Headaches are annoying, inconvenient and painful – but migraines are that much worse. Let’s explore the differences are between headaches and migraines and how we can help soothe them. Treating migraines with prescription medication might be the only way to stay on top of them so it doesn’t take days to recover.
Headaches VS Migraines
It’s important to recognize the difference between a headache and a migraine because this will help you get the relief you need faster. Headaches can cause mild to severe pain and are typically caused by stress, anxiety or muscle strain. Headaches are treated with over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin. Migraines typically cause intense throbbing on one side of the head, but can be known to affect both. Another indication that you may have a migraine is if there are other accompanying symptoms such as nausea, pain behind one ear or eye, vision loss, sensitivity to light or seeing spots/flashing lights. Additionally, some people experience “aura” before a migraine comes on – this is seeing unusual lines or flashing lights, tingling in the hands or an unusual sense of smell/taste/touch.
Symptoms really vary from one person to the other. For example, mood changes can often be a sign of a migraine – while some people will feel depressed, others will feel high.
What causes migraines?
We don’t fully understand why migraines happen but we do know that genetics and environmental factors are involved. People who suffer from migraines sometimes have certain triggers. Common triggers include hormonal changes in women (before or during their periods, during pregnancy or menopause), certain foods, drinks, stress, lack of sleep, changes in weather and medication.
It is best to try to prevent your migraines where possible. This might include making changes to your diet such as cutting out caffeine and alcohol and trying to reduce stress.
While there is no cure for migraines, there are treatments that can help you manage symptoms. Natural methods to help with migraines include acupuncture, massage therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and the use of herbs and vitamins. Many people who suffer from migraines also have low magnesium levels and so taking a magnesium supplement might reduce the frequency of attacks. B-complex vitamins are also known to help reduce frequency and duration of migraines.
Prescription medication is often necessary when treating migraines, especially if it is interfering with your daily life.
Amerge (naratriptan) – this drug narrows blood vessels around the brain and is used only for confirmed migraine headaches. It is to be used once the headache has already started, and not as a preventative.
Relpax (eletriptan) – this drug works in a similar way to Amerge by reducing substances in the body that can trigger headache pain and other symptoms. It should also only be used once the headache as begun.
Imitrex (sumatriptan) – Imitrex was the first drug in the triptan class that hit the market. It relieves headache pain, nausea, sensitivity to light, etc. It works best if taken as soon as possible to the appearance of migraine symptoms.
Maxalt (rizatriptan) – another drug in the triptan category, Maxalt is also usesd in treating migraines and the symptoms of migraines, by affecting the serotonin in your brain.
Zomig (zolmitriptan) – Zomig, with prompt treatment, helps you return to your normal routine as quickly as possible and should decrease the need for other pain reducing medications.
Triptans are highly effective in reducing symptoms and stopping migraine attacks. Each drug has slightly different formulations and can come in many different forms such as tablet, injection or nasal spray. There is no best one that suits everyone – its effectiveness and side effects vary from person to person, and so it is worth trying a different type if you weren’t successful with one of them.
These drugs can be conveniently purchased from an online pharmacy to save you money, generally buying prescription medication online is much cheaper than buying medication locally. While you should be doing everything you can to prevent migraine attacks (and you might want to try a few different methods), there is no reason to suffer when they do occur. These medications are extremely effective in treating migraines and will help you continue your daily life without too much interruption. If you suffer from severe and reoccurring headaches and you think they could be migraines then consult with your doctor about the diagnosis and get yourself and RX!