Migraine Medication – Symptoms, Diagnosis & Drugs

What is Migraine? Migraine Medication

Basically, we are confused about migraine headaches. Not every type of a headache is a migraine. There are various tests which can diagnose a migraine. IHS (International Headache Society) had published a criterion about migraine illness.

A Migraine with Aura

According to IHS, migraines without aura is a recurrent headache that lasts up to 72 hours with characteristics like pain on one side of the head, a pulsating quality and moderate or severe pain intensity.

Symptoms: Nausea or photophobia (extreme sensitivity to light or discomfort with bright lights)

A Migraine without Aura

It is a very rare case, and it has a ratio of one-quarter. The number of migraine patient who can experience a migraine with aura is less than one quarter.

Symptoms: geometric patterns, shimmering effect or possibly a flashing lights effect (kind of like heat waves) that indicate a migraine’s about to strike.

The migraine headaches are very prevalent complex illness which can affect people in different ways. Migraine headaches are usually recurrent and you may get these headaches once or twice a week. Moreover, in other conditions, you may get migraine headaches once or twice a year.  If migraine attacks remain untreated then they may/can last several hours, or a few days.

Medication/ Drugs

For Migraine treatment, there is a wide range of medications available. Having background information about drugs is always necessary and useful.

Because it helps you to make informed choices about which medication might be best for you. Moreover, there is no standard treatment for this illness thus; the choices are made on individual basis.

Drugs: Their Working & Classification


There are three major ways in which a drug may influence you

  • Supplanting substances in the body which you lack.
  • Destroying bacteria which have invaded the body.
  • Changing the way cells function

Usually, migraine medications change the way cells function.


  • The brand name: Basically it is the name chosen by the manufacturer e.g. Anadin.
  • The group name: Classified according to the chemical similarity & their use or the way they work
  • The generic name: the name of the basic active ingredient e.g. aspirin

Migraine Medication/Drugs

For the treatment of a migraine, two types of drugs are used which are mentioned as follow

  1. Acute medicines Treatment: the drugs are taken at the start of a migraine or at the initial stage of a migraine.
  2. Prophylactic or Preventive medicines: these drugs are used as a vaccine to prevent the attack from the disease before the disease starts.

Drugs & their Side Effects

Before taking any drug read the patient information sheet for following reasons:

  1. The medicines have side effects so it is better to know before if you experience them.
  2. Some of the drugs are also not suitable if you have any other medical conditions etc.

Right Combination of Drugs

To take the drug at the right time, with right amount and combination is important for the better and effective treatment. A migraine slows down the stomach so there is always a chance that the drug may not dissolve properly.

Taking Drugs

Following ways can be used for taking medication:

  1. By swallowing drugs
  2. Inhaling by Inhaler
  3. In the form of Injections
  4. Through the skin

Keeping Records & Taking Control

Keeping the record helps you control the disease by noticing the better drug and the right time to take them. On which date or time you have taken it and for how long you have used the drug and also note the side effects (if any). Moreover, a record also helps to look after for the cause of a migraine.


Taking pain killers for a long period of time can make your body used to of the medicine and so the medicine becomes ineffective. This leads to the more severe headache instead of decreasing it. Moreover, before taking any acute medicine for a headache you should consult your doctor for supervision.

Drugs & Pregnancy

If the migraine attack during pregnancy or breast feeding you should be very cautious and seek advice from the doctor.

Children and over 65s

A migraine normally does not attack children and people over the age of 65 years. However, in a case of such attack, the medicine should be taken as prescribed by GP.

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