How to Prevent Migraine Headaches

If given the option, most people would prefer not to have to deal with a headache. Sufferers would be only too happy to know how to prevent migraine headaches from coming on and would be very willing to do all they could not to have any headache pains at all. At the very least, they would work to minimize the pain associated with the headaches. Chronic headache pain sufferers know that the intense pain can often have effects that remain long after the actual migraine attack is over.

There are several prophylactic drugs available that work to prevent migraine headaches from occurring. These drugs can help to prevent and eliminate headaches before they even start. Drugs like ergots and midrin are abortive drugs, which means they are administered once the headache is already underway.

Medications are not the only way to help avoid headaches, though. Taking an inventory of your lifestyle and choosing to make changes can help you avoid future headaches. For example, not drinking red wine, getting enough sleep, dealing with stress, and eating a balanced diet can all help you reduce the frequency of headaches you experience. However, most people in society are more willing to take medications than to make changes to their lifestyle.

There are a number of preventive medications available to headache sufferers. These preventive medications are classified as beta-blockers, channel blockers and prescription drugs. These preventive medications are often used to treat other medical conditions, and one of their "side effects" is that they are able to treat migraines and headaches.

Beta blockers are medications that are used for treating heart conditions such as angina and high blood pressure, but they have been found to be very effective in migraine prevention. Beta blockers work by preventing dilation of the blood vessels. It is believed that dilated blood vessels is one of the factors of migraines.

Channel blockers are another class of preventive medications used for treating heart conditions. Like beta blockers, channel blockers have also been found to prevent migraines. Channel blockers work by lowering or blocking the calcium that enters into the heart muscles. Calcium is necessary for the proper functioning of the heart, but too much calcium can become a problem. Channel blockers, in effect, reduce "heart action," which in turn results to fewer migraine episodes.

There are some anti-depressants that are used to treat headaches and migraines. Depression can lead to headaches so preventing it can also help relieve headache pressure. Two common drugs used for this purpose are Amitriptyline and Doxepin.

Sometimes, medications for preventing seizures are used as well, since it has been found that seizures and migraines have some similarities in terms of neurological features. Approximately 20% of those who suffer from migraines experience auras, which include a number of symptoms, including loss of vision and flashing light. Research shows that medications that prevent the build up of serotonin can help prevent headaches and migraines as well.

There is no cure all drug that works for everyone’s headaches. Thankfully, though, there are plenty out there that it is possible to find the right one to take care of your particular headaches.

Page Updated: November 12, 2016
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