Migraine Symptoms and Relief Medications

pain head headache

Have you ever had a headache so unbearable that you can’t even get out of bed? Well, most of us did at least once! Unlike a typical headache, migraines are something much more than a brief pulsation on your temples. It can actually be more intense! Like other medical conditions, migraine symptoms vary from one person to another.

What is a Migraine?

Migraine is a pulsing or severe throbbing pain that occurs on one side of your head. Both sides of the head are involved in about a third of reported incidences, though. This condition includes the nerves in your head and the chemicals that “operate” your brain.

This is an illness that commonly runs in families. However, you can also get a migraine from environmental factors like heat exposure and light.

What are Migraine Symptoms?

Aside from the very painful throbbing, you may experience numerous signs and symptoms throughout a migraine episode. These include:

  • Extreme sensitivity to smell, touch, light, and sound
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Visual disturbances
  • Tingling on your face, arms, or legs

Even before the actual migraine episode, you may already feel some signs and migraine symptoms. These are called prodromes. Prodromes may come as early as a couple of days before the attack. Some of these include the following:

  • Frequent yawning
  • Increased urination and thirst
  • Neck stiffness
  • Food cravings
  • Mood changes that range from depression to abrupt euphoria
  • Constipation

Are there any Over-the-Counter Migraine Relief Medicines that I can turn to?

Yes, there are medications you can take during an episode. Over-the-counter medications are especially recommended for mild to moderate migraine episodes. These will give you some relief from the migraine, or at least make the painful phase bearable for you.

In some cases, taking these medications at the first sign of migraine symptoms can help you stop it altogether. Make sure to read and follow the instructions on the label for the proper way of taking your medicines:

  • Acetaminophen like Tylenol and local brands
  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin and local brands

Also, read our post about Risks of using ibuprofen

For a severe migraine, you may have to visit your doctor. He may prescribe medications like Triptans (also known as serotonin receptor agonists). These include zolmitriptan and sumatriptan. He may also recommend ergotamine derivatives like Cafergo.

Consider a “Migraine Diary”

A migraine episode can last from 4 hours to a lengthy 3 days. During this period, the severity of the migraine symptoms that come may also vary. If you frequently have severe migraines, it could be a good idea to keep a “migraine diary.” You can use this to log your migraine symptoms and thoroughly describe your experience for each episode. Bring this diary to your next consultation and discuss everything with your physician so you can work together to have the best approach.

In my previous post you can read about Cramps and Headache? These Meds Can Help