Which treatments are available for migraine sufferers?

There is no cure for migraines but there are treatments that can ease symptoms; these include:

  • Painkillers: painkillers are most effective when taken at the first sign of a migraine developing. Most patients take paracetamol or aspirin.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication: these tablets may be more effective as they are designed to reduce swelling; ibuprofen is the most popular anti-inflammatory medication; it can be bought over the counter and can be taken with paracetamol. Some people, such as those with stomach problems or liver problems, are advised not to take ibuprofen; you should ask your pharmacist or doctor before you take this medication.
  • Anti-sickness medication: this help to ease feelings of nausea; they are most effective when taken as soon as the patient feels a migraine coming on.
  • Triptan medication: triptan medications are usually used if over the counter painkillers have filed to ease the symptoms of a migraine. Triptan medicines cause the blood vessels around the brain to contract, which eases the headache. Some triptan medicines are available over the counter, but some require a prescription.

Pharmacies also sell special migraine combination tablets, which contain both painkillers and anti-sickness tablets; you should ask your pharmacist for details of which medication will suit you best.

Guide to Migraine


What causes migraines?

The NHS migraine clinic

What are the symptoms of a migraine?

Which treatments are available for migraine sufferers?

Should I see my doctor?