Review of Migraine Treatment Medications

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August 7, 2015

Are you hitting a plateau with your migraine treatment since the medications you’ve been using are no longer managing your pain? Could this suggest that perhaps it’s time for you to consider a migraine procedure? When you think about how many different types of medications you’ve tried over the years, it’s astounding.

A team of researchers has recently published its own review of medications that are used to treat migraines and evaluated them based on effectiveness. The study, published in the journal Headache, also noted the possible side effects associated with each product. They categorized the drugs into 6 different levels delineating decreases in effectiveness for treating acute migraine, based on current evidence and research results.

Drugs in the first category, “Level A,” include the classes of analgesics, ergots, NSAIDs, opioids and triptans. It also includes butorphanol nasal spray and combination drugs (e.g. aspirin; acetaminophen; and caffeine.) This level was designated as effective for acute migraine. The next five levels include medications that are considered to be less effective, non-effective, or lack conclusive supporting evidence either way. It was noted that while potent opioids are effective for treating migraine pain, they should not be used on a regular basis. The risks and adverse consequences are all too familiar.

A Health Day report on Medical Express explains these findings will be used to establish new migraine treatment guidelines from the American Headache Society. A co-author of the study said, “We hope that this assessment of the efficacy of currently available migraine therapies helps patients and their physicians utilize treatments that are the most appropriate for them.”

It’s important to note that this study was evaluating drug effectiveness for acute migraine conditions rather than for chronic migraine. If your migraine or headache condition is chronic, a migraine procedure could lessen the need to rely on drugs. Long-term medication use often leads to rebound headaches, reduced effectiveness, or unpleasant side effects.

Much like the scientists did in this study, it makes sense to periodically review your own current and past migraine therapies to determine what works and what doesn’t for you. This information can help your physician design the guidelines for your personal migraine treatment.





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