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How do you treat a migraine headache?

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Migraine headaches cannot be cured, but patients can take pain-relieving medications and preventative medications to treat the symptoms of a migraine headache, explains Mayo Clinic. Pain medications are used to minimize pain once a migraine has started, whereas doctors prescribe preventative medications to reduce the frequency or severity of migraines.

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Home remedies for migraine headaches include muscle relaxation exercises such as meditation or yoga, an adequate amount of sleep and rest in a dark, quiet room, according to Mayo Clinic. Some patients keep a headache diary to identify common triggers.

Pain-relieving medications for migraine headaches include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin, Advil, Tylenol or ibuprofen, according to Mayo Clinic. Pain relievers with a combination of caffeine, aspirin and acetaminophen are also recommended to treat the symptoms of a migraine headache. Prescription medications for treating the pain of migraine headaches include triptans, which work to block pain pathways in the brain and constrict blood vessels. Triptans are available in tablet form or as nasal sprays.

Some physicians recommend anti-nausea medications to treat vomiting and nausea associated with migraine headaches, explains Mayo Clinic. Opioid medications, which are narcotics, are also used to treat migraines when individuals do not respond to triptans. Glucocorticoids can also be taken in conjunction with migraine medication to relieve pain. Preventative medications include antidepressants, cardiovascular drugs such as beta blockers and anti-seizure drugs.

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