The Top 5 Treatments for Migraines - Premier Neurology & Wellness Center (2023)

If you suffer from frequent migraines, you know that they are no joke. Therefore, when it comes to treating migraine symptoms such as pounding head pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound, you want something that is both effective and fast acting. However, part of the problem with treating migraines is that not all treatments affect people the same way. This can mean that you may need to try a few different things before you find something that works for you. This can also mean that you may need to switch treatments from time to time if something stops working. While there are a variety of migraine treatments, here are the top 5 most effective treatments for migraines:

(Video) How can patients manage their headaches and migraines?


While many people think that Botox is only used by cosmetic specialists for reducing the appearance of wrinkles, this is only one of its main applications. Onabotulinumtoxin-A is a neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum that can block signals passed from the nervous system to the muscles. When a small amount of this toxin is injected into the muscles on the scalp and temples, it can be used to decrease both the severity and frequency of migraines by blocking the chemicals responsible for pain transmission.

IV Infusion Therapy

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IV infusion therapy has been provided for years by emergency rooms to quickly and effective relieve severe migraine symptoms. However, sitting in an emergency room waiting room for hours with a migraine is usually the last thing you want to do. For this reason, many neurologist’s offices are now offering their own in-office outpatient IV infusion therapy sessions. These sessions usually last about two hours and use an intravenous catheter to deliver a cocktail of migraine medications designed to treat active migraine symptoms, as well as to prevent future migraines. And since these medications are delivered through an IV, results are almost instantaneous and highly effective at reducing a number of migraine symptoms.

Natural Remedies

There are some natural remedies that have been shown to decrease migraine symptoms in some people. For example, inhaling or applying lavender oil to the temples can reduce the severity of a migraine. Applying peppermint oil to the forehead and temples has also been associated with relieving migraine discomfort. Finally, ginger can be used to alleviate nausea associated with migraines, as well as to decrease the severity of the migraine. However it is important to note that while natural remedies can be helpful in some cases, they are usually not as effective as other migraine treatments.

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Prescription Medication

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If you have frequent migraines, your doctor may prescribe medications that are specifically designed for managing migraines. These medications are usually divided into preventive and abortive medications. Preventative medications help to decrease the frequency of migraines, while abortive medications are used to decrease the severity of current migraine. Prescription medications used to treat migraine headaches include triptans such as Sumatriptan (Imitrex), Zolmitriptan (Zomig), Rizatriptan (Maxalt), Almotriptan (Axert), Eletriptan (Relpax), Naratriptan (Amerge), and Frovatriptan (Frova). Ergot alkaloids such as dihydroergotamine (DHE) can also be used to relieve symptoms. In some cases, non-migraine specific pain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics can also be used to relieve symptoms.

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One of the best ways to treat a migraine is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. Some prescription drugs, such as tricyclic antidepressants, beta-blockers, calcium-channel blockers, and some anticonvulsants, are designed to prevent migraines and can be taken regularly to decrease the frequency of migraines. Additionally, there is also evidence that vitamin B2, magnesium, and CoQ-10 can be taken to reduce the frequency of attacks.

However, prevention also includes identifying, recognizing, and managing migraine triggers. For example, things like skipping meals, hormones, glaring lights, strong odors, high altitude, alcohol, certain foods caffeine, abnormal sleep patterns, and stress can all lead to a migraine. Keeping a log on what triggers migraines can help individuals identify possible triggers that may need to be managed.

(Video) Review of Migraine Treatment and Devices

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Dr. Kashouty, a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN), practices general neurology with fellowship trained specialization in clinical neurophysiology. Dr. Kashouty finds the form and function of the nerves and muscles the most interesting part of neurology, which is what led him to specialize in neurophysiology with more emphasis on neuromuscular conditions. He treats all neurological diseases, but his main focus is to treat and manage headaches, movement disorders and neuromuscular diseases.

(Video) At what age do people most commonly develop migraines?


What are the top 5 migraine medications? ›

Prescription medications used to treat migraine headaches include triptans such as Sumatriptan (Imitrex), Zolmitriptan (Zomig), Rizatriptan (Maxalt), Almotriptan (Axert), Eletriptan (Relpax), Naratriptan (Amerge), and Frovatriptan (Frova).

What is the number one treatment for migraines? ›

NSAIDS — or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs — are the first line of treatment when it comes to migraines. These include ibuprofen, which is known by the brand names of Motrin and Advil; and naproxen, which is known as Aleve.

What is the new migraine treatment? ›

The Food and Drug Administration approved the most recent, atogepant (Qulipta), in September 2021. Lasmiditan (Reyvow) is a separate type of treatment that targets the serotonin receptors on brain nerve endings to halt migraine attacks as they occur.

What is the best treatment for severe migraines? ›

Triptans. Prescription drugs such as sumatriptan (Imitrex, Tosymra) and rizatriptan (Maxalt, Maxalt-MLT) are used to treat migraine because they block pain pathways in the brain. Taken as pills, shots or nasal sprays, they can relieve many symptoms of migraine.

What is the new migraine medication 2022? ›

FDA approves QULIPTA™ (atogepant), the first and only oral CGRP receptor antagonist specifically developed for the preventive treatment of migraine | Abbvie. Qulipta (atogepant): Side effects (2022)

What medications do neurologists prescribe for migraines? ›

Migraine Medicine
  • Almotriptan (Axert)
  • Eletriptan (Relpax)
  • Frovatriptan (Frova)
  • Naratriptan (Amerge)
  • Rizatriptan (Maxalt)
  • Sumatriptan (Alsuma, Imitrex, Onzetra, Sumavel, Zembrace)
  • Zolmitriptan (Zomig)
Dec 20, 2022

Who is the best migraine specialist in the world? ›

Peter Goadsby is widely recognized as the preeminent clinician/scientist in headache medicine in the world,” says Dr. Charles.

What is the number one trigger for migraines? ›

Stress. Stress is the most common trigger of headaches and migraines. More than 70 percent of patients experience a high level of stress leading up to a migraine. During stressful times, people can experience tightening of the neck and shoulder muscles, and this pain can be felt in the head.

What is the fastest working migraine medicine? ›


Prescription triptan drugs can get rid of your acute migraines and cluster headaches in minutes. Sumatriptan, the fastest-working drug on this list, works fastest in injectable form. Typically, a medical professional administers the first injection.

What is the best injection for migraines? ›

Sumatriptan injection is used to treat the symptoms of migraine headaches (severe, throbbing headaches that sometimes are accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to sound and light).

What is one of the oldest treatments for migraines? ›

Ergotamine was the first drug that doctors used in the treatment of acute migraine. Even though its release was back in 1926, it remains popular because it is a low cost drug that remains effective for a long time. People use ergotamine to treat long lasting migraine attacks that typically involve headache recurrence.

Is there a way to permanently get rid of migraines? ›

There isn't a cure for migraines, but there are a few ways to reduce symptoms quickly. It may take some trial and error to find out what methods work best for you. If these tips aren't enough to manage the pain, Florida Medical Clinic recommends speaking with a neurologist to learn about other treatment options.

What meds are in a migraine cocktail? ›

This is a combination of three drugs:
  • Aspirin, 250 milligrams (mg): This medication is used to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Acetaminophen, 250 mg: It relieves pain by reducing the number of prostaglandins your body produces.
  • Caffeine, 65 mg: This causes vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels).
May 26, 2020

Which is better Nurtec or Imitrex? ›

Imitrex has an average rating of 7.8 out of 10 from a total of 200 ratings on 70% of reviewers reported a positive effect, while 13% reported a negative effect. Nurtec ODT has an average rating of 5.4 out of 10 from a total of 209 ratings on

What migraine medicine does Whoopi Goldberg endorse? ›

Like, 'Oh, a migraine? Aww...'" Goldberg, who is a spokesperson for the prescription drug Nurtec ODT, says the medication (which dissolves in the mouth) helped her find real relief from migraines for the first time.

What does a neurologist do for chronic migraines? ›

A neurologist can help by doing a complete evaluation and ordering tests, if needed. They will work with you to determine the cause of your headaches and develop a treatment plan to help you find relief.

What do ER doctors give for migraines? ›

Treatments in the ER

Some pain medications you may get at the ER as an IV treatment for migraine include: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ketorolac. Acetaminophen. Corticosteroids such as dexamethasone (Decadron), which can prevent recurring migraines.

Which is the best headache hospital in world? ›

Each year, Mayo experts treat nearly 20,000 people for migraine. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings.

Do migraines get better or worse with age? ›

Migraine changes with age, with a typical ebb and flow over a lifetime. For most people, it builds in intensity in your 20s and through your 40s, until it crests. Then, in your 50s and onward, things tend to become more tolerable. Headaches gradually become less frequent and intense and more responsive to treatment.

What migraine medicine does Khloe Kardashian promote? ›

Nurtec® ODT (rimegepant)

Do migraines get worse with age? ›

Age. Migraines can begin at any age, though the first often occurs during adolescence. Migraines tend to peak during your 30s, and gradually become less severe and less frequent in the following decades.

Who suffers from migraines the most? ›

Migraine affects an estimated more than 10% of people worldwide, occurs most often among people aged 20 to 50 years, and is about 3 times more common in women than in men. In a large US survey, 17.1% of women and 5.6% of men reported having migraine symptoms.

What foods to avoid with migraine headaches? ›

Migraine Trigger Foods
  • Foods that have tyramine in them, such as aged cheeses (like blue cheese or Parmesan), smoked fish, and Chianti wine.
  • Alcohol, especially red wine.
  • Caffeine, which is in coffee, tea, colas, and other sodas.
  • Foods made with nitrates, such as pepperoni, hot dogs, and lunch meats.
  • Dried fruits.

What is the monthly shot for migraine? ›

Several injectable prescription drugs including Aimovig, Ajovy, Vyepti, and Emgality work to prevent migraines by blocking CGRP activity. These medications are delivered monthly via subcutaneous injection or intravenous (IV) infusion.

What is the gold standard treatment for migraine? ›

5-HT1B/1D Receptor Agonists (Triptans) The so-called “triptans” are considered to be the gold standard symptomatic treatment. They are considered as a second line when patients have inadequate response to simple analgesics.

What is the best migraine medicine with the least side effects? ›

ARBs are preferred because of minimal side effects. Examples include losartan (Cozaar) and candesartan (Atacand). These may be useful for the patient with hypertension and migraine. Side effects include dizziness, among others, but they are usually well tolerated, with no sedation or weight gain.

What gets rid of migraines naturally? ›

In this Article
  1. Try a Cold Pack.
  2. Use a Heating Pad or Hot Compress.
  3. Ease Pressure on Your Scalp or Head.
  4. Dim the Lights.
  5. Try Not to Chew.
  6. Hydrate.
  7. Get Some Caffeine.
  8. Practice Relaxation.

Can Apple cider vinegar cure migraines? ›

Takeaway. There's no definitive scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar can help treat headaches or migraines. But the positive health effects it has on other parts of the body could help reduce or prevent headache symptoms.

Why won't my migraines go away? ›

There are numerous potential causes, including migraine, a head injury, or a viral illness, such as COVID-19. Anyone who has a headache for days that does not respond to over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medication should seek guidance from a doctor.

What narcotic is good for migraines? ›

Migraine treatment in emergency departments

Migraine patients are routinely prescribed OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet and other opioid-based medications in an attempt to treat their headache pain, which some specialists say strays far from the best practices applied within the headache medicine field.

What is the best muscle relaxer for migraines? ›

A safe, non-addicting muscle relaxant, tizanidine is useful for migraine and chronic daily headache. Tizanidine may be used on an as-needed basis for milder headaches, or for neck or back pain. Cyclobenzaprine (10 mg) is helpful for sleeping, and helps some with migraine and chronic daily headache.

What is the injection for migraine? ›

Licensed medical professionals treat migraines by injecting botulinum toxin into multiple areas around the head and neck. The treatments are approved for select people age 18 and older who experience 15 or more migraine days per month.

Is tramadol good for migraines? ›

Conclusions: Tramadol/APAP reduces the severity of pain, photophobia, and phonophobia associated with migraine headache, but does not reduce migraine-associated nausea. Tramadol/APAP might be an appropriate option for the management of moderate-to-severe migraine headache.

What is in an emergency room cocktail for migraine? ›

A migraine cocktail is a combination of medications used to treat migraine in the ER. This can include an NSAID, dihydroergotamine, anti-nausea medication, an antihistamine, magnesium, and fluids. 5 The exact combination of medications will vary from person to person.

Why give Benadryl for migraines? ›

Benadryl can block histamine circulation and prevent migraine from occurring. Additionally, by blocking histamine, Benadryl can help calm the nervous system.


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