If migraine headaches persist despite changes in lifestyle, an alternative method would be taking daily medication. You could start with some of the over-the-counter medications first and then, if they do not work, you may need to consult a physician or doctor who can help you with some of the prescription medications.
The most common example of over-the-counter medications would be to use painkillers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen to treat your attack. If you do not respond to these pain relievers, you might want to try a combination of analgesics such as Excedrine or Anacin. These products combine aspirin or acetaminophen with caffeine, which constricts the swollen blood vessels and enhances pain relief.
If the over-the-counter remedies fail to work, you will need to contact your physician or neurologist about Tylenol with codeine. He may suggest that you try Fiorinal (aspirin with a mild sedative) or Midrin (acetaminophen plus a muscle relaxant) which will help to shrink swollen blood vessels.
For preventing migraine attacks, the use of a daily dose of a beta-blocker may be an alternative. Your physician or neurologist may suggest using propranolol (Inderal) or nadolol (Corgard) as one of these alternatives.
The calcium blocker verapamil (Celan, Verelan) and antidepressants such as amitroptyline (Elavil), nortriptyline (Pamelor) and fluoxetine (Prozac) are also effective.
Although methysergide (Sanset) is often effective, it may result in scarring of the lungs, kidneys and heart. If this prescription is to be used for a period longer than five months, periodic chest X rays, MRI scans of the kidneys and other tests should be performed to ensure that no harm is taking place.
What about alternative remedies such as homeopathic techniques? Some migraineurs get relief from a daily dose of the anti-inflammatory herb feverfew, which is available at your local health-food stores. Other sufferers get relief from fish oil supplements. Regardless, there are a variety of different over-the-counter and prescription medications from which to choose and you will need to find which remedy is right for you.