There’s nothing quite like a migraine headache. The sufferer just wants to lie down in a dark place and hope the pulsing throbbing pain on one side of his or her head subsides soon. Sometimes migraines come with vomiting, nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Sometimes auras or distracting dots and numbness alert the sufferer to the imminent headache.
Migraine headaches are debilitating to the point of not doing chores or driving a car or going to work. Migraine headaches typically last from 4 to 72 hours.
Medications used to quell migraines fall into two categories:
• Pain-relieving medications – Drugs are taken during migraine attacks and are designed to stop symptoms that have already begun.
• Preventive medications – Drugs taken regularly, often on a daily basis, to reduce the severity or frequency of migraines.
Pain relieving medications include over the counter medications like Motrin, Advil, and Tylenol. Some prescription drugs are Axert, Zomig, Relpax, Migergot, and Cafergot.
Preventive medications don’t eliminate headaches entirely, and some cause serious side effects like the anti-seizure drug Topamax. FDA approved the use of Topamax to prevent migraine headaches, but not to relieve the pain of migraines. Anti-seizure drugs may cause side effects like nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, hair loss, and dizziness.