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Migraine – Overview

November 17, 2021


A migraine is a headache that can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation – usually on one side of the head, but it can occur on both sides. It’s often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, photophobia, and phonophobia. Migraines can last for hours, sometimes days, and can be really difficult to treat. The pain can be so severe that it interferes with people’s daily lives. Medications can help prevent migraines, minimize the severity of the symptoms, or even abort a migraine when it occurs. The right medication or combination of medicines can have a tremendous benefit. Migraine medication typically falls into two categories: preventative medications, which are aimed at preventing future attacks, and abortive medications, which are taken during a migraine attack and which the goal is to ameliorate symptoms or ideally stop the headache altogether. Preventive medications typically include both daily pills or pills taken multiple times per day, such as Topamax. They also include monthly injections, such as Emgality, or Botox injections for migraines, which is taken every three months. When someone has a migraine that lasts more than three days, they are in status migrainosus, which normally doesn’t respond to the typical abortive therapies or pills. Oftentimes the person needs a cocktail of medications, which includes IV formulations and therapies with different mechanisms of actions. These different treatments attack status migrainosus from different angles, whether it’s using a powerful anti-inflammatory and antiemetic drug or a nasal spray, such as Migrenol, which regulates the release of serotonin, they all work in concert to help give the person the relief they so desperately need.

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