Migraine is unfortunately one of the worst kinds of headaches. It’s important to know what to take for migraines to make sure that your daily tasks won’t get affected. Prescription drugs can help prevent migraines respectively.
What Causes Migraine Headaches
Before we discuss what to take for migraine symptoms, let us first understand what causes it. Later on, we are also going to tackle some ways to prevent migraines as well as the things to do during a migraine attack.
Migraines are headaches that start moderately and gradually get severe. The main symptom is the throbbing pain in one side of the head. What makes it hard to deal with is the fact that it comes with other symptoms like sensitivity to light and sounds.
Up to its day, the root cause of migraine is still not fully understood by experts. But according to studies, the environment and genetics have a huge role in its occurrence. However, a migraine attack can be triggered by the following:
Changes in hormones are pretty common in women. A lot of women experience migraine headaches before and after the menstrual period as well as during pregnancy and menopausal periods. Some women even experience worse migraine symptoms after taking oral contraceptives and undergoing hormone replacement therapy. While some women claim that their symptoms were lessened afterward.
Excessive consumption of alcoholic drinks, coffee, and wine can also trigger migraine headaches. But some people get migraine attacks with just one sip. Some ingredients of alcohol are being blamed for headaches. For example, the ethanol in alcoholic drinks can be converted into a chemical that might trigger a migraine attack.
Most of our daily lives are filled with different kinds of stressors. These things could come from work pressure or home problems. Whatever the reason may be, only one thing is for sure, life issues do have an effect on our health.
A lot of people experience migraine symptoms due to extreme sensitivity to light and sounds. A strong smell is one factor to consider as well. The smell of gasoline, colognes, perfumes, and smoke could trigger a person’s migraine instantly.
Lack of sleep is one of the most popular causes of migraine. But beware as getting too much sleep could also put you at risk of headaches. Ideally, adults need at least seven to eight hours of sleep per day. Getting less or more than that often makes people feel sick even though they are not.
If there is one important thing that significantly causes migraine attacks, it’s the things activities that you engage yourself with. Excessive workouts and sexual activities are some of the physical factors to consider.
Whether we like it or not, changes in the weather are also the culprit to blame.
Unfortunately, medication is can also trigger migraines. Before you take a medicine, ask your doctor about its side effects, most medications have side effects that usually include headaches. If this is the case, ask your physician if there is an alternative so you can prevent migraines from coming.
Some types of foods such as cheese and processed foods are believed to have trigger migraines as well. Skipping meals and not eating on time could also cause you a severe headache.
So what puts you at risk of migraines? Below are the risk factors associated with migraines:
- Genetics. If you have a family member who has migraines, you will most likely develop them as well.
- Age. People of all ages are at risk of migraines, however, it tends to get worse at the age of 30.
- Gender. Due to hormonal changes, women are three times more susceptible to severe headaches.
Types Of Migraine
Migraine often comes in two different categories. The migraine with aura and the one without. So what are their differences? Migraine with aura is typically called classical migraine. This specific kind of migraine comes with sensory disturbances. Most of the time, these disturbances include light flashes, blind spots, and changes in vision.
Migraine without aura is usually called common migraines. This is a type of migraine that comes without a warning. Some cases of it are being linked to depression and anxiety attacks which occur hours before the headache.
What To Take For Migraine
There are plenty of drugs to take to manage migraine symptoms. You can even buy over the counter if you do not have a prescription. But just to be safe, It’s better to ask your doctor first before taking anything. Most of these drugs have side effects that you might not like.
Here is a list of the most used drugs for migraine:
Ibuprofen is well known to treat any kind of headache. Some of its popular brands are Advil and Motrin. Its side effects include rashes, swelling, and upset stomach.
Aspirin is also a good medicine to take for a migraine attack. But be cautious in taking it as it has plenty of side effects such as heartburn, abdominal pain, cramps, drowsiness, and gastrointestinal bleeding.
Naproxen is an over-the-counter drug with the following side effects; nausea, vomiting, rash, liver damage, and stomach bleeding.
- Sumatriptan Succinate
Sumatriptan succinate is under the category of triptans. It can relieve headache, pain, other symptoms of migraine. Sadly, it has its own drawbacks such as dizziness, heavy chest, nausea, and flushing.
Zolmitriptan is also a migraine drug that can promptly manage the symptoms. Its side effects are just the same with sumatriptan succinate. This drug can’t be used if the migraine comes with an aura.
Another safe drug to take for migraine is lasmiditan, it can be taken even with an aura though it has side effects as well. Taking this drug might make you feel sleepy, dizzy, and tired.
Rimegepant fall under the category of prescription drugs. It can manage a migraine attack but it has unpleasant side effects like UTI and allergic reaction.
How To Prevent Migraines
Since the root cause of migraines is still unknown, the best way to prevent migraines is to stay away from the triggers. Here’s how you can live a day without a migraine attack:
- Avoid loud noises. If you think that your migraine typically comes when it’s noisy, stay away from places that often produce loud music or sounds.
- Give attention to your meals. Red wine, chocolate, and cheese are some of the many foods that can trigger a migraine.
- Write it down. It’s hard to live day by day with headaches. If you have an appointment with your doctor, write down how frequent the migraine attacks and rate the pain from one to ten.
- Get ready. For women, if you think that your period is about to come, prepare yourself. Buy some over-the-counter medicines for headaches beforehand.
- Consider supplements. Migraines can be easily managed with medication. But in order to prevent it from happening frequently, getting the proper nutrition will help.
- Prepare for the weather. Hot weather often causes headaches. Prevent getting headaches due to humidity by avoiding outdoor activities.
- Get enough sleep. Make sure that you sleep for 7 to 8 hours a day. Moreover, don’t ever go to bed hungry. It would also help if you will drink a glass of water before going to bed.
- Avoid stress. Stress is quite inevitable, but there are some ways to avoid them somehow. For example, you feel stressed when it’s traffic. If possible, leave your house earlier when the traffic isn’t so bad yet.