Migraine treatments assist in stopping symptoms and prevent future attacks of migraine headache. Some medicines that are used to treat other conditions also may help relieve or prevent migraines. Pain-relieving medications taken during migraine attacks are designed to stop symptoms, but preventive medications that are taken on a daily basis reduce the severity or frequency of migraine headaches. The treatment strategy depends on the frequency and severity of the migraine headaches. Pain relievers like Aspirin and acetaminophen help in relieving mild migraines. If taken too often or for long periods of time, these medications can lead to ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding and headaches due to overuse of medication. Triptans are drugs that make blood vessels constrict and block pain pathways in the brain. Triptans effectively relieve the pain and other symptoms that are associated with migraines. Side effects of triptans include reactions at the injection site, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and muscle weakness and they are not recommended for people at risk of strokes and heart attacks. One may be a candidate for preventive therapy if one has four or more debilitating attacks a month and the attacks last more than 12 hours and symptoms include a prolonged aura or numbness and weakness. Preventive medications don't always stop headaches completely, and some drugs cause serious side effects. If one has good results from preventive medicine and the migraines are well controlled, the doctor may recommend tapering off the medication to see if the migraines return without it.
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