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Migraine medicines such as Sumax, Cefaliv, Cefalium, Aspirin or paracetamol, can be used to stop a moment of crisis. These remedies work by blocking pain or reducing blood vessel dilation, thus controlling migraine symptoms, but should only be used under medical advice.
However, it is very important to treat migraine, which should be gradual and include other techniques in addition to medication, so that it is possible to avoid the excessive use of medication and prevent the appearance of new attacks. See the main forms of migraine treatment.
The most suitable doctor to guide the treatment and use of these medications is the neurologist, after evaluating the symptoms and identifying which type of migraine the person has.
Medicines to take during crisis
Migraine medications should be prescribed by a doctor after identifying the type of migraine a person has. It is also important to remember that the treatment should always be done gradually and under medical supervision, to avoid the use of medication:
- Analgesics or anti-inflammatories: such as aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen or indomethacin;
- Ergotamines: like Cefaliv or Cefalium, for example;
- Triptanes: such as Zomig, Naramig or Sumax, which constrict blood vessels and block pain;
- Antiemetics, such as metoclopramide, which are used for nausea caused by migraine and are often combined with other medications;
- Corticosteroids, such as prednisone or dexamethasone, which can be used in combination with other medications;
- Opioids, such as codeine, which are commonly used in people who cannot take triptans or ergotamine.
In addition to using the remedies prescribed by the doctor, during a migraine attack, it is important to avoid any type of stimulus, looking for a quiet, dark, noise-free and peaceful place.
Remedies to prevent crisis
People who have more than 2 to 3 disabling migraine attacks per month, that is, attacks that prevent them from performing daily activities or that do not respond to treatment, should consult a neurologist to initiate preventive treatment.
Medicines used in the preventive treatment of migraine can reduce the frequency, intensity and duration of attacks and can increase the effectiveness of medications used to treat migraine. The most used drugs in preventive treatment are:
- Medicines used in cardiovascular diseases, such as propranolol, timolol, verapamil or lisinopril;
- Antidepressants, by altering the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters, with amitriptyline being the most used;
- Anti-convulsants, which seem to reduce the frequency of migraines, such as valproate or topiramate;
As a way of helping with preventive treatment, the doctor may also suggest that the person keep a "migraine diary", to help identify the factors that lead to the onset of attacks and avoid them.
Main side effects
Migraine medications are very helpful in controlling headaches, but they can cause unpleasant symptoms. The most common side effects that can be caused by the most commonly used migraine medications are:
- Triptanes: Nausea, dizziness and muscle weakness;
- Dihydroergotamine: Nausea and altered sensitivity of fingers and toes;
- Ibuprofen, Aspirin and Naproxen: Used over long periods of time, may cause headache, stomach ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders;
- Ergotamines: increased blood pressure, palpitations and pallor.
If the person has some of these unpleasant effects, the doctor can evaluate the possibility of changing the dose or recommend another medication that has the same positive effect, but not the negative effect.
Who should not take it
All medicines have contraindications and, therefore, it is very important to consult a doctor before starting to use them. Most medications indicated for migraine can be discouraged in the case of pregnant and breastfeeding women, in addition to having to be very well evaluated in people with hypertension, heart problems, cerebral ischemia, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity.