Prescription Migraine Medicine List!

Migraines: A Real Pain for Many People

Do you get migraines? If so, you are not alone.Migraines affect approximately 29.5 million Americans. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association nearly 18% of women and 6% of men suffer from 1 or more migraines per year. Hmmm...according to those numbers, which sex is responsible for causing the most headaches???

Actually there are many causes for migraines. According to the Mayo Clinic these include:

  • Hormonal Changes
  • Food
  • Stress
  • Medications
  • Environmental Changes
  • And much more.

So what can you do? This article is aimed specifically at informing you about the prescription medication which is indicated for prevention and/or treatment of migraine headaches. I hope the information provided is useful. At the end of the article I have included links to some popular migraine prescription medication coupons and free offers. Check them out!

For more information on pain control, particularly through presciption narcotics, CLICK HERE for my article on Prescriptions for Pain.

PRESCRIPTIONS FOR PREVENTION

These medications are used to prevent migraine headaches.

They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is certainly so with respect to migraines. Several prescription medications are currently available that have been shown to reduce the frequency and/or severity of migraine headaches. These medications include:

1) Divalproex (also known as Depakote, Depakote ER or Stavzor): Traditionally used only to treat seizures, divalproex has been shown to reduce migraine frequency and severity. The original Depakote brand, sometimes called Depakote DR (delayed release) is now available generically at a substantial savings! The effectiveness of divalproex to prevent migraines has been demonstrated in clinical studies. For an example of one such study, click here. One advantage of the newer Depakote ER is that it can be taken once daily, as opposed to twice daily with the original Depakote or Stavzor.

Possible Side Effects: Nasea, vomiting, indigestion, diarrhea, drowsiness, dizziness, asthenia (weakness), tremor, hair loss, pancreatitis, hepatotoxicity, skin rash,

2) Propranolol (also known as Inderal or Inderal LA): Propranolol is typically used to reduce blood pressure and belongs to a family of medications known as "beta blockers". Propranolol is available generically and is relatively inexpensive. The "LA" (long acting) form is also available generically and can be taken once daily. Propranolol has been studied for migraine prevention for over 30 years, and recent studies continue to support the usefulness of this medication for prevention of migraine headaches.

Possible Side Effects: Drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, short-term memory loss, visual disturbances, vivid dreams or nightmares, decreased libido.

3) Topiramate (also known as Topamax): Topiramate is another prescription medication for preventing migraines which was traditionally used to treat seizures. A large study documented the effectivenss of topiramate to reduce monthly migraine frequency by nearly 50%. This therapy is not approved for use in children.

Possible Side Effects: Drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, difficulty with memory, weight loss, nervousness, and speech difficulty.

A Few Other Prescription Medications which are sometimes used (though not FDA approved) to prevent migraines are:

  • Amitriptyline
  • Atenolol
  • Diltiazem
  • Doxepin
  • Verapamil

4. BOTOX INJECTION:

Beginning October 15, 2010 the makers of Botox can market their injectable product for the prevention of CHRONIC of migraine headaches! This is a novel approach, and may prove effective for some patients. Botox is manufactured by Allergan Pharmaceuticals. Botox is a potent neurotoxin produced by certain bacteria. It has been used for other medical and cosmetic purposes. It has been used wihouth "official" approval for migraines for over 10 years. Dr. Merle Diamond of Chicago says this: “Does it work for everybody? No. And we certainly don't know about its safety for pregnant women. But we are excited for our patients and think it gives them more options.”

For more information of Botox Injection for Migraine CLICK HERE.

PRESCRIPTIONS FOR TREATMENT

These medications are used to treat migraine headaches:

Sumavel "needle-free" injection

Prescription medications approved to treat an active migraine headache can be generally divided into two groups: Ergotamines and "Triptans" (a family of prescription medications specifically targeting migraine headaches).

ERGOTAMINES:

The mechanism by which this family of medications work is not fully understood. They are thought to stimulate receptors in blood vessels responsible for constriction. Examples of this type of medication include the prescription nasal spray Migranal, Ergomar, and Caffergot tablets (ergotamine and caffeine combination).

Possible Side Effects of Ergotamines include: Nausea and vomiting. Migranal nasal spray can also cause: throat & nasal irritation, nasal congestion, burning, and dryness.

TRIPTANS:

The discovery of this family of medications to treat migraine headache literally revolutionized migraine therapy. They work by very specific stimulation of seratonin receptors (known as 5HT1-D receptors) in the brain causing a reduction in both inflammation and vasodilation. A host of prescription "triptans" are currently available on the market and include:

  • Amerge (now available GENERICALLY!)
  • Axert
  • Frova
  • Imitrex (injections, tablets and nasal spray - Note: tabs & spray available generically!)
  • Maxalt & Maxalt MLT (rapidly dissolving tablets) - Available generically too!
  • Sumavel Dosepro (a new needle-free injection of sumatriptan approved in July 2009). This new technology delivers the sumatriptan directly throught the skin using a burst of pressure when the device is activated. This allows for rapid and worry-free relief!
  • Treximet (the newest addition, which combines the active ingredient of Imitrex along with the pain reliever called "naproxen"
  • Zomig, Zomig ZMT, and Zomig Nasal Spray

Possible Side Effects from Triptans Include: Dizziness, lightheadedness, muscle cramps, nausea, vomting, and fatigue.

Since these "triptans" are amongst the most popular and effective treatments for migraine, I have included a more comprehensive list below:

"Triptans for Migraine" List

Brand Name
Generic Name
Dosage form(s)/Strengths
Usual Dosage
Generic Available?
Axert
almotriptan
Tablets: 6.25mg, 12.5mg
1 tablet - may repeat in 2 hours if necessary
No
Relpax
eletriptan
Tablets: 20mg, 40mg
1 tablet - may repeat in 2 hours if necessary
No
Frova
frovatriptan
Tablet: 2.5mg
1 tablet - may repeat in 2 hours if necessary
No
Amerge
naratriptan
Tablets: 1mg, 2.5mg
1 tablet - may repeat in 4 hours if necessary
YES
Maxalt/Maxalt MLT
rizatriptan
Tablets & Rapidly Dissolving Tablets (ODT): 5mg, 10mg
1 tablet - may repeat in 2 hours if needed
YES
Imitrex
sumatriptan
Tablets: 25mg, 50mg, 100mg Nasal Spray: 5mg, 20mg Injection: 4mg, 6mg
1 dose - may repeat in 2 hours if necessary
YES
Sumavel DosePro
sumatriptan
Injection: 6mg
1 dose - may repeat
No
Zomig, Zomig ZMT
zolmitriptan
Tablets & Rapid Dissolve Tablets (ZMT)
1 tablet - may repeat in 2 hours if necessary
No

Websites for Migraine Sufferers and Information

The following websites have additional information for Migraine Patients:

The Migraine Research Foundation - A great site filled with good information and resources for migraine sufferers!

The Migraine Resource Network

American Headache Society

M.A.G.N.U.M The National Migraine Association

The National Headache Foundation

Save Money on Migraine Medication!

Here are some online offers, coupons, etc. to save money on your next prescription for your migraine medication:


Depakote ER Up to $75.00: Save up to $75.00 with the Depakote ER Care Program.


Treximet $50.00 Coupon: Register here to receive a $50.00 coupon for Treximet. Great deal!!!

More by this Author


Comments 27 comments

cflynn profile image

cflynn 7 years ago from Ireland

Hi great Hub. My 5yr old suffers from migranes....sometimes when he refuses to eat and sometimes when he is stressed. He seems to be getting them less and less as he has learned to eat when he feels one coming on and to tell me as soon as he feels a little bit of a headache and we can get some paracetamol or ibruprofen into him. I really hope he can grow out of them??? do you have any info or advice re paediatric migranes?


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 7 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi cflynn,

Thanks! Migraines in children are especially challenging since most of the prescription medications are not approved for pediatric use (due to the lack of studies to prove their safety and effectiveness). For now, my advice to parents is:

1) Continue with moderate and appropriate doses of Tylenol (or, as you call it over the pond: paracetamol) and Ibuprofen

2) Watch for triggers and avoid them when possible (diet and environmental triggers especially)

3) If they get progressively worse (many do grow out of them) then consider seeing a specialist such as a Pediatric Neurologist.

Hope that helps...

Jason


cflynn profile image

cflynn 7 years ago from Ireland

Thanks

Im really hopig he does grow out of them


annaoj05 6 years ago

I was diagnosed with Chronic Migraines at age 2. 20 years later, I still have them. I also developed a daily headache at age ten. I manage extremely well I can put on a pretty good show to get done what I need to get done, and collapse when I have finished. I have tried every medication on your list including an inpatient protocol of DHE, except for the Sumavel Dosepro. So thanksful for another thing to ask my doc about. My doctors say I am still young enough to hope to grow out of them as things continue to change so I am hanging onto that. I was always told growing up I was the only one like me and the only child with migraines like mine. Resources like this really help to show that that is not the case and help to find support from ohters like yourself. Thanks for spreading the word about migraines.


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Dear annaoj05,

Happy to share the information. It sounds like you have had quite a long battle. As you have found, there ARE others like you out there and it can be helpful to connect with them and share stories and advice. I do hope your doctor is right and that you outgrow them in time. In the mean time, God bless and best wishes as you manage this challenge.

Jason


whcobb profile image

whcobb 6 years ago from Fort Campbell, KY

It is rather amazing because I have used many of these meds to prevent my migraines. Great hub.

William Cobb

"What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?"


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

whcobb,

Thanks for the comment! Great quote by the way!

Jason


Jennifer 6 years ago

Does anyone know of any good online support groups for teens and their parents?

My son just started the migraines this winter, following a couple rounds of the flu and respiratory infections.


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Jennifer,

I was going to check with some folks in the Migraine group on Facebook. Then I noticed you already posted there! :)

I hope you find a good group. If so, please feel free to leave a link here for others.

Sincerely,

Jason


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Karen,

Good question. Tramadol (brand name Ultram) is not referred to here because, although useful for pain, it is not specificially indicated for migraines. That does not mean it isn't used for migraines, as many pain medications can be used to treat migraine headaches. But the focus of this article was just those drugs specifically indicated (by the FDA) for the treatment of migraines. I do mention tramadol in a more general article on "pain" : http://hubpages.com/health/Prescriptions-for-Pain


Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Nice and well written hub which i enjoyed reading from.


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Thanks sun-girl!


Roy Perrin profile image

Roy Perrin 5 years ago from Jacksonville, NC

My wife has suffered from debilitating migraines for years and the most effective preventive that we've found has been the liberal use of BOTOX. There is an "experimental" surgery that can be done for the treatment of migraines, but it's still a bit risky from what I've read. What are your thoughts about the surgery? Also, if "Botox can market their injectable product for the prevention of CHRONIC of migraine headaches" does that mean that insurance will start to cover the cost of the injections and Botox itself? At nearly $1K every three months or so, I can't afford to keep my wife's migraines under control!!!


eugbug profile image

eugbug 5 years ago from Ireland

Interesting Hub!

The use of Botox and the system for injecting sumatriptan under the skin using pressure is news to me.

I have used a product for over twenty years available in Europe called Syndol. It is paracetamol based but includes the ingredient doxylamine succinate. This is a muscle relaxant/ sedative / antihistamine and is very effective at treating migraine and the sometimes accompanying tension headache.


vikrant chilate 4 years ago

my question, what is the benefite of rizatripton benzoate compaire to other drug use in migraine


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 4 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Vikrant,

Not much different. Maxalt offers a fast acting "MLT" tablet. Otherwise, like the others, it will provide relief within 2 hours for about 70% of patients.


Suleman 4 years ago

Batteling with migraine for 8years now and am on cafergot. But it doesn't seem to work out for me anymore so am thinking of trying excederin or tylenol1000mg.


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 4 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Suleman,

Sometimes we just sort of become "immune" to meds we have been using for a while. May be time for a switch. Always consult with your own physician when making changes. Best wishes.


mangalge. m.g 4 years ago

Sir Last 45years I have suffering migrane piane i am 52 years old Please suggest me powerful without side effect medicine or treatment


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 4 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

mangalge,

Any medicine which has "good" effects may also have some unwanted "side" effects. However, the medicines I mention in this article have been used by many people very successfully. Best wishes.


Brandi 4 years ago

Dear Pharmacist- Hub Author,

I have been suffering from migraines since I was 6 or 7 years old. I am now 27 years old. The problem i'm having is my new health insurance not covering my Trximet anymore. Treximet works great for me, gets rid of my migraine within 30 or 45 minutes, which is great! Do you know of anything like Treximet that United Healtcare may cover? I was told it was going to cost $233.00 for 9 pills.. crazy! I have 2 pills left now, time to try something else.


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 4 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Brandi,

Ask your doctor for generic Imitrex. And take, with his/her permission, the generic Imitrex with 2 tablets of Aleve (OTC). Same as Treximet. Exactly. Best wishes.


Carebare 4 years ago

I have suffered from migraines since I was about 10 years old I am 22 now. I have tried a lot of different medications, some made my migraine worse and some just didn't do a thing. My doctor gave me Trexmit to try out, thankfully I haven't had to use it quite yet. In the event that Trexmit does not work for me, what should I ask my doctor about next?


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 4 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Carebare,

Allow me to pass along an article I was just reading today. Maybe it will provide you with some material to talk to your doctor about: http://www.pharmacynewsflash.com/masspharmacists/S...


Tad 4 years ago

I was just wondering what will trigger migraines?? I'm 33 & I have been suffering from them since the second grade.


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 4 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Tad,

Check out this great list of triggers: http://uhs.berkeley.edu/home/healthtopics/pdf/trig...


do u need too get blood work done with migraine meds 2 years ago

Do u need too get blood work done with the mediation ur on for migraine

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