Treatment of acute migraine attacks.J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2000 Sep; 100(9 Suppl):S1-7.JA
Migraine headaches are a common medical problem that physicians frequently encounter in their practice. They can be disabling, leading to the individual's suffering if not treated appropriately and quickly. There is a variety of medications and treatment approaches that can be used to relieve pain and any associated symptoms. New medications have become available in recent years to aggressively treat migraine headaches. Called "triptans," these medications have been designed to specifically treat an acute migraine attack and can be effective if used early and properly. Many medications are also available to treat symptoms associated with migraines. Patient education, along with nonpharmacologic approaches, is an element of effective treatment. Biofeedback, relaxation, and physical techniques can be effective adjunctive options. Although nonprescription medications can be helpful initially, more specific treatment is often required. Opioids, phenothiazines, ergotamine, and the triptans are generally used in patients with difficult migraines. The newer agents, the triptans, offer new hope in aggressively treating this painful condition that often has an impact on individuals and their families.