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Severe Headache - Can it Be Migraine?

Dr. R.S. Saini 92% (8880 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine Specialist, Faridabad  •  13 years experience
Severe Headache - Can it Be Migraine?

One of the most debilitating conditions that anyone can experience is migraine. They can severely limit you by affecting your personal and professional life as you are in constant pain. Migraine can manifest in a type of headache with intense pain, an acute sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting. Often described as a severe throbbing pain in the head, it may stop you from completing regular daily tasks and may delay or postpone your work.

How can migraines be treated?
The exact cause for these debilitating migraine pain hasn't been pointed out yet, but certain triggers such as stress, hormonal changes in the menstrual cycle, sun exposure, bright or flashing lights, among many others have been identified. The first line of defense for you would be to understand and identify what your triggers are. Once that is done, you can try and avoid them. If these still trigger a migraine or are about to trigger one, you can immediately take medications or steps to control it or at least lessen the pain to go through your day. Some of the options you can employ to this effect are mentioned below.

  1. Medications to prevent a migraine attack: The medications mentioned here are specialized treatments and can only be taken after a consultation with a doctor. If you are deemed as a candidate for preventative medication for migraines, then either one or a combination of drugs from the following may be prescribed to you.
    • Valproate and Topiramate are anti-seizure medications which can be used to prevent migraines.
    • Propranolol, a type of beta blocker and used for cardio vascular problems, has proven to be very effective in preventing migraines.
    • Onabotulinumtoxin A or a type of Botox, has shown a lot of promise in preventing migraines and is being slowly rolled out as a proper drug as a treatment option.
    • Certain antidepressants have also shown to be quite effective in reducing the symptoms of migraines as well.
  2. Medications to relieve pain: Some of the go to medications that help relieve your pain from migraine are mentioned below. Although some of them are OTC (over the counter) drugs, it is best advised that you consult with your doctor for medications which suit you better. The side effects of these medications can be bad and thus, it is not advised to continue them in the long run and to find other means to control pain from migraines. Some of the medications to relieve pain temporarily are:
    • Triptan is a drug used to treat severe migraines
    • Caffeine along with Ergotamine can also help dull the pain and deal with it.
    • Ibuprofen and aspirin and Acetaminophen are common pain killers that you can use
    • Codeine, which contains opioids are also used to treat this problem.
    • Metoclopramide and chlorpromazine are two examples of anti-nausea medications as vomiting along with nausea may frequently accompany your migraine.

Always remember that these medications can have strong side effects if not taken properly, therefore do not just pop a pill, consult your physician first and know which one should you take and how frequently. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can ask a free question.

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