Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Migraine, an incapacitating neurological condition impacting millions worldwide. We know from experience that getting migraines can significantly diminish the quality of life for affected individuals. Although there is no definitive remedy for migraines, significant advancements have been made in recent years for effective treatment options.
In this article, we explore the different migraine treatments available from Oxford Online Pharmacy and provide a more detailed insight into each one to provide hope and relief to migraine sufferers.
Whether you have encountered occasional migraines or endured their unyielding grasp for an extended period, our goal is to provide valuable insights and empower you to make informed decisions regarding your well-being.
A migraine is a type of headache characterised by intense throbbing pain or a pulsating sensation, typically affecting one side of the head. It is often accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can persist for several hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it hampers daily activities.
Certain individuals may experience a warning sign called an aura before or alongside the headache. This aura may involve visual disturbances like flashes of light or blind spots, as well as other sensations such as tingling on one side of the face or in an arm or leg, and difficulties with speech.
Medications can be effective in preventing migraines and reducing their severity. A combination of appropriate medications, along with self-care remedies and adjustments in lifestyle, may provide relief.
Headaches and migraines are both forms of head pain, but they have some key differences. Here are the distinctions between the two:
Pain intensity: Migraines are typically more severe and intense than regular headaches. Migraine pain is often described as throbbing or pulsating, while headaches tend to be milder in intensity.
Symptoms: Migraines are often accompanied by additional symptoms beyond head pain. These symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light (photophobia), sensitivity to sound (phonophobia), visual disturbances, dizziness, and even aura (a warning sign that can manifest as visual disturbances or other sensory disturbances before the onset of the migraine).
Duration: Headaches usually last for a shorter duration, ranging from a few minutes to a few hours. Migraines, on the other hand, can last for several hours to days, with some cases even lasting for multiple consecutive days.
One-sided pain: Migraines commonly affect one side of the head, although they can sometimes occur on both sides. Headaches, in contrast, typically cause pain that is felt on both sides or throughout the head.
Impact on daily life: Migraines tend to have a more significant impact on daily activities compared to regular headaches. Migraine attacks can be debilitating, making it difficult to carry out normal tasks, while headaches generally allow individuals to continue their daily routines relatively unaffected.
It's important to note that migraines are a specific type of headache disorder, and not all headaches are migraines. If you experience severe or recurring headaches with additional symptoms, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.
There are various factors that can trigger migraines, which include:
Hormonal changes in women: Fluctuations in estrogen, such as those occurring before or during menstrual periods, pregnancy, and menopause, have been observed to trigger headaches in many women. Hormonal medications, like oral contraceptives, can also potentially worsen migraines, although some women find that their migraines occur less frequently while taking these medications.
Drinks: Certain beverages, such as alcohol (particularly wine) and excessive amounts of caffeine (like coffee), can act as triggers for migraines.
Stress: Stressful situations at work or home can contribute to the onset of migraines.
Weather changes: Alterations in weather conditions or barometric pressure can prompt the onset of migraines.
Physical strain: Intense physical exertion, including sexual activity, may provoke migraines in some cases.
Medications: Certain medications, such as oral contraceptives and vasodilators like glyceryl trinitrate, can exacerbate migraines in some individuals.
Foods: Specific food items like aged cheeses, salty foods, and processed foods have the potential to trigger migraines. Additionally, skipping meals can also act as a trigger.
Food additives: Certain food additives, such as the sweetener aspartame and the preservative monosodium glutamate (MSG) found in various foods, have been associated with migraine triggers.
Sensory stimuli: Bright or flashing lights, as well as loud sounds, can induce migraines. Strong odours, including perfume, paint thinner, second-hand smoke, and others, have been known to trigger migraines in some individuals.
Sleep changes: Both inadequate sleep and excessive sleep can be potential triggers for migraines.
Consider trying the following to manage your migraines:
If these strategies are unsuccessful and you are struggling to cope with or manage your migraines, there are medical treatments to help alongside doing the above.
Treatment options for migraines include:
It may be necessary to experiment with various combinations of medicines until an effective solution is found. Make sure you always follow the advice of a doctor or pharmacist.
Here we take a look at the different migraine treatments available at Oxford Online Pharmacy:
Each Sumatriptan Film-Coated Tablet, classified as a triptan medication, contains a single dose of sumatriptan, which belongs to the 5-HT1 receptor agonists class. This medication is used to treat acute migraine headaches in adults, with optimal results obtained when taken promptly at the onset of a migraine episode.
Migraine symptoms are believed to be partially caused by the temporary dilation of blood vessels in the head. Sumatriptan is thought to reduce the enlargement of these blood vessels, resulting in a reduction in headache intensity and alleviation of other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
Sumatriptan, which contains the same active ingredient, is a more affordable alternative to the branded product Imigran.
Vydura, the brand name for Rimegepant (pronounced Rim-edgy-pant) is the first migraine medication available to the market that can be used as a migraine preventative as well as a treatment.
Vydura is an effective form of migraine therapy suitable for individuals encountering migraines with or without aura. Additionally, it stands as the inaugural migraine medication designed for regular intake, every other day, with the purpose of preventing migraines in cases where the frequency exceeds four migraines per month.
Almogran tablets belong to a class of medications known as selective serotonin receptor agonists, which are employed in the treatment of migraines. By engaging with serotonin receptors and inducing their constriction, Almogran is thought to mitigate the inflammatory response associated with migraines.
Almogran is used for the treatment of headaches triggered by both migraine attacks with aura and those without. After taking the tablet, you may experience relief in as little as 2 hours.
Zolmitriptan tablets contain the medication zolmitriptan, which belongs to the triptan class of medications and is prescribed for the treatment of migraine headaches. Migraine symptoms may involve the temporary dilation of blood vessels in the head.
Zolmitriptan tablets are expected to reduce the enlargement of these blood vessels. As a result, they provide relief from migraine headaches and alleviate associated symptoms such as nausea or vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound.
It's important to note that zolmitriptan tablets begin to take effect only after the onset of a migraine episode and should not be used to prevent migraine attacks.
Zolmitriptan demonstrates equal effectiveness regardless of the timing of tablet ingestion during a migraine attack, although it is advisable to take it as early as possible after the onset of a migraine headache. Relief can be experienced in as little as 1-hour following administration.
Rizatriptan also known by the brand name Maxalt, belongs to a category of medications referred to as selective 5-HT1B/1D serotonin receptor agonists.
Rizatriptan is administered to individuals who are currently undergoing the headache phase of a migraine episode.
The purpose of using rizatriptan is to reduce the inflammation of blood vessels surrounding the brain. It is this swelling that gives rise to the headache discomfort associated with a migraine attack.
By acting within the brain, this medication effectively alleviates the pain caused by migraine headaches, along with other accompanying symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Rizatriptan can initiate its effects in as little as 30 minutes.
If you would like to discuss our treatment options in more detail or have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our trained healthcare team on 01295 262925. Alternatively, you can email us at [email protected].
*Prices are as of 18.07.23 and are subject to change.