Abortive medicines can help in aborting or stopping pain once it’s started if you can somehow catch it early (in the prodome stage). The most common therapies include Triptans that are of several different kinds. So there’s bit of hit and trial before you can find one that works for you. In fact, your doctor will advice if a change would be helpful.
Sometimes you don’t get any results after using Triptans, so different form of medication may be necessary, including those that effect the serotonin levels. You can take them via nasal spray, orally, or as an injection. Sometimes drugs meant for addressing nausea may also help in reducing headache pain, and these include promethazine and prochlorperazine.
Other migraine drugs, such as as acetaminophen or butalbital compound can be habit forming and should be used only when other medicines fail to show any effect. Usually over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen or aspirin are more effective in those who get infrequent migraine attacks, and when they’re taken only at the first sign of headache.
Other migraine treatments include patches. They are powered by a battery and can wrap around the leg or arm and deliver medication through patient’s skin for few hours. They are relatively new, and very useful in those who are not comfortable with nasal sprays or may have some difficulty in swallowing tablets.
Some abortive medications to handle migraine may be effective only when taken at the first sign of approaching migraine. If your pain has actually started, it’s too late for these medicines to show effect.
All medications, whether for migraine or some other health conditions, come with some risk of side effects so it’s very important to monitor body’s response when you take them. It’s also helpful to stay in touch with your doctor.
Preventive Migraine Medications
People who suffer from multiple headaches in a week can benefit from preventive medications, most commonly anti-depressant, beta blockers, and some antihistamines or allergy drugs. These medications can reduce the frequency and severity of the attack but cannot heal migraine. Each of them has many side effects if taken daily for a long time.
Botox (Botulinum toxin) is another therapy that’s becoming increasingly popular for reducing migraine attacks. It’s also used as a part of testing to ascertain whether surgery can be a option.
Do you Qualify for Surgery?
Well, there are several steps and stages to go before your doctor can determine if surgery is the best option for you. First, you need to go through official migraine diagnosis by neurologist or a qualified doctor. Be prepared to answer lots of questions, including:
- What symptoms you have
- Your family history
- List of medications you’ve tried
- How effective these have been
It’s best to maintain a migraine diary where you should note down not only the date of your migraine, but also its time, your activities, surroundings and known triggers. By including even minor details it is possible to uncover triggers that may have escaped your eye in the past. Also note the type of treatment you take for each of these attacks, and whether you experience any kind of relief as a result. With this approach you would be able to pay close attention to the causes and effects than you might do otherwise, and can definitely provide you valuable information for your doctor to work with.
Alongside a detailed questionnaire, a physical exam by a neurologist will help build a reliable picture of your migraine pattern, triggers and characteristics. Surgery is only an option when it’s established that it would help relieve some nerve pressure and it would help reduce migraine attacks.
Long term effects of surgery can be compared to the effects of Botox injections at one or two trigger points. As Botox relaxes muscles and prevents nerve aggravation at the site, one might experience some relief from migraine following this treatment. It’s safe to have Botox while taking your migraine medication. Some may prefer regular Botox treatment to surgery even if they are good candidates, but it’s a fact that surgery would provide a sure long term relief.
Following the Botox injection, you are expected to keep a migraine diary for further 8-10 weeks. With comparison of diary before and after injections, your doctor can accurately assess the likely success of migraine surgery procedure. You might experience an improvement of 40-50 percent following Botox treatment, but it should be repeated after some time, which could be costly in the long run.
Migraine Surgery Option
Migraine surgery is not a complex one and can take around an hour. It can bring a long lasting relief to all those who’re suitable candidate for this procedure. It’s carried out as an out-patient procedure under general anesthetic, and you can go home within few hours.
You may experience some swelling at the site of operation, but it will subside within few days. There are no visible scars once the wound has healed.
All those who find abortive migraine treatment unreliable or ineffective can choose migraine surgery.