Preventative Medications for Migraines

Source: Mayo Clinic

Criteria for Preventative Therapy

No one wants to experience a migraine. There may be ways to alleviate a migraine that you have already tried but what about avoiding it altogether? This is where preventative medication for migraines can help.

You may be a candidate for preventive migraine medication if you meet the following conditions:

  • Experience 4 or more migraines each month
  • Migraines last more than 12 hours
  • Over-the-counter medications are not effective
  • Experience other symptoms such as numbness, vomiting, and weakness

While preventative migraine medications may not always ensure that a migraine can be avoided, they do help with symptoms.

Types of Preventative Migraine Medications

Cardiovascular: Also known as Beta Blockers, cardiovascular medications are used for blood pressure but can also help to prevent the occurrence of migraine headaches.

  • Propranolol
  • Metoprolol tartrate
  • Verapamil
  • Lisinopril

Anti-depressants: Even if you aren’t experiencing depression, tricyclic antidepressants can be a powerful tool to prevent migraines. The medication works by affecting serotonin levels, which in turn can help with migraine headaches.

  • Amitriptyline
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor

Anti-Seizure: These medications have been shown to be effective in reducing the number of migraine headaches that occur.

  • Valproate
  • Topiramate

Botulinum toxin : It is a medication created from the Botulinum toxin. This medication is a direct injection into the neck and forehead muscles. It is very effective but must be repeated every 12 weeks.

  • Onabotulinumotoxin A

Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers may be effective in treating as well as preventing migraines from occurring.

  • Ibuprofen
  • Acetaminophen
  • Combination of both paired with caffeine
  • Indomethacin (suppository-based medication)
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