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How can I prevent migraines?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner
Migraine headaches consist of moderate to severe throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. To avoid migraine headaches, you can do several things. It is also important to make sure that you follow your doctor's advice for treatment, take your prescribed medications, eat at least three meals a day, exercise, get enough sleep every night and avoid excessive activity. Stay away from things that can trigger migraine headaches. Sensitivity to light, smell, sound, and certain foods can all induce a migraine headache. So, it is a good idea to avoid situations and foods that may encourage migraines.
People who have chronic migraines often use preventative treatments to try to avoid them.

Doctors have found that using some medications for something they were not originally made for (off-label) can be very effective in relieving migraine symptoms.

Antidepressants are frequently prescribed to prevent migraines. There appears to be a connection between migraines and serotonin, which is a brain chemical that regulates your mood. Using a drug to increase serotonin levels seems to be quite effective in regulating both migraines and mood. Cyproheptadine, which is an antihistamine, is known for helping to regulate serotonin levels.

Serotonin is a vasoconstrictive chemical, which means that it makes your blood tissues and vessels shrink. Many doctors believe that using antidepressant drugs to increase your serotonin levels will help you avoid inflammation of your brain tissues and vessels. However, these medicines are not recommended for people with vascular disease, coronary disease or high blood pressure because the drugs can narrow the coronary arteries.

Anti-seizure medications also are a treatment possibility, although these are usually saved for use until other treatments have been ruled out. These medications work by blocking the neurotransmitters that begin migraine attacks.

Continue Learning about Migraine Headache Prevention

Does Stress Contribute to Migraine?
Does Stress Contribute to Migraine?
How Common Are Migraines?
How Common Are Migraines?
Are There Certain Types of Exercise That Are Better Than Others for Migraine?
Are There Certain Types of Exercise That Are Better Than Others for Migraine?
How Important Is Routine to Controlling Migraine?
How Important Is Routine to Controlling Migraine?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.