Migraine headaches are common, affecting 17% of women, and 8% of men. These headaches are defined by several characteristics and have many types of treatment. Migraine headaches are usually stronger on one side, have a slow throbbing character, and are often associated with light or sound sensitivity and nausea or vomiting. During attacks, people are often very sensitive to any stimulation, and often complain of their hair even being sensitive to touch.
Individuals who suffer from migraines often have a positive family history of headaches, and often are able to identify triggers that may precipitate an attack. Common triggers are menstrual periods, alcohol, chocolate, and some cheeses. Stress, lack of sleep, and a change in sleep patterns such as with a time zone change can all be triggers for migraines, as can seasonal or weather changes.
Imaging studies and examinations are typically normal in those suffering from migraines. The physician who treats you must spend time to elicit an accurate and detailed history, as most identifying characteristics are discovered here.
Treatments for headaches can consist of over the counter medications such as Tylenol, Advil, or Excedrin. Many prescription medications are available that have the greatest effectiveness. Medications have been developed that specifically binds with the 5HT2 receptor in the brain that is felt to be the migraine switch. These medications are called “triptans” as a group as their generic name all ends in these syllables. Sumatriptan (Imitrex), zolmitriptan (Zomig), almotriptan (Maxalt), eletriptan (Relpax) are all examples. There are also several medications that can be used on a daily basis to prevent or decrease the frequency and severity of migraines. Beta blockers and amitriptyline have been around for many years, more recently valproic acid and topiramate have obtained FDA approval for this condition. These last two medications are also used to treat seizure disorders, another condition where the brain appears to be over excitable.
**The next great thing is a class of medications targeting the CGRP receptor. These medications are taken daily and their goal is to limit both the severity and frequency of migraines. NervePro was involved in one of these medications that was very positively received by those who participated. There are several medications nearing approval that work on the CGRP inhibitor, and should be available by 2018.
The staff at NervePro has many years of experience in treating this condition, and can help make a diagnosis and develop an individual plan of attack to manage this condition. There are many treatment options, and it is rare that a plan can’t be found to help one’s suffering.
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