According to Mayo Clinic, milder migraine headaches can be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or pain relievers such as aspirin or acetaminophen. Indomethacin, a prescription pain reliever, is also sometimes effective at treating mild migraines. Triptans such as rizatriptan, sumatriptan and zolmitriptan, available as pills or nasal sprays, treat severe migraines by constricting blood vessels and closing pain pathways in the brain.
Although less effective than triptans, drugs combining ergotamine and caffeine are often used to treat migraine pain that lasts for more than 48 hours, according to Mayo Clinic. Narcotics are sometimes used as a last resort by migraine sufferers who are unable to use triptans or ergots. Additionally, glucocortoids such as prednisone and dexamethasone may be used in conjunction with other migraine treatments to provide optimum pain relief. Anti-nausea medications such as prochlorperazine or chlorpromazine are often prescribed to alleviate the nausea that frequently accompanies migraines.
Although the causes of migraines are unknown, many migraines are triggered by external factors such as emotional stress, consuming caffeine, eating certain foods, beverages and food additives, changing weather conditions, changes in sleep patterns, skipping meals, menstrual periods and fatigue, according to WebMD. Medical conditions associated with migraines include hypertension, chronic fatigue syndrome, stroke and asthma.