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Anyone who has experienced a migraine knows they’re painful. These intense headaches can cause:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sensitivity to sounds
  • sensitivity to smells
  • sensitivity to light
  • changes in vision

If you experience sporadic migraines, the headache and symptoms may last only a day or two. If you suffer from chronic migraines symptoms may occur 15 days or more each month.

Treating Severe Migraine

Emerging research suggest there’s a small window of opportunity to stop the progression of molecular changes that result in a migraine. To do this, treatment must begin within 10 to 20 minutes of the appearance of initial symptoms. Another window of opportunity closes within one to two hours of headache onset. After this, the skin of the face and scalp may become hypersensitive to touch. It’s very important to begin appropriate treatment as quickly as possible for best results.

Numerous drugs are available to treat migraine. Over-the-counter drugs, like aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen are often combined with caffeine to combat mild to moderate migraine episodes.

Doctors may prescribe other drugs, too. Examples include:

  • antidepressants
  • blood pressure drugs (beta-blockers)
  • anti-seizure drugs
  • ergot alkaloids

Triptans, a class of tryptamine-based drugs, have proven quite effective at providing relief from ongoing migraine headache. Some herbal remedies, like feverfew and butterbur, have shown some promise in migraine treatment.

There are two main branches of treatment for migraine. Acute treatments seek to stop a migraine headache or to reduce its severity or duration while it is happening. Preventive treatments seek to keep headaches from starting. They also aim to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. When a migraine headache is in progress, ending it or reducing pain and other symptoms is of primary importance.

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