A Quick Guide to Migraine Prevention Medication

The onset of a migraine often triggers an intense sinking feeling in sufferers. Although medications exist to alleviate symptoms such as severe headache, nausea, and light sensitivity, they are sometimes only capable of dulling the pain. Once a migraine starts, many people know they’re in for a very unpleasant day or so.   

The severity of many migraines means they’re responsible for around 113 million lost workdays annually in the US, with few painkillers strong or effective enough for workers to avoid time off. With this in mind, many migraineurs are keen to prevent migraines from taking hold in the first place. Fortunately, there is a range of potentially effective preventative medications available on prescription and over the counter. To help you get to grips with the available options, we’ve put together a brief guide below:

Standard first-line medications

Medical professionals recommend a range of medications for migraine prevention (often referred to as migraine prophylaxis). Such treatments are typically available on prescription and suitable for people with frequent migraine attacks. They include:

  • TopiramateOriginally developed to prevent seizures in patients with epilepsy, topiramate is now a commonly used migraine treatment available in capsule form. It isn’t suitable for pregnant people or people with kidney problems. It may also reduce the efficacy of hormonal contraceptives and can cause side effects, including fatigue, nausea, and sleeping problems. 
  • Propranolol and timolol: Propranolol and timolol are beta-blockers often prescribed to treat high blood pressure. However, evidence shows they also offer prophylactic effects for some migraine sufferers. They aren’t suitable for people with heart problems, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They’re also associated with side effects, including pins and needles, fatigue, sleeping problems, cold hands and feet, and exercise intolerance. 
  • AmitriptylineThis first-line agent is an antidepressant offering moderate preventative effects for people with migraine. Amitriptyline is considered most effective in people with insomnia and mixed tension migraine and is generally well tolerated. However, it could potentially worsen epilepsy and particular heart problems and is associated with side effects, including sleepiness, constipation, dry mouth, and dizziness.  
  • Divalproex and sodium valproateClinical trials have demonstrated that these anticonvulsant medications have strong potential to reduce migraine frequency. However, they may produce worse side effects than the medications listed above, including nausea, tremor, weight gain, and liver toxicity.

Alternative supplements

Although the aforementioned medications may effectively reduce migraine recurrence in certain cases, some patients find the side effects too unpleasant to bear. Others may have too many contraindications or simply prefer to adopt natural solutions in the first instance. 

If you’re on the hunt for natural solutions to your migraines, we’ve got good news for you – there are plenty of gentle ingredients out there to keep pain at bay and boost your quality of life. These include:

  • MagnesiumResearchers and migraineurs alike often cite magnesium as the most promising natural supplement for preventing attacks. According to a review of randomized control trials, regularly taking magnesium supplements can reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks. One of the best ways to consume magnesium is via a specially formulated supplement like Root Logic’s Headache & Migraine Defense, as it includes a range of additional migraine-busting ingredients. 
  • MelatoninStudies show that melatonin may be an effective migraine prophylactic, with relatively few side effects. It is available over the counter, but the FDA does not recommend melatonin for any specific application.
  • Vitamin DAlthough scientists have launched few studies into the relationship between vitamin D and migraines, some researchers believe this widely available vitamin could prevent the frequency of attacks. It is worth noting, however, that research is in its early stages, and further trials must be conducted for conclusions to be drawn.     

Get a handle on your migraines today! 

If you’re on the hunt for a gentle and scientifically backed treatment to reduce the frequency of your migraines, look no further than Root Logic’s Headache & Migraine Defense supplements. Designed to tackle the very triggers responsible for migraine attacks, such as stress, this winning combination of magnesium, angelica root, organic reishi mushroom, and red mulberry will benefit people with all types of migraines and headache troubles.