Bad migraines can be debilitating. These intense headaches sometimes leave sufferers in bed for days and unable to function normally. If you get regular migraines that affect your quality of life, then you'll want to find a way to deal with them.
While some migraine sufferers manage their headaches with painkillers, this doesn't work for everyone. If migraines are holding you back in life, then preventative medications may help. How do these medicines work, and will they work for you?
How Do Preventative Medicines Affect Migraines?
People usually treat headaches when they get them. They only take tablets when they actually have headache pain. Preventative medicines work a little differently.
These medicines aren't generally designed to deal with pain when you have a headache; they target the headache itself. You take these tablets all the time, and they work to reduce the number of headaches you get in the first place.
Often, these medicines weren't originally made to prevent migraines. However, enough past users have reported that the frequency of their migraines improved when they were on the medication. Some people who were prescribed anti-depressants or beta-blockers for other conditions in the past also noticed that they stopped having so many migraines. This led health professionals to prescribe the medications for migraines as well as for their original purposes.
Will Preventative Medicines Work on Your Migraines?
There isn't one preventative medicine that works for all migraine sufferers. If there were, migraines would be wiped out. You can't know if a preventative drug will reduce the frequency of your migraines unless you try one, and you may need to try more than one before you find anything that works.
The types of medicines used for this purpose are usually only available on prescription, so you'll need to visit your GP to see if you can take this route. Your GP will have extensive knowledge about preventative medicines and will be able to advise you on what might work best.
Keep in mind that you may not be able to take some preventative medicines if you have another medical condition or are in ill health. For example, beta-blockers are often prescribed for migraines because they prevent arteries from widening, which is considered to be a possible headache trigger. However, your GP may not prescribe beta-blockers for you if you have a condition such as asthma; beta-blockers can make asthma worse.
To find out more about suitable preventative migraine medications, talk to your GP.