If you suffer from the intense, throbbing headaches known as migraines, you join more than 30 million other Americans with this condition. Although prescription medications cannot specifically cure migraines, they can help remove the debilitating symptoms and help prevent future attacks. Drugs known as triptans help reduce the dilation of blood vessels in the brain that often cause migraines to worsen. According to pharmacist Jim Morelli, they target serotonin receptors and also interrupt the chain of chemical events that lead to a migraine. The sooner a person takes medication designed to stop the progression of a migraine, the better the results seen.
For patients whose migraines do not respond well to basic over-the-counter painkillers or general prescriptions, some doctors also prescribe drugs used for other conditions that have been found to help. These include antidepressants, antihistamines, and anticonvulsants. In the case of antihistamines, these drugs help relieve migraine symptoms by counteracting the dilation and inflammation caused by histamines in the body.
Side effects of medications used to treat migraines depends on the type prescribed. While triptans may cause tingling, sleepiness, and chest tightness, tricyclic antidepressants can cause weight gain and dry mouth, among other effects. It is important to talk to your doctor about prescriptions that may be able to help treat your migraines. He or she can help you figure out the right combination of medicines needed to relieve your symptoms. Also, ask your pharmacist if you have questions about dosage or side effects associated with a particular drug. By using your American Health Advantage membership, you can save significant amounts of money on your prescriptions that will reduce your headaches and enrich your quality of life.