A range of treatments exist for migraine, ranging from preventative medicine, to over the counter treatments, prescription only medication and alternative therapies.
Many of those affected by migraine have developed strategies over the course of time that can reduce the frequency of their migraine attacks. These can include dealing with stressful situations through behavioural therapy, special diets, relaxation techniques or acupuncture. Endurance sports such as jogging or cycling can also be helpful in moderation. Sufferers can also talk to their doctor about prophylactic medication – treatment that is prescribed to help prevent an attack from occurring in the first place – options include beta blockers and calcium antagonists.
Over the years, there have been many developments in medication targeting migraine. These treatments can’t stop patients from getting migraine, but they can reduce the pain and other associated symptoms.
Many migraine patients choose to treat symptoms themselves with non-prescription medicines such as painkillers. However, migraines can actually be triggered by the misuse of the wrong type of painkillers. Patients who are thinking about taking medication for their migraine are strongly advised to consult a healthcare professional who will recommend an individualised treatment plan and be on hand to monitor the patient’s response to therapy.
Drugs called triptans, available since the nineties, have been designed especially for migraine attacks. In many, but not all of those affected, triptans alleviate the symptoms. They are, however, a symptomatic treatment, i.e. they can do nothing against the causes of the migraine. The attacks occur just as frequently as before.