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Migraine relief for sufferers of migraine headache and symptoms

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Migraine relief treatment


Most migraineurs can deal with mild-to-moderate  migraine attacks at home. Some of the measures mentioned below will help migraine relief. They are :

  • Using  a cold compress to the area of pain
  • Resting with pillows comfortably supporting the  head or neck
  • Resting in a dark, quiet place
  • Avoiding odours
  • Withdrawing from stressful surroundings
  • Sleeping
  • Drinking a moderate amount of caffeine
  • Drug therapy
  • Biofeedback training
  • Elimination of certain foods from the diet
  • Regular exercise, such as swimming or vigorous  walking
  • Avoiding known triggers


Some prescription and over-the-counter  medications may help relieve migraine headache. They are :< br>

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs):  Medications like aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), and ketoprofen (Orudis), can sometimes cause stomach ulcers and bleeding. Therefore, anyone with a history of stomach bleeding should not take these medications. NSAIDs should not be taken over a long period of time and may interact with other medication.


Acetaminophen (Tylenol): Acetaminophen can be  combined with NSAID's. Taking acetaminophen on its own is also safe and effective but when taken in large amounts; it can lead to liver and kidney damage. People with liver problems should avoid acetaminophen.


Combination medications: Some approved  over-the-counter pain relievers can provide relief during a migraine. Despite all the advances in the medical field, migraines are not cent percent treatable.


Migraines can be treated with abortive and  preventive approaches.


Abortive: This therapy, using prescription  medications, helps prevent a migraine attack during its prodrome stage or even  aids in stopping it once it starts and can be taken as needed. Some medications are administered as a self-injection into the thigh while others as a wafer that melts on the tongue. These forms of medication are quick acting and are not rendered ineffective by vomitting.


Abortive treatment medications include:

  • Triptans  (target serotonin) - Similar in their action and chemical structure, the  triptans can only treat headaches and do not relieve pain from back problems,  arthritis, menstruation, or other conditions. Some of the triptans include :
  • Sumatriptan  (Imitrex)
  • Zolmitriptan (Zomig)
  • Eletriptan (Relpax)
  • Naratriptan (Amerge, Naramig)
  • Rizatriptan (Maxalt)
  • Frovatriptan (Frova)
  • Almotriptan (Axert)


The following drugs also specifically affect  serotonin, as well as other brain chemicals. Infrequently, one of these drugs works when a triptan does not. They are :

  • Ergotamine  tartrate (Cafergot)
  • Dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45 Injection, Migranal  Nasal Spray)
  • Acetaminophen-isometheptene-dichloralphenazone  (Midrin)


Some of the drugs used primarily for nausea have  an abortive or preventive effect on headaches. They are:

  • Prochlorperazine  (Compazine)
  • Promethazine (Phenergan)


Habit forming and weak members of the narcotic  class, the below mentioned drugs are not specific for migraines, but may  sometimes help relieve pain. These drugs should only be used as a "backup". They are:

  • Butalbital  compound (Fioricet, Fiorinal)
  • Acetaminophen and codeine (Tylenol with Codeine)
  • Preventive:  This type of treatment is generally considered for migraineurs who have more  than 1 migraine per week, lessening the frequency and severity of the migraine  attacks. Preventive medication can be taken on a daily basis. Preventive medications include:
  • High  blood pressure medications like Beta-blockers (propranolol [Inderal]) and  calcium channel blockers (verapamil [Covera])
  • Antidepressants like Amitriptyline (Elavil) and  nortriptyline (Pamelor)
  • Antiseizure medications like Gabapentin  (Neurontin), valproic acid (Depakote) and topiramate (Topamax)
  • Antihistamines and anti-allergy drugs like  diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and cyproheptadine (Periactin)


People with migraines should see their doctor  regularly; maintain a "pain journal"; and maintain a record of the  drugs used during treatment. Several doctor visits may be required before an effective treatment plan is chalked out.


Alternative or complementary therapies have  largely benefitted some migraineurs. They are chiropractic, acupuncture, osteopathic manipulation, and herbal remedies, though none of these treatments is supported by reliable scientific evidence.


Migraine symptoms

 

Migraine symptoms are different for different people. The following 5 phases have generally been noted:

      

  • Prodrome: Many symptoms like changes in mood (happiness, irritability, sadness) or  sensation (funny tastes or smells) can precede a migraine headache. Many people experience fatigue and muscle tension before a migraine headache.
  • Visual or auditory disturbances (auras): Some  people develop scotomas (blind spots), see geometric patterns, experience  hemianopsia (vision on only one side), or, less commonly, have auditory  (hearing) hallucinations.
  • Headache: Although a migraine headache generally  occurs on one side of the head, 30-40% of migraineurs have them on both sides.  A throbbing pain may occur and almost 80% of migraineurs experience nausea and vomitting. About 70% of the people become photophobic and phonophobic for the time the migraine pain is experienced.
  • Headache termination: Even if left untreated, the  pain generally goes away with sleep.
  • Postdrome: Migraineurs may not feel well for some  time after the migraine has stopped. They may not even be able to eat right away or may even have problems with thinking and tiredness.


By Mark bevan
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.

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