78 treatments for migraine

migraine treatmentsOften it feels like we have tried everything for our migraines. This list may offer some ideas about other treatments available 1,2.

The list is split into 2 groups: medicinal treatments and non-medicinal (or complementary) treatments. The lists are ranked alphabetically, not by evidence or effectiveness.

Caution:

This list is by no means an endorsement of all of these treatments. The scientific evidence, medical support and efficacy of these treatments varies widely.

What may work for one person, may not work for another. Some of the treatments listed under non-medicinal may not even qualify as official ‘treatments’ – they might just be actions people do to help a migraine (eg. sleep).

Some of these treatments may even be dangerous for some people which is why you should speak to your doctor. They have a much better ability to take into account your personal medical history, type of condition and potential side effects.

Medicinal treatments

This section lists the active ingredient and is some cases is followed by products it appears in.

  1. Amidrine (eg. Duradin, Epidrin, Midrin)
  2. Aspirin (eg. Excedrin, AspoClear)
  3. Ibuprofen (eg. Advil, Motrin, Nurofen)
  4. Almotriptan (eg. Axert, Almogran)
  5. Amitriptyline (eg. Elavil)
  6. Atenolol (eg. Tenormin)
  7. Clonidine (eg. Dixarit)
  8. Codeinephosphate (eg. Migraleve)
  9. Cyprohetadine hydrochloride (eg. Periactin)
  10. Diclofenac
  11. Diltiazem (eg. Cardizem LA)
  12. Dosulepin/Dothiepin (eg. Prothiaden)
  13. Eletriptan (eg. Replax)
  14. Ergotamine tatrate (eg. Cafergot, Migril)
  15. Flunarizine (eg. Sibelium)
  16. Frovatriptan (eg. Frova, Migard)
  17. Gabapentin (eg. Neurotonin)
  18. Hydrocodone
  19. Isometheptene mucate (eg. Midrid)
  20. Methysergide (eg. Deseril)
  21. Metoclopramide (eg. Maxolon, Paramax, MigraMax)
  22. Metoprolol (eg. Dutoprol, Betaloc, Lopressor)
  23. Morphine
  24. Nadolol (eg. Corgard)
  25. Naproxen (eg. Naprosyn, Synflex)
  26. Naratriptan (eg. Amerge, Naramig)
  27. Nimodipine (eg. Nimotop)
  28. Nortriptyline (eg. Allegron, Pamelor)
  29. Onabotulinumtoxin A (eg. BOTOX)
  30. Paracetamol
  31. Pizotifen (eg. Sanomigran)
  32. Prochlorperazine (eg. Buccastem, Stemetil)
  33. Propranolol
  34. Rizatriptan (eg. Maxalt)
  35. Sodium valproate (eg. Epilim)
  36. Sumatriptan (eg. Imigran, Imitrex, Treximet)
  37. Timolol (eg. Blocadren, Betimol, Betrim)
  38. Topirmate (eg. Topamax)
  39. Verapamil (eg. Isoptin, Calan)
  40. Zolmitriptan (eg. Zomig)
  41. Hormone Replacement Therapy/Birth Control pills

Non medicinal treatments

  1. Acupunture
  2. Alexander Technique
  3. Applying ice to head
  4. Avoid Fluroscent Lighting
  5. Avoid smoke
  6. Biofeedback
  7. Butterbur
  8. Caffeine
  9. Chiropractic treatment
  10. Coenzyme Q10/ CoQ10
  11. Dark, quiet room
  12. Dietary changes
  13. Drink water
  14. Eliminate Caffeine (eg. Coffee, Tea, Sodas)
  15. Eliminating Gluten
  16. Eliminating MSG
  17. Eliminating Soy
  18. Feverfew
  19. Ginger supplements
  20. Hormone treatment therapy
  21. Hot Shower
  22. Magnesium
  23. Meditation/Breathing exercises
  24. Naturopathic Treatment
  25. Neck massage
  26. Passage of Time
  27. Physiotherapy
  28. Quit cigarette smoking
  29. Reduce screen brightness
  30. Reduce/Manage stress
  31. Regular Exercise
  32. Riboflavin/Vitamin B2
  33. Rub/pressure Temples
  34. Sleep
  35. Vitamin B12/Coblamin
  36. Vitamin B6/Pyridoxine
  37. Wearing sunglasses

As you have seen this is just a list. If you are looking for descriptions of treatments see this treatment & prevention guide. It isn’t a comprehensive description of all the listed treatments above. But it covers a bunch of them and some other tactics about prevention.

If your looking for where the evidence is, you may need to do some research.  The journal of the Amercian Academy of Neurology gives a good headstart with their review from last year. See below:

Is there anything missing from this list that you use or that might be helpful for others to consider?

 


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Sources:

1 Quantitative survey results from 6,653 migraineurs  http://curetogether.com/migraine/treatments/ Accessed Jan 2014.
2 MigrainePal qualitative pilot study conducted Aug-Nov 2013, n=20.

10 thoughts on “78 treatments for migraine

  1. I have a few other treatments to add:

    Medicinal:
    Cambia
    Zonisamide (e.g. Zonegran)
    Tizanidine

    Non-medicinal treatments:
    Axon Optics lenses
    Potassium and Magnesium Aspartate
    Ketogenic Diet
    Atlas Orthogonal adjustment
    CPAP Machine (for sleep apnea) or addressing sleeping disorders in general
    Cardio exercise
    Strength training exercise
    Adequate Hydration
    Eliminating Nitrates/Nitrites
    Eliminating alcohol
    Eliminating chocolate

  2. Another kind of lens would be the Irlen filters.
    Also under Physical Therapy category – Visceral Manipulation (Barral Institute).

  3. Pingback: List of the common and not-so-common migraine causes. | MigrainePal Blog

  4. Also, Mersyndol, Panadine Forte, Pethidine and White Tiger Balm applied to forehead (I do not go anywhere without my pot of Tiger Balm … lifesaver).
    Thanks so much for such a great comprehensive list!

    • Thanks for these additions JJ Muse! Interesting to hear what you say about Tiger Balm on the forehead. I’ve just written a post about a new treatment that almost entirely focused on preventing migraines in the forehead area. You probably heard of the Cefaly TENS device. You can read it here

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