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How do I treat a migraine headache with nausea?

Dawn Marcus
Neurology
Anti-nausea drugs, or anti-emetics, may be helpful to add to analgesics or other acute headache treatment when nausea is a major problem. Aggressive treatment of nausea may be critical to the success of your treatment program, because anti-nausea therapy can also improve stomach emptying. During a migraine episode, and even when you're not having a migraine, stomach emptying is slower in people with migraine. This condition, called gastroparesis, causes recently consumed food, stomach juices, and medications to remain in the stomach. This can worsen your nausea and make your medications work more slowly, because it takes longer for the medications to get into your system. For this reason, the anti-nausea drug metoclopramide (Reglan), which also helps speed stomach emptying, can reduce nausea and help your other migraine drugs work better and faster.
The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

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The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

Migraines are a common, controllable type of headache that affects one in every six women, more than 20 million in the United States alone. The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit helps readers take charge of...

If nausea occurs early in the course of the migraine attack it is better to take anti-nausea medications such as Reglan or Compazine along with migraine abortive treatments, such as triptans. It is also better to avoid oral route since nausea and vomiting may interfere with absorption of the medication. In this situation it is best to use nasal spray or an injectable form of medication.

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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.