life. There are times when migraines can take over your life and leave you feeling emotionally, mentally and physically drained. Migraine warriors everywhere know that you can’t always prevent them. Yet, we still try. Which is why you are reading this. It is time to discuss migraines and how we medicate them. We did the research. We talked to the warriors. We decided that the most talked-about medications are the ones that we would discuss. Let’s face it. The number of options is daunting. Maybe this article can help you better understand your options. 

What is a Migraine?

A migraine is classified as a headache lasting more than one hour and occurs three or more times a week. There may be symptoms like nausea, light sensitivity, and food aversions. You could experience symptoms days to an hour before the pain actually sets in. After the headache is gone, you may feel weak, tired, or irritable.

If you are having migraines, you should talk to your doctor about options for preventing and treating migraines. You may be told to keep a journal of symptoms for a little while. That is so that the doctor can see if there is anything that triggers your migraines. 

Cause or Effect?

All migraines can fall into two categories. It is either the cause of your problems. A migraine can be the cause of your symptoms. There are no underlying conditions that are causing your migraines. You should treat your migraine as a chronic condition. You will want to find your triggers and try to avoid them as well as talking to your doctor about managing them. 

Your migraine could also be the effect of something else. For instance, if you were in a car wreck, your migraine could be caused by an injury inflicted at that time. Some other things that can cause migraines are medications, dehydration, chronic conditions, and injuries. These types of migraines may be almost impossible to prevent. It may be possible to find the cause of your migraine but it might be something you can’t change. For instance, if you have a migraine caused by an injury, you probably will not find relief from the migraine until you get to that point of healing. If you are on a medication that you cannot change, your doctor may decide a migraine is better than the outcome would be if you did not have the medications. 

The Medications

Sumatriptan – This is the generic of Imitrex. It is by far the most widely used treatment option for migraines. It is an injection. The goal is to cause a narrowing of the blood vessels around the brain to prevent symptoms. It can help sensitivity to light and sound as well as headache pain.

Side effects: Some common side effects are heartburn, joint pain, anxiety, and increased heart rate. There have been some cases of increased panic attacks. These symptoms do get better with time. 

Migraine Warriors Have to Say

For the most part, migraine warriors said that if you take it the second you feel the migraine coming, you can prevent the migraine. Taking it after a migraine is not very effective. The most common side effect is a jittery, nervous like feeling. Some say that they feel cold immediately following the injection. Muscle cramps are also fairly common. As long as you take it before you have a headache, the side effects are worth the pain relief. That is the important key to using this medication properly. 

Maxalt – is meant to be taken once you already have head pain. It is not designed to prevent migraine attacks. It reduces the blood vessels in the brain to help reduce the pain and the symptoms of the migraine. 

Side effects: The most common side effect is feeling light-headed, brain fog, and fatigue. Less common side effects are coldness in the limbs, diarrhea, and stomach pain. It should not be used if you take medications for depression as it can cause unsafe fluctuations in serotonin levels. 

What Migraine Warriors Have to Say

Most migraine warriors said that they take it right when their head starts to hurt. It takes an hour to an hour and a half to kick in. It does get rid of the migraine and all the symptoms of it. However, for the rest of the day and the day after, they do tend to feel foggy and have trouble sorting their thoughts. Most migraine warriors feel that brain fog is a fair trade since there is relief from the pain.

Replax – Replax works in two ways. First, it does restrict blood vessels to the brain. Secondly, it helps to eliminate substances in the brain that causes migraines. You should not take it before you have actual pain. It should be taken when you have slight pain in your head but before you have a full-blown migraine. 

Side Effects: some of the most common side effects are nausea, dizziness, and chest pain. It can cause a rise in blood pressure. Less common side effects are anxiety attacks, hallucinations, and fainting. You should not use Replax with antidepressants. It may not work or it may cause a fluctuation in serotonin levels which could make your migraine worse. 

What Migraine Warriors Have to Say

A lot of warriors say that it does completely get rid of their migraine pain. It does cause some disruption in their life. Some say they have flu-like symptoms when they use it. Muscle aches and sore limbs are the most common side effect. However, most migraine warriors say they do feel completely normal within a couple of hours of taking the medications. None of the migraine warriors said that they had an unsafe rise in blood pressure while on this medication. This is not for long term use and is often traded out with other medications. 

Zomig – works the same as most migraine treatments. It restricts the blood vessels in the brain. It is only to be used by adults. It will not prevent a migraine nor will it reduce the frequency of migraines. You cannot use it with any other medications. It can be used in two ways. It is a nasal spray or in a tablet form. 

Side effects: Some common side effects are dry mouth, sleepiness, and pressure. Your body may feel heavy. You may feel unusually drowsy. Some uncommon side effects are rapid heartbeat, panic attacks, or sudden stomach pain. 

What Migraine Warriors have to say

Most migraine warriors say that they do have relief from pain in about twenty minutes. They do not feel groggy or like they have to put their life on hold once they take it. One warrior said that if they take it in the middle of the night they do feel out of sorts the next day but other than that it doesn’t slow her down. 

Methergine – This is a rather uncommon migraine treatment. It is used to help women during labor and delivery. When we first came across this it seemed to be a mistake. However, upon research, we have found that it has been an effective migraine medication. 

Side effects: The most common side effect was a jittery feeling. It can cause breathing problems as well. Side effects were difficult to find because most migraine warriors were pleased with the effectiveness and didn’t have any negative experiences. 

What Migraine warriors are saying:

All of our migraine warriors said that this medication is a life-changer. It can be taken to prevent migraines as well as stop them once they begin. It can be used in combination with other migraine treatment options so that it stops some triggers of migraine pain. Most migraine warriors were on this medication for one year or more. Only one reported being stopped due to other medical issues. As of right now, there are no long term effects reported. 

This is not a complete list of all treatment plans or medication options. It is only the ones that we found had the most reviews and migraine warriors willing to tell us their honest opinion about how it affects their life. We want you to know your options before you decide on a treatment plan. As with all migraine medications, not all options are good for all patients. You should talk to your doctor to find the best option for you. We know how hard living with migraines can be. That is why we want to help you to determine what will give you the most relief. Most of these come in many forms. You can do injections, nasal sprays, tablets, and dissolvable powders. All of these options are prescription-only options. That means that you will have to talk to your doctor. Not all of these can be taken long term. 

Migraines do not have to control your life. You can take your life back.

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