Migraine

Migraines usually cause a moderate to severe headache, with a pulsating sensation on one side of the head.Migraines are different from headaches because they can cause nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Various triggers contribute to migraines, including stress, menstruation, fatigue, as well as certain foods and drinks.Numerous treatments are available for migraines due to their widespread prevalence, including painkillers and anti-sickness medications.A wide range of licensed migraine treatments are available online from our UK based pharmacy.

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What are migraines?

Those of us who suffer from migraines regularly understand when an episode is beginning.

Although there is no cure, a variety of treatments are available to provide relief.

Consider seeking professional advice if you have migraines frequently and don't know what's causing them.

The most common form of migraine is characterised by a severe headache along with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivities to light or sound.

It is more common for women to suffer migraines, which normally begin in early adulthood.

Approximately one in five women and one in fifteen men are thought to be affected by them. As people age, migraines typically improve, although sometimes they can become worse.

People with migraines experience varying levels of symptoms and their lifestyles can be impacted in different ways. A migraine can last for days at a time, involve severe pain, sickness, sensitivity to light and/or sound and occur many times per week. In contrast, migraines can occur only very rarely and occur months, or even years, apart and they are typically mild and short-lived.

In addition to having a high impact on your quality of life, migraines can also make it difficult to work. If you want to reduce migraine frequency, it is vital that you treat migraines effectively.

What caused migraines?

The cause of migraines is believed to be abnormal brain activity affecting nerve signals, chemical transmitters, and blood vessels within the brain. In spite of the fact that it is unclear really what causes the abnormal activity, many believe that your genes may predispose you more likely to suffer from migraines if you come into contact with a certain trigger factor.

Migraines are caused by a variety of triggers, and each sufferer knows which triggers are likely to trigger them.

Migraine trigger factors can include:

  • Stress, anxiety, tension, shock, depression, and excitement are all emotional triggers.
  • Dietary triggers include irregular eating patterns, poor diet, dehydration, alcohol, tyramine additives, caffeine (in coffee or tea), and specific foods such as cheese, chocolate, and citrus fruits.
  • Physical Triggers: tiredness, shift work, poor posture, neck or shoulder tension, jet lag, low blood sugar, strenuous exercise.
  • Environmental triggers: bright lights, flickering lights and screens, smoking, loud noises, changes in temperature or humidity, strong smells, a stuffy atmosphere.
  • Medicinal Triggers: some sleeping tablets, some oral contraceptive pills, some HRT (hormone replacement therapy).
  • Hormonal triggers: women may suffer migraine attacks around their period, possibly because of low levels of oestrogen.

What treatments are available for Migraines?

Despite their inability to be cured, migraines can ease over time or even disappear. The goal of migraine treatment is to relieve symptoms and, if taken early enough, to prevent their onset. Depending on the symptoms and severity of migraines, over-the-counter painkillers can be used as well as prescription treatment.

Painkillers

The throbbing headache associated with a migraine attack can usually be relieved by taking painkillers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, or aspirin as soon as possible. It is advisable to take them at the first sign of symptoms, not when you already have a headache, since they will be less effective at that point. Migraine pain may be relieved more effectively with soluble painkillers because they are absorbed faster.

In cases where simple painkillers are not effective, codeine-containing painkillers, such as Solpadeine and Nurofen Plus, might be more effective.

Painkillers should be used with caution, as overuse is dangerous. All painkillers can cause headaches and migraines if taken regularly.

Triptans

A Triptan will be prescribed to you if your migraines are uncontrollable by simple painkillers. When taken with painkillers, triptans (also known as 5-HT1 agonists) contract the blood vessels in the brain. Triptans help to alleviate migraine symptoms by reversing the widening of blood vessels in the brain, which is thought to trigger migraine attacks. Some of the chemical changes occurring within the brain during a migraine attack may be stabilised by them as well.

Despite having very similar modes of action, each Triptan can work differently depending on the individual. Despite the slight differences between the drugs and the side effects they cause, finding the right one for you is much more relevant. It might take trying a few different Triptans before you find the one that suits you best. In order to determine whether a Triptan is effective, The British Society for the Study of Headache (BASH) recommends using each Triptan on three separate occasions. Consider trying another Triptan or a stronger strength if you feel it isn't working.

Consider the method of administration when choosing the correct triptan, as this can enhance its effectiveness.

Triptans are available in tablet form, which is effective for most people. However, if you experience nausea or vomiting, you may find them difficult to take.

A tablet's onset of action can also be slower than that of other treatments. Therefore, it may not be a wise choice when a fast response is needed. It is advised that tablets are taken as early as possible during a migraine attack. This is because there is evidence that drug absorption may decrease during this time.

Where tablets cannot be used because of the need for fast action or when nausea or vomiting make swallowing impractical, nasal sprays or wafer melts may be better options.

You should check the individual instructions for each Triptan because each has a slightly different dose and way to administer it. It is recommended to take the Triptan at the onset of a migraine headache (the migraine attack phase), not during the prodromal or aura phases. Treating a migraine is most effective when triptans are taken at this stage. In most cases you can repeat the dose after 2-4 hours if the treatment was effective and the headache returns.

Triptans may be taken in conjunction with pain-killers and anti-sickness medicines for the treatment of all migraine symptoms.

Anti-emetics (anti-sickness treatments)

A migraine attack can be made more comfortable by anti-sickness treatments, such as Buccastem. In cases where nausea is a regular symptom of migraine, anti-sickness treatments should be started before pain medications. They are more effective in treating nausea and vomiting if taken early in the migraine attack.

Taking Buccastem will prevent nausea and vomiting and will help prevent symptoms. Buccastem is a buccal tablet, meaning that it dissolves between the lip and gum. This eliminates the need to swallow a tablet when feeling nauseous. It is easier for the drug to be absorbed through the gums, so it takes effect faster.

Can Migraines be prevented?

Migraine prevention begins with identifying and avoiding migraine triggers. In order to learn to avoid migraine triggers, you should keep a migraine diary. Below is a list of typical migraine triggers. There are other triggers that you may be sensitive to that are not listed. Migraine triggers vary from person to person.

It may be beneficial to seek preventative treatment from your doctor if you experience more than five migraine days in a month.

If you have frequent, severe migraines, you may benefit from treatment such as topiramate, propranolol or gabapentin, which can prevent migraines.

Consider making an appointment with your GP to discuss migraine prevention treatment and keep a comprehensive migraine diary to aid diagnosis.

We’re here to help.

Our friendly team is available to help Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm.

If you need urgent assistance, do not use this service. Call 111, or in an emergency call 999.

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