How to Cope with a Migraine Attack

Administrator


Migraine attacks may be common, but can be very painful. A person who suffers from migraine attacks can experience multiple attacks through the years. Each attack can last anywhere between 4 to 12 hours, with some attacks shorter or longer.

While it is still unclear what exactly causes migraines, there are ways to reduce both frequency and severity of your attacks:

shutterstock_127951493

PREVENTION

  1. Drugs and medication
    Patients with more than four attacks each month may opt for preventive therapy. Your doctor may prescribe beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, botox or pain relievers to help reduce frequency and severity.
  2. Identifying triggers
    Certain foods and beverages, including caffeine can help trigger headaches. Avoid preserved foods and those that contain tyramine such as aged cheese and fermented beverages.
  3. Minimize stress
  4. Hormone levels
    For femaile migraine sufferers, if you are using hormone-containing medication, speak with your OB-Gyn to check if these are contributing to your attacks.
  5. Get enough sleep consistently

TREATMENT
To effectively treat a migraine attack, your doctor may instruct you to take any of the following medications as soon as you experience early signs or symptoms:

  • Pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Triptans
  • Ergotamine and caffeine combination drugs
  • Anti-nausea medications
  • Opioid medications
  • Glucocorticoids (prednisone, dexamethasone)

Resting or sleeping in a dark room, along with medication, can also help alleviate pain.

Before settling on a treatment program, it is important to speak to your doctor to ensure that the medications prescribed are recommended for your individual needs. Speak to your doctor if symptoms persist and/or if you feel your prescribed regimen is not working for you.

Sources:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/migraine
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/basics/treatment/con-20026358