Migraine and Cluster Headache Medications Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Migraine and Cluster Headache Medications article.

Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Abortive: Tending to cut short the course of a disease, as in abortive polio (polio cut sh...

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Absenteeism: The frequent absence from work or other duty without good reason. See also: P...

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Acetaminophen: A nonaspirin pain reliever or analgesic. Acetaminophen may be given alone t...

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Affinity: In immunology, the strength of binding interaction between antigen and antibody ...

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Alkaloid: A member of a large group of chemicals that are made by plants and have nitrogen...

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Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system ...

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Amitriptyline: An antidepressant medication. In some patients with depression, abnormal l...

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Analgesic: A drug that relieves pain.

Angina: Chest pain due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. The pain is ...

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Antidepressants: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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Atherosclerosis: A process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-...

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Basilar: Located at or near the base of a structure, especially the base of the skull.

Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Caffeine: A stimulant compound found naturally in coffee, tea, cocoa (chocolate), and kola...

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Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is ...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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Cluster: In epidemiology, an aggregation of cases of a disease or another health-related c...

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Cluster headache: A distinctive episodic syndrome of headaches. The most common cluster he...

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Congestion: An abnormal or excessive accumulation of a body fluid. The term is used broadl...

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Contrast: Short for "contrast media." Contrast media are X-ray dyes used to provide contra...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Dilate: To stretch or enlarge. Also known as dilatate.

Dilation: The process of enlargement, stretching, or expansion. The word "dilatation" mean...

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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Ergot: A fungus (Claviceps purpurea) that contaminates rye and wheat and that produces sub...

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Eskalith: See: Lithium.

Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Hemiplegic: Pertaining to hemiplegia (paralysis of one side of the body.)

High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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Hypertension: High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceedi...

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Imitrex: Brand name for sumatriptan, a triptan drug for the treatment of migraine.

Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Lithium: A naturally occurring salt that, in purified form, is used to treat certain psych...

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MAOI: Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor.

Migraine: Usually, periodic attacks of headaches on one or both sides of the head. These ...

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Migraine headache: The most common type of vascular headache involving abnormal sensitivit...

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Migraineur: A person who has migraine headache. Borrowed from the French.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitor: One of a potent class of medications used to treat depression...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Narcotic: 1. A drug that causes insensibility or stupor. A narcotic induces narcosi...

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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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Neurological: Having to do with the nerves or the nervous system as, for example, a neurol...

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Neurology: The medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders o...

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Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Paralysis: Loss of voluntary movement (motor function). Paralysis that affects only one mu...

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Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.

Peripheral vascular disease: A disease of blood vessels outside the heart. Peripheral vasc...

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Pharmacist: A professional who fills prescriptions and, in the case of a compounding pharm...

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Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Quality of life: The patient's ability to enjoy normal life activities. Quality of life is...

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Raynaud's disease: A condition that results in discoloration of the skin on the fingers an...

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Receptor: 1. In cell biology, a structure on the surface of a cell (or inside a cel...

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Runny nose: The production of extra mucus by the nose. Rhinorrhea is the medical term for ...

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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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Serotonin: A neurotransmitter that is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. Sero...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Stuffy nose: : The presence of increased secretions and mucus in the nasal passages, most ...

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Sumatriptan: A triptan drug for the treatment of migraine. Marketed under the brand name I...

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Taste: A perception that results from stimulation of a gustatory nerve. Taste belongs to t...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

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Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Thrombophlebitis: Inflammation of a vein that occurs when a blood clot forms.

Tinnitus: Ringing in the ears. Tinnitus has many causes, including some medications (inclu...

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Toxicity: The degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans or animals. ...

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Trigeminal nerve: The chief nerve of sensation for the face, which is also the motor nerve...

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Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Tunnel vision: Loss of peripheral vision with retention of central vision, resulting in a ...

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Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

Vascular: Relating to blood vessels. For example, the vascular system in the body includes...

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Vessel: A tube in the body that carries fluids. Examples of vessels are blood vessels and ...

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Zolmitriptan: A triptan drug for the treatment of migraine. Marketed under the brand name ...

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Zomig: Brand name for zolmitriptan, a triptan drug for the treatment of migraine.

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