Headache Migraine Information & Discounts
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Migraines are a type of severe headache afflicting almost 40 million people nationwide. Migraine treatments, and related tension headache treatments, encompass a range of medications, creating an extensive migraine medication list. Continue reading about the different types of migraines and treatment available and then browse discounts on the best migraine medicine for you.
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Headache Migraine Information & Discounts
What is a migraine?
A migraine is a severe headache characterized by an intense throbbing or pulsing, typically on one side of the head. While doctors and medical researchers once believed migraines were caused solely by the constricting or dilating of blood vessels in the head, they are now considered a neurological disorder triggered by genes responsible for blood flow.
Migraines are more likely to occur in women than in men and usually appear between the ages of 10 and 45. There is a strong body of evidence indicating that migraines may run in families. There are three main types of migraines:
Migraines without Aura
Migraines without aura are the most prevalent type of migraine, afflicting more than 80 percent of the population, and are known as the “common migraine.” However, even though there is no aura, vague indicators of a migraine onset may appear, including fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
Migraines with Aura
Migraines with aura, referred to as “classic migraines,” afflict about 20 percent of migraine sufferers. The symptoms of this type of migraine may begin anywhere from an hour to fifteen minutes prior to the migraine and may include any combination of flashing lights, blind spots, distorted vision, or temporary vision loss. There may be other symptoms including ringing in the ears, changes in taste or touch, or the detection of unusual odors.
Ocular migraine headaches (more commonly referred to as retinal migraines) are a subset of classic migraines and are marked by vision problems that affect only one eye, unlike a classic migraine in which the symptoms appear in both eyes.
The cause of retinal migraines is not known. However those who have this type of migraine have an increased risk of permanent vision loss in one eye.
Essentially, there are two ways to treat migraines: try to prevent the attacks or treat the symptoms once they occur. As such, migraine medicine is prescribed according to the conditions. However, there is no best migraine medicine that can be universally prescribed.
How can I manage migraines?
Managing migraine headaches requires knowing their symptoms and then combining medications with behavioral changes. Some people exhibit certain warning symptoms (called an “aura”) that indicate they are about to suffer a migraine, allowing preventive measures to be taken.
Migraines may have multiple triggers, and treatment revolves behavioral or lifestyle changes. Among the factors that can cause a migraine are caffeine withdrawal, consuming certain foods (chocolate, dairy, baked goods, MSG, meats with nitrates, or others), bright lights, hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, or alcohol, tobacco smoke, stress, anxiety, loud noises, and bright lights.
To help with behavioral adjustments, researchers recommend keeping a record of conditions prior to the onset of the migraine and discussing these with your doctor in order to create a treatment program that combines behavioral adjustments with the best migraine medicine available.
If preventive measures do not work, doctors may prescribe migraine-specific headache medication for pain relief, and a number of migraine medications are available that can help with this type of migraine treatment.
What are the different types of medications for migraines?
The migraine medication list is wide ranging and varied, and offers significant hope for those who suffer from migraines. However, care must be taken when using migraine medications, as serious complications may arise. For example, too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage, while too much aspirin or ibuprofen may cause stomach problems. In addition, overuse migraine treatment medications may render them ineffective and result in “rebound migraines” or they may cause serious health problems. While over-the-counter and prescription painkillers, such as those used in tension headache treatment, can help relieve the pain of migraines, these migraine treatments do not address the underlying causes of the affliction. However, there are some medications that work specifically for migraines.
One class of headache medication for migraines is ergot alkaloids (also called ergotamines). These medications constrict blood vessels, helping to relieve the throbbing pain that accompanies migraines. However, these medications do not prevent migraines.
Another type of blood vessel constrictor is the Triptan class. These drugs influence serotonin receptors, interrupting the string of chemical interactions believed to cause migraines. They are migraine-specific medications and may be as effective in preventing a recurrence of migraines as they are in providing relief from migraine pain. Migraine medications in this class include almotripan, naratriptan, and sumatriptan, among others. The costs for triptans have quite a range depending on the exact formulation, beginning at $20 and rising to over $400. However, discount programs and coupons can bring these down by 22 to 75%.
There are some blood pressure medications, anti-seizure medications, and antidepressants that can help prevent migraines, especially retinal migraines. However, because they are not formulated specifically for migraines headaches, they may require several weeks of trial and error to find the proper dosage for best effect.
What are the symptoms of migraines?
There may be three stages to a migraine headache – a precursor (aura stage); symptoms associated directly with the migraine, and post-migraine symptoms.
Aura stage symptoms include a dull ache that increases rapidly or slowly; throbbing, pulsating, or pounding pain; localized pain on one side of the head centered either behind an eye or in the back of the head and neck. These symptoms may last from six to forty-eight hours.
During the course of the migraine, the individual may suffer from fatigue, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, numbness or tingling, fatigue or weakness, chills, sensitivity to light or sound, sweating, and other symptoms.
Symptoms that may remain after the migraine has passed (known as migraine hangover) include neck pain, loss of mental acuity (a sense of feeling intellectually dull) and a need for more sleep.
Headache Migraine Drug Information
Migranal & Carergot
Migranal is an ergotamine nasal spray for relieving migraine pain. Costs for a single dose of Migranal begin at $175 and rise to over $200. Combinations of ergotamine and caffeine, such as Cafergot, are tablets prescribed for migraine treatment. Prices for Cafergot (and other ergotamines) begin at $20 and climb close to $35. Discount programs and coupons can reduce costs for all of these medications by as much as 79% to 83%.
Imitrex is a brand name migraine medicine containing sumatriptan. This is a triptan medication that may be used to control migraines with or without aurus. It is not used for migraine prevention. Get up to 87% off the cost of Imitrex or 75% off sumatriptan with our discount coupons.
The medications in this class include Dutoprol (a beta blocker), Nimodipine (a calcium channel blocker), amitriptyline (a trycyclic antidepressant), and divalproex sodium (an anti-seizure medication). The prices for these drugs start at about $5 but they can climb well into the hundreds of dollars, depending on the specific product. By using the available discount programs and coupons, however, these costs can be reduced by as much as 93%.