Migraine Treatments

At Simple Online Pharmacy, you can order treatments for your Migraine online, via our online doctor. Migraines can be an extremely dibilitating condition, which causes severe throbbing headaches. In addition to the headache, some people can suffer from nausea and increased sensitivity to light or sound.

If you have been previously diagnosed with Migraines by your doctor, we can prescribe you migraine medication that helps prevent the onset of a migraine / lessen the symptoms. Sumatriptan can reverse the changes which occur in the brain when a migraine occurs, to help prevent its onset.

Once you have completed the online doctor consultation, our doctor will review your assessment and prescribe the selected medication if it is approproate. Our pharmacy will then dispense and deliver your prescription to your door.

For more information on migraines visit the NHS choices website.

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Migraine

Migraine treatment options

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Overview

What are migraines?

Migraine is a common medical condition that is defined as a headache disorder. It is usually a moderate or severe headache that can also be associated with other symptoms such as feeling sick.

It affects up to 1 in 7 people and is up to three times more common in women than in men. It can occur at any age but is more common between the ages of 25 and 55.

There are several types but the most common type is called migraine without aura.

Some people suffer from migraines with aura. Aura is when people get specific symptoms (such as pins and needles) that happen just before a headache begins.

Chronic migraine is diagnosed if someone has a headache on at least 15 days a month.

Causes

Causes of migraine

Although migraine affects many people, migraine causes are not well understood. It is thought to involve a change in brain activity. This change can temporarily affect blood vessels, chemical messengers, and nerve signals in the brain.  

Migraines can be triggered by a number of factors. Triggers can be different for different people and include:

  • Head trauma
  • Hormonal changes (e.g menstruation)
  • Lack of sleep
  • Stress
  • Certain medicines (e.g hormone replacement therapy)
  • Emotional triggers (e.g stress, anxiety)
  • Missing meals or irregular meal times
  • Alcohol
  • Dehydration
  • Caffeine
  • Specific foods

The condition can be genetic. If you have a family history of migraine, you are more likely to have it yourself.

Treatments

Treatment of migraine

There are a number of migraine treatments and migraine tablets available. Typically people use painkillers, triptans or anti-sickness medicines. 

Painkillers

Many patients find painkillers effective at improving symptoms. Examples are aspirin, ibuprofen, paracetamol and co-codamol (codeine and paracetamol). These painkillers can be bought over the counter at a pharmacy or online from our shop. Our shop pages contain more information on who can and can’t take these painkillers. 

These are most effective if taken as soon as symptoms of an attack begin. Soluble versions of these painkillers may be more effective in migraine sufferers. This is because they are absorbed into the body faster than normal tablets.

If painkillers are used too often, in rare cases they can cause medication-overuse headaches.

Triptans

Triptans are a type of medicine prescribed by GPs. These are normally prescribed if a patient has tried over the counter painkillers but find them ineffective. 

Triptans are more specific for treating migraines than other painkillers like paracetamol. Generally, people are prescribed sumatriptan tablets first. A dose is taken as soon as a headache appears (not the aura). If symptoms improve but return, a second dose can be taken two hours after the first. 

Other triptans available include:

The above treatments are available in tablet form and they generally take 30 - 60 minutes to have an effect. 

Other versions of the treatments are available, such as nasal sprays or dispersible tablets. These are absorbed into the bloodstream quickly and may improve symptoms faster than the tablet versions. They can also be easier to take for people who feel nauseous during an attack.

Anti-sickness medicines

Feeling sick or vomiting are common symptoms during an attack. Many people find treatment with anti-sickness medicines helps alongside painkillers or triptans. Most anti-sickness medicines need to be prescribed by a doctor, but two are available from pharmacies. These are Buccastem M tablets and Migraleve Pink tablets.

Migraleve pink tablets contain codeine, paracetamol and buclizine. Buclizine is the anti-sickness ingredient. Migraleve pink tablets are available on our website and are also available in Migraleve Complete.

Preventive treatment

Preventive migraine medication can be taken daily to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. This type of treatment is prescribed for people who are severely affected by migraines. 

Examples of preventive medicines are:

  • Beta-blockers (e.g propranolol)
  • Amitriptyline
  • Topiramate

These medications are not available over the counter or from online pharmacies like Simple Online Pharmacy. Patients need to be medically reviewed by their GP for preventive treatment. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms because the benefits of treatment need to be balanced against the risks of side effects.

Other preventive treatments include:

Symptoms

Symptoms of migraine 

The main symptom of a migraine is an intense headache that causes moderate or severe pain. Generally, it occurs on one side of the head and can cause a pulsating or throbbing sensation. The headache may worsen with movement and can prevent you from carrying out normal activities. Typically, the headache lasts between 4 - 72 hours.

Other common symptoms that appear alongside these headaches are:

  • Being more sensitive to light and sound 
  • Feeling sick
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty concentrating

Migraines with aura

With this type, symptoms begin before the headache appears. These symptoms act as a warning that a migraine is about to happen. They generally develop over a short period of time and last less than an hour. Aura symptoms include:

  • Visual problems such as blind spots, seeing stars or flashing lights, tunnel vision and temporary blindness
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Dizziness 
  • Pins and needles
  • Difficulty speaking 

These are a common type of migraine, although they are less common than migraines without aura.

Symptoms of migraine can sometimes be similar to other conditions. For example, some aura symptoms can be similar to stroke symptoms. Sometimes a severe headache can be a sign of another medical condition that needs urgent treatment. 
The NHS offers advice on when to seek urgent care due to a headache. If you are unsure whether you are suffering from a migraine, or have not had one before, you should seek medical advice.

FAQ

FAQ

What causes a migraine?

The causes of migraines are not well understood. It is thought to involve a change in brain activity. This change can temporarily affect blood vessels, chemical messengers, and nerve signals in the brain. 

There are many factors that can trigger an attack such as stress, hormonal changes, alcohol, and missing meals.

How long can a migraine last?

If someone has migraine with aura, the aura stage generally lasts between 5 minutes and 1 hour. The headache stage of a migraine can last between 4 and 72 hours.

What happens during a migraine?

The main symptom is an intense headache that causes moderate or severe pain. Generally, it occurs on one side of the head and can cause a pulsating or throbbing sensation. This can prevent you from carrying out normal daily activities.

Other common symptoms that appear alongside these headaches are:

  • Being more sensitive to light and sound 
  • Feeling sick
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Diarrhoea

Some people get temporary ‘aura’ symptoms before the main symptoms appear. These include:

  • Pins and needles
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Visual disturbances such as seeing stars or flashing lights, temporary blindness, and tunnel vision
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Dizziness

What is the best thing to do for a migraine?

A migraine attack can affect people differently and there is no perfect approach to treating one. Many people find lying in a dark room or sleeping can help. The main treatments used during an attack are painkillers (e.g ibuprofen, paracetamol), anti-sickness medicines (e.g Migraleve Pink), or triptans (e.g sumatriptan, rizatriptan).

What is the difference between a headache and a migraine?

Generally, a migraine headache is a moderate or severe headache and may be more severe than another type of headache. Migraine headaches are usually on one side of the head and cause a throbbing sensation. Other migraine symptoms are possible such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and aura.

More information is available from the NHS on different types of headache, such as tension-type headaches.

What are the stages of migraine?

Some people may not go through every stage of migraine. The stages are:

  • Pre-headache (prodromal) - causes changes in mood, energy levels, and appetite before other symptoms appear
  • Aura - temporary symptoms such as visual disturbances and pins and needles
  • Headache stage
  • Resolution stage - people often feel tired after the headache and other symptoms resolve

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    Rizatriptan

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    Zomig

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    Zolmitriptan

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    Rizatriptan Orodispersible 10mg Tablets

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    Migraine Treatments Treatment Comparison