A solution that stops the onset of migraine before it has even started is undoubtedly the treatment that migraine sufferers are looking for. There are a number of preventive medicines out there that aim to do just this: decrease the frequency, severity and duration of migraine attacks.
In addition, preventive therapy also aims to allow abortive medicines to work more effectively, thus reducing the overuse of these medications, as well as helping patients manage the cost of their care. I usually refrain from prescribing these medicines for long periods of time, with many of my patients experiencing a continued reduction in migraines once they come off the medication after a period of anything from three months to two years.
What are the preventive medicines that are available?
Beta-blockers are commonly used to treat high blood pressure, but are also prescribed to prevent or reduce the severity of migraine symptoms. They include Atenolol, Metoprolol, and Nadolol, and shouldn’t be prescribed for people with breathing problems or slow heartbeats, as they work by blocking the effects of adrenaline and slowing down the patient’s heart rate.
Calcium channel blockers are also used to treat high blood pressure, and can be used in patients who are not good candidates for beta-blockers. They work by preventing muscles in blood vessel walls from contracting and tightening. Some calcium channel blockers include Nicardipine, Nimodipine, Verapamil and Nifedipine.