Effective Abortive Treatment: The Foundation of Long-Term Migraine Management

Migraine treatment is divided into abortive and preventive. Abortive treatment aims at the individual migraine headaches to curb their intensity and duration. Preventive treatment aims at the occurrence of migraine headaches over time to decrease their frequency. Abortive migraine treatment is not only always indicated but it is also very important that it is effective. It is always indicated because of the often disabling nature of migraine headaches. It can only be called effective, however, if it fully relieves migraine headaches within 2 hours. This can generally be accomplished with a class of medications referred to as triptans. The best known medication of this class of seven is sumatriptan (Imitrex®). However, the medication may have to be used as an injection, which can be self-administered. The sumatriptan injection is a great medication but under-prescribed by physicians and under-used by patients. It is currently available in doses of 3, 4, and 6 mg of which the lower dose strengths are generally well tolerated, without side effects. If necessary, preventive treatment is added to effective abortive treatment.

Unmitigated migraine headaches are bad for mental and physical health. There is no benefit suffering through them. In fact, repeatedly going through bad migraine headaches impacts the ability to cope with them. In addition, over time it tends to cause anxiety and depression. Equally important, bad migraine headaches cause more headaches to occur. They progressively lower your migraine threshold by making your head, neck, shoulder, and upper-back muscles tight. This kind of muscle tightness is invariably present in those who suffer from chronic migraine. These people have very frequent headaches, including migraine, often on a daily or almost daily basis. It’s the reason why botulinum toxin (Botox®) is effective in chronic migraine treatment. Obtaining effective migraine treatment, in and by itself, may decrease headache frequency over time. It also makes it more likely that added preventive treatment will, indeed, reduce headache frequency.

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