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What are the effects of propranolol for headaches?

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Headache sufferers can take propranolol on a daily basis to prevent the occurrence of migraine headaches, explains Newport Beach Neurologists. Propranolol is one of two beta blockers that are FDA-approved for the prevention of migraines. The exact mechanism of action is still unknown, although experts believe beta blockers may prevent migraines by controlling the constriction and dilation of blood vessels.

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Patients can use several types of medications to decrease the frequency of migraines and reduce the severity or shorten the duration of headaches that do occur. In addition to beta blockers, some kinds of anti-epileptic medications and antidepressants can prevent migraines, says WebMD. In most cases, patients need to take these medications on a daily basis and should taper down the dose when discontinuing, rather than abruptly stopping the medication.

In addition to daily medications, chronic migraine sufferers can get injections of botulinum toxin or Botox, which can prevent headaches. Experts believe that Botox inhibits the transmission of pain signals and reduces the severity or frequency of attacks, explains WebMD. Patients usually receive Botox injections every three months, notes Healthline. If an attack does occur even when using preventive measures, migraineurs can use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or triptans to reduce the pain.

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