Headache Pain Medications
When you are suffering from a headache, especially a powerful one like a migraine headache or cluster headache, your entire focus is on getting rid of it and getting back to normal. There are hosts of medications, both over the counter, and prescription medications that are used to alleviate the symptoms and prevent reoccurrence of your headache.
Medicines that are used to stop the pain are called abortive medications. These are taken at the first onset to try to stop or minimize the pain. Types of abortive medicine include:
- Analgesics or pain relievers – Includes aspirin and acetaminophen
- Ergot drugs – This drug family is formulated from fungus that grows on rye and has been around since the 1920s. Acting as a vasoconstrictor, it helps alleviate the pain of migraine headaches.
- Triptans – This family of drugs such as Imitrex, Amerge, and Zomig are also used to treat migraine and cluster headaches. Triptans are non-sedative drugs and are good for people who need to remain active.
- Muscle relaxants
Once the headache pain stops, you may consider options to prevent chronic headaches from recurring. Some common preventative pain medications include:
- NSAIDS – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Antidepressants, sedating or non-sedating
- Serotonin reuptake inhibitors – This is a class of antidepressant that specifically acts on serotonin levels in the blood. Some common serotonin inhibitors include Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft
Any medication should be thoroughly discussed with your dentist and if contra-indicated, alternative treatments should be found. Some medications combinations can make your condition worse or even be life threatening.
Other Treatment Options
If you want to avoid medications, or if it is contra-indicated in your situation, there are other treatment options that have varying results. Some date back to ancient times while some are modern treatment modalities. These include:
- Neuromuscular dental /orthopedic treatment
- Relaxation techniques
- Massage therapy
- Guided imagery
Before starting a medication regimen, it is important to diagnose the type of headache you are experiencing. Many headaches are treated effectively with the use of over the counter medication. If you are concerned about the onset and severity of your headache, by all means seek medical attention. It is better to find out that your headache is not something about which you should be concerned than to discover that it is just a sign of a more serious condition.
We can help alleviate some of your symptoms from your headache or migraine headaches, please contact iHATEheadaches.com to learn more.