Treatment options for migraine patients

From the NYTimes:

"Migraines are notoriously tricky to treat. Those who suffer from these disabling headaches often try a dozen or so medications before they find something that works.

“What might be a miracle drug for one person could be a dud for another.” Be prepared for a multi-tiered approach.

Doctors typically prescribe a triptan drug or an ergot-related drug to help people control infrequent migraine attacks. There are 7 types of triptans. The best-seller Imitrex (sumatriptan) is available in an affordable generic version (the chemical formula is shown above). Triptans are far more popular, but many people who do not respond well to triptans do well with the ergots, such as D.H.E. (dihydroergotamine), Dr. Saper said.

If you have migraines at least weekly your doctor may prescribe a preventative medicine. “Prescription preventatives are grossly underutilized. They can be extremely effective for some people.”

Preventive medicines, taken every day, include antiseizure drugs, beta blockers and tricyclic antidepressants."

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NYTimes, Patient Voices: Migraine
Image source: Sumatriptan, Wikipedia, public domain.

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