Migraine and Cluster Headache Medications (cont.)
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Migraine Headache Abortive Therapy
Abortive therapy for migraine headaches has improved over the last decade, and newer medications (for example, triptans) are very effective and act rapidly to treat the cause of migraines. Antinausea medications (for example, prochlorperazine [Compazine] or promethazine [Phenergan]) may be used for individuals who experience nausea or vomiting. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil or Motrin are available without a prescription. Other nonprescription choices include combinations of aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and caffeine (for example, Excedrin Migraine). Potent analgesic agents that combine acetaminophen or aspirin with barbiturates (butalbital), caffeine, and narcotic analgesics like codeine (for example, Fioricet, Fiorinal, Tylenol #3) may also be needed.
Mary L Windle, PharmD
Joseph Carcione Jr, DO, MBA
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
James H Halsey, MD
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Although migraine is a term applied to certain headaches with a vascular quality, overwhelming evidence suggests that migraine is a dominantly inherited disorder characterized by varying degrees of recurrent vascular-quality headache, photophobia, sleep disruption, and depression.