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Preventing Migraine Headaches: Medications and Lifestyle Changes

A migraine is a type of severe headache. Having a migraine can be very painful. But there are steps you can take to help prevent migraines. Read on to learn more.

Woman in bed ready to go to sleep. Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, including weekends, may help prevent migraines.

Medications to Help Prevent Migraines

  • Your health care provider may prescribe certain medications to help prevent migraines. These medications may need to be taken daily. Or they may only need to be taken at times when you’re likely to have a migraine.

  • Common medications used to help prevent migraines include:

    • Beta-blockers

    • Anticonvulsants

    • Tricyclic antidepressants

    • Certain vitamins, minerals, and plant extracts

    • Botulinum toxin injection (Botox) for certain chronic migraines 

Lifestyle Changes for Long-term Prevention

Here are some suggestions:

  • Exercise. Regular exercise can help prevent migraines and improve your health. (If exercise triggers your migraines, talk to your health care provider.)

  • Keep regular habits. Don’t skip or delay meals. Drink plenty of water. And go to bed and get up at about the same time each day. This includes weekends.

  • Try alternative treatments. These are treatments that do not involve the use of medications or surgery. They may help relieve symptoms and prevent migraines. Some treatment options include biofeedback and acupuncture. Ask your health care provider to tell you more about these treatments if you have questions.

  • Limit caffeine. You may find that caffeine helps relieve pain during an attack. But too much caffeine can also trigger migraines. So, limit the amount of caffeine you consume.


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