Migraine and Cluster Headache Medications (cont.)
Mary L Windle, PharmD
Joseph Carcione Jr, DO, MBA
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
James H Halsey, MD
IN THIS ARTICLE
Migraine Headache Preventive Therapy
This type of treatment is considered for persons whose migraine headaches are frequent and/or severe enough to significantly alter their lifestyle. Physicians decide whether to start a migraine preventive medication on a case-by-case basis in consultation with their patients. Preventive medications are given on a regular schedule in order to decrease the severity and/or frequency of attacks. Preventive medications must be taken on a daily basis, even if the migraineur is not experiencing headaches every day. These drugs may take up to 3 months to significantly alter the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. In other words, a specific preventive medication cannot be considered a "failure" until it has been taken as prescribed for at least 3 months to little or no effect. The following medications are some of those used in migraine headache preventive therapies:
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