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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Minimize stress
- 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.
- Get enough sleep consistently
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
- 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.