shelf full of empty pill bottles

Fortunately, you have a lot of prescription treatment options when it comes to migraines, but the options can be overwhelming. Your doctor should go over each treatment option with you, but it’s smart to come armed with your own research before your appointment. Here’s an overview of some of the more popular migraine medications.

Popular Migraine Medications: What To Expect

There are two kinds of prescription migraine medication: preventative (to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines on an ongoing basis) and acute (to treat symptoms as they’re occurring).

Ergotamines

Ergotamines were the first class of prescription drugs introduced for migraines. Popular trade names are Migranal, Ergomar or Methergine. These drugs are available as pills, injections, suppositories, and nasal sprays. You take them at the first sign of migraine symptoms, and you can usually take a dose every 30 minutes until your migraine is gone. However, you can’t take ergotamines if you’re pregnant as they’re known to cause birth defects.

Triptans

Triptans are a newer class of drugs, and more frequently prescribed these days. Triptans, also available in pills, injections and sprays, work by raising your serotonin levels, which reduces inflammation. They work quickly and are extremely effective. Names you might see are Imitrex, Frova and Zomig, among others. triptans have light side effects, like dizziness and tingling. If you have a higher risk of stroke, you shouldn’t take triptans.

Opioids

If your migraine pain doesn’t respond to the other two classes of drugs or you can’t take them for other reasons, doctors will often prescribe opioids, like codeine or morphine. Opioids are effective, but highly addictive. They’re rarely prescribed, but maybe be a last resort if you aren’t able to take other migraine medications.

Beta blockers

Beta blockers work on your cardiovascular system and are a preventative medication that you would take regularly to decrease your migraine frequency before they begin. While effective, they can take several weeks to start showing improvement.

Aimovig

A promising newer drug, Aimovig, is a self-administered injection given once a month. Aimovig works by inhibiting a molecule known to cause migraine pain.

Botox

Yes, botox. Another preventative drug, Botox is administered by your doctor with injections into your neck and facial muscles. You would get the injections every three months or so. And Botox is covered by most insurance plans for migraine relief.

For more information, the Mayo Clinic has compiled a thorough list of migraine medication options.

Our Team: We are Here to Help

It’s hard to find your triggers. It’s hard to find the right medication combination that really helps you get better. We want to help. We are a small, dedicated app development team with an app that helps you better understand your migraines and triggers. Everyone on the team has lived with migraines at some point in their lives. We are your community. Reach out any time with questions. We love questions. team@migraineinsight.com.

Track Your Triggers

Get the Migraine Insight Tracker – iOS App Store