PLANO MIGRAINE DOCTOR
Migraine Pain Relief
The Migraine Institute in Plano, Texas administers NSAIDs to treat migraine pain. Call us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.
What are NSAIDs?
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDS, have been treating pain and fever for centuries, even providing relief for ancient Greeks who chewed on willow bark containing the active ingredient used in NSAIDS. They can be used to ease the short-term pain of migraines caused by factors like menstrual periods or exercise. NSAIDS combat migraines by blocking enzymes and proteins that cause inflammation and can be taken by tablet, liquid, chewable or capsule. Some NSAIDS are over-the-counter medications, like aspirin, while others require prescriptions.
In order to properly prescribe a treatment for migraines, the severity and frequency of the patient’s symptoms must first be isolated. Less intense episodes, which patients often refer to as sinus, tension, or regular headaches usually represent milder versions of migraine, and thus simplifying both diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. In cases such as these, evidence-based guidelines and clinical experience support the use of NSAIDs for the management of mild to moderate migraine attacks. It is only when NSAIDs consistently fail a patient, that migraine-specific agents such as triptans and dihydroergotamine might be a viable course of action.
NSAIDs have been a mainstay of treatment for acute migraine headaches for decades, and perhaps the best known of the NSAIDs frequently used for that purpose are ibuprofen (eg, Advil, Motrin) and naproxen sodium (eg, Aleve, Anaprox), both available in over-the-counter/non-prescription and prescriptions preparations. Additionally, acetaminophen and aspirin combination medications (eg, Excedrin) have been proven to reduce migraine-like symptoms. NSAIDs are typically much less expensive than triptans, and in the few studies that have compared the two treatments, NSAIDs have performed at least nearly as well in acute migraine sufferers.
Risks & Other Factors
There are few risks associated with the consumption of NSAIDs, such as irritation of the stomach or intestine, “heartburn” or acid reflux, and diarrhea. In rare cases, NSAIDs may impair the kidneys or liver, but this is much more likely to occur in individuals who administer an NSAID on a daily or near-daily basis. While some patients may find the NSAIDs to be consistently effective, even for migraines of moderate to severe intensity, these drugs typically are more useful when taken early in the migraine attack. During an acute migraine attack, the stomach may not move an orally administered NSAID along to the small intestine, where the NSAID normally would be absorbed; co-administration of a caffeinated beverage with the NSAID may overcome this problem, and promote more effective intestinal absorption and a higher likelihood of a positive treatment response.
If you have tried multiple different methods of treating your migraine symptoms, but haven’t been able to find relief, you may want to consider a NSAID for acute migraine symptom relief. Many people fail to realize that a migraine is a neurological disease just like epilepsy, and should be treated as such. Every 10 seconds, someone in the United States goes to the emergency room with a headache or migraine, and migraine sufferers visit the emergency room because of the severity of the pain or the fear of unremitting pain. Don’t let your symptoms get to this point, and schedule an appointment at the Migraine Center today.