Menstrual Migraines Respond Favorably to Non-prescription Medication
Over the counter medications are the first course of action against menstrual migraines. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are effective for pain relief as well as relief of associated menstrual symptoms. But as with other non-menstrual related headache disorders, including headaches that strike men, over the counter medications may prove ineffective in some patients. In those cases, compound medicines, like extra strength aspirin or acetaminophen with caffeine, are a good next step.
These medications are taken preventatively by some women before their menstrual cycle begins. Women taking birth control pills can start taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatories on the nineteenth day of their menstrual cycle and continue taking them until the second day of the next menstrual cycle. The limited time of a menstrual cycle allows for the use of over the counter drugs with a reduced risk of gastrointestinal symptoms or the development of overuse or rebound headaches that they sometimes contribute to.
When over the counter medications don't yield results, there are other prescription options that can be tried. Beta blockers like propranalol, calcium channel blockers like verapamil, and anticonvulsants such as valproate have proven affective in treating menstrual headaches. They should be started within the first two days of the menstrual cycle. Menstrual migraine patients may seek relief from serotonin receptor agonists that block the onset of headaches. The use of ergotamine drugs has decreased for this use. Triptan has taken it's place since it targets the serotonin receptors but generally produces fewer undesirable side effects than other similar drugs. Triptan's primary drawback is its high cost, typically higher than even other brand name medications. Due to the role signals passed between serotonin receptors play in menstrual migraines, anti-depressant medication can be an effective treatment. In particular, those in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor group (SSRI).
Menstrual Migraines Relief Near You
Adequate care should be taken to insure the patient that an anti-depressant prescription to treat headaches is commonplace and not an indication of actual depression or any other mental disorder. Patients suffering from menstrual migraines, or any other headache disorder, could benefit by calling Miami Headache Institute today. We specialize in headaches and neurological disorders and can help you eliminate headache pain.