Migraine

Migraine medication

A Migraine is a complex but common neurological condition that possesses a number of incapacitating symptoms. They are characterised by severe headaches, nausea, and visions of flashing lights, depending on the type of migraine.

If you do suffer from migraines, there are certain migraine medications that you can take for relief. You should speak to a doctor about what could be causing your migraines, whether it’s from lack of sleep, stress, excessive stimulation of the senses, or other factors.

What is a migraine?

A migraine is an intense headache that you may feel around the sides or at the front of your head. Other symptoms of a migraine include nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and flashing lights.

Migraines are a common health condition that affects around 20% of women and 10% of men in the UK. As the neurological disease is thought to be hereditary, migraine sufferers will begin to experience symptoms in early adulthood, occurring more often in women than men. They can often last from 4 hours to 3 days, and most people who experience migraines encounter them frequently.

Early symptoms of a migraine

Before you encounter a migraine, you may feel some early symptoms. These include changes in your appetite, mood and energy. These vary from person to person, but some people who get frequent migraines can predict when they will experience an attack depending on these early symptoms.

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Migraine Information

Migraine medication

A Migraine is a complex but common neurological condition that possesses a number of incapacitating symptoms. They are characterised by severe headaches, nausea, and visions of flashing lights, depending on the type of migraine.

If you do suffer from migraines, there are certain migraine medications that you can take for relief. You should speak to a doctor about what could be causing your migraines, whether it’s from lack of sleep, stress, excessive stimulation of the senses, or other factors.

What is a migraine?

A migraine is an intense headache that you may feel around the sides or at the front of your head. Other symptoms of a migraine include nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and flashing lights.

Migraines are a common health condition that affects around 20% of women and 10% of men in the UK. As the neurological disease is thought to be hereditary, migraine sufferers will begin to experience symptoms in early adulthood, occurring more often in women than men. They can often last from 4 hours to 3 days, and most people who experience migraines encounter them frequently.

Early symptoms of a migraine

Before you encounter a migraine, you may feel some early symptoms. These include changes in your appetite, mood and energy. These vary from person to person, but some people who get frequent migraines can predict when they will experience an attack depending on these early symptoms.

What causes a migraine?

The specific causes with regards to why migraines manifest or why they happen in general remain unclear. It is hypothesised that changes in vasculature, nerves, and chemicals in the brain can be the root cause of people developing migraines later in life, post-adolescence.

Previously it was thought that changes in blood flow to the brain were the sole contributing factor to developing migraines, however new data, research, and imaging have debunked this theory. The latest research suggests that there are inherited ‘mutations’ in the brain that lead to people having migraines.

Migraine sufferers usually share this affliction with a relative who also encounters them, so the condition is likely to be hereditary. Some people find that their migraines worsen when they have their period, while others find tiredness and stress to trigger their attacks.

How long does a migraine last?

The duration of a migraine tends to vary as it depends on the person and the severity of the initial attack. They usually last for a minimum of four hours and can last for up to 72 hours if they are not treated. However, you can purchase migraine tablets to relieve your symptoms. At Cloud Pharmacy, we provide an online consultation that can help with your migraines; offering you the best treatment that is tailored to your needs.

Migraine symptoms

Migraines are usually characterised by their extreme headaches, around the front and sides of your head. You may also feel nauseous or vomit, or experience extreme sensitivity to light. These extra symptoms can usually indicate that it is a migraine and not a severe headache.

Migraine types

Migraines vary in symptoms for each individual, primarily because there are many different types of migraines that require different types of treatment. It’s a good idea to be aware of what kind of migraines you suffer from and speak to a doctor about targeting this particular type of migraine.

Hemiplegic migraine

A hemiplegic migraine is a rare form of migraine that simply translates to ‘paralysis on one side of the body'. As well as experiencing a severe headache and symptoms like nausea and sensitivity to light, you may also encounter weakness on one side of your body and pins and needles in your arm, as well as speech difficulties, confusion, and vision problems. This type of migraine can be a frightening experience as it shares similar symptoms to that of stroke, so it’s important to seek medical care if you encounter them. These symptoms come on gradually and worsen as the migraine intensifies, but usually dissipates within 24 hours.

Hemiplegic migraines can be alarming at times, and they can occasionally cause long-lasting damage. However, most people recover from them completely and often stop having them altogether when they reach adulthood.

Hemiplegic migraines are hereditary. If you suffer from them, your children have a 50% chance of experiencing them too, so it’s important to get checked by a doctor.

Migraine with aura

An aura in migraines refers to any changes in your senses that you may feel when you have a migraine. This could include:

  • Changes in your balance and coordination
  • Hallucinations
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Seeing lights or zigzag patterns
  • Other sensory alterations
  • In rare instances, somebody may have migraine with an aura but no headache

This type of migraine gives a ‘warning sign’ just before the migraine is about to happen, the warning sign is usually described as seeing flashing lights or an ‘aura’, hence the name.

About a quarter of migraines occur with an aura. Sometimes, you may get a migraine with an aura, even if you usually experience migraines with no aura.

If you experience a migraine with aura, you should speak to your GP. They will be able to recommend what to do if you have them in the future and will advise on any food, drink, or medication to avoid.

Migraine without aura

Experts are divided on what causes auras, and indeed, many people experience migraines without any kind of aura. These types of migraines are characterised by having a severe headache, feeling incredibly nauseous, and being sensitive to light and noise. Migraines without aura are treated more or less the same way as migraines with aura.

Vestibular migraine

Another type of migraine is vestibular migraine. These are episodes of vertigo that happen before, during or after a migraine. This is a condition that around 1% of the population lives with. Attacks of vertigo can last from a few hours up to 72 hours. If you experience this, it’s important to speak to your doctor, who can prescribe you some vestibular migraine medication or recommend lifestyle changes such as cutting out certain foods.

Other types of migraine include:

  • Silent migraines - with these migraines, you’ll have all of the usual symptoms, except pain
  • Menstrual migraines - these are associated with periods, you may experience a menstrual migraine before you have a period
  • Ocular migraines - as well as visual disturbances, they can cause temporary loss of sight
  • Abdominal migraines - are more common in children and have all the same symptoms as regular migraines, except instead of head pain, the person experiences stomach pain

Migraine vs headache

Not every severe headache is a migraine, it is completely possible to experience an intense headache that is just a headache. Migraines are usually characterised by intense throbbing pain, normally on one side of the head only. You’ll also experience the other migraine symptoms (nausea, sensitivity to light, and maybe an aura). If you have an intense headache all over your head, and you don’t have any other symptoms, your migraine is probably a severe headache.

Headaches can still be serious, but you shouldn’t take migraine medication for them. If you start to experience unusual or frequent severe headaches, you should contact a doctor who will be able to perform tests to analyse what is causing the problem.

Migraine relief

Some people take standard painkillers for migraines, but these are often not strong enough. Luckily, there are also specific migraine tablets that tackle this condition specifically, improving all symptoms.

Unfortunately, there is no long-term cure for migraines, there is only medication that is used to relieve the sufferer of any unpleasant symptoms. However, at Cloud Pharmacy we do stock a range of effective migraine relief treatments that have been proven to alleviate migraine symptoms. Once your online consultation has been approved by one of our experienced UK prescribers and your medication has been determined, we will ship the treatment to you in discreet packaging within 24 hours (if ordered before 3 pm).

How to treat a migraine

Firstly, you should find a dark, quiet room and stay in there until you feel better. Light and noise can worsen migraines, so make sure that you are somewhere where you can rest.

Use cold compresses to relieve some of the pain on your head. You can also take over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, or aspirin (if you are over 16 years of age).

These self-help methods can cure some migraines, but for others, they aren’t enough. Luckily, there are several different types of migraine medication that can help. These are called ‘triptans’. Your doctor will be able to recommend which is most suitable for you.

You will need to take these migraine tablets as soon as you experience symptoms of a migraine - not while you are still in the pre-migraine phase. This migraine medication works quickly to stop the symptoms of migraines, including headaches and nausea. You should start to feel better in 30-60 minutes.

Most migraine medications can be taken with over-the-counter painkillers, but check your specific pack of tablets for instructions.

Remember that while migraine medication is largely successful at stopping headaches and other migraine symptoms, it does not prevent migraines from occurring. If you experience regular migraines, it’s important to speak to a doctor who will ask you some questions to get to the root of the issue.

Cloud Pharmacy offers a reliable, safe, and quick service for the treatment of migraines. To purchase any of our migraine treatments you will have to complete an online consultation beforehand.

For further advice, please do not hesitate to reach out to us to discuss your treatment and to talk about any other adjustments that potentially can be made.

Overview

Migraine is a complex condition with a wide variety of symptoms- it's main symptoms are a strong or powerful type of headache, often accompanied by nausea or a feeling of sickness, photosensitivity (sensitivity to light) and visual disturbances. Frequency of migraine can vary between people. Some people are more prone to getting migraines than others. There are cases where people can get migraines as much as once per week. Migraine attacks can be very painful and frightening and you may need to lie down for several hours. You can treat migraines using medication that is offered at Cloud Pharmacy.

Causes

The specific causes with regards to why migraines manifest or why they happen in general remains unclear. It is hypothesised that changes in vasculature, nerves and chemicals in the brain can be the root cause of people developing migraines later in life, post-adolescence. Previously it was thought that changes in blood flow to the brain were the sole contributing factor to developing migraines, however new data, research and imaging has debunked this theory. The latest research suggests that there are inherited ‘mutations’ in the brain that lead to people having migraines.

The causes of susceptibility to migraines is currently unknown, but things that can ‘trigger’ a migraine have been widely documented and are well known now. The triggers are largely the same across the board, however they vary from person to person. Some triggers include being over-tired, stressed, periods, changes in weather, bright lights and changes to a sleeping pattern.

The physiology and biochemistry of a migraine headache is a little more complex. Migraines manifest when nerve cells send amplified signals to branched nerves responsible for sensation in your face, head and neck. This stimulation leads to a release of serotonin and a peptide (small molecule) that is responsible for some of the sensation. The release of this peptide and serotonin leads to marginal brain swelling, leading to pain and some of the other peripheral symptoms linked to migraines.

Treatments

Unfortunately, there is no cure for migraines, however there are several treatments available to take care of the symptoms. Since pain is one of the main issues associated with migraines, over the counter painkillers like ibuprofen and paracetamol have been shown to be effective. Another way to treat migraines is through the use of a class of medications known as ‘triptans’. Triptans work by ‘reversing’ the changes in the brain that may have been the root cause of the development of migraines. Antiemetics (anti-sickness) medicines are commonly used to treat the nausea that occurs whilst having a migraine. Laying down in a dimly lit or dark room can also help in reducing and slowly relieving the symptoms.

Cloud Pharmacy offers a reliable, safe and quick service for the treatment of migraines. For further advice, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via the phone to discuss your treatment and to talk about any other adjustments that potentially can be made.

Symptoms

Migraine is a strong type of headache that is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light. 

Migraine is different for everyone and symptoms can vary. The condition manifests in stages:

  • Premonitory or warning phase
  • Aura (not always present)
  • The headache or main attack stage
  • Resolution
  • Recovery or postdrome stage

 

FAQ

  • What is A Migraine?

    Migraines generally start as a dull ache and then develop into a throbbing and pulsating constant pain that you will likely feel at the temples as well as the front or back of both sides of your head. The pain usually comes with bouts of nausea, vomiting and hypersensitivity to light and sound. Prior to a migraine attack, some people will experience something called an aura (about 25% of people who suffer from migraines).

  • What Causes Migraines?

    The cause of mingraines is stilll somewhat ambiguous however it is believed to be caused by a chemical reaction in the brain which leads to constriction of certain vessels, triggering the headache. There is thought to be both environmental and genetic factors which influence who gets migraine as well as susceptibility to migraine attacks.

  • How Do I Treat Migraines?

    Migraines can be treated using a variety of techniques, however unfortunately, there is no cure for migraines. The most common way to deal with migraines is to use a particular class of medcations known as triptans. Triptans are used to treat the acute migraine symptoms. However there are some prophylactic/preventative treatments that can be take for the treatment of migraine such as propranolo and topiramate.

  • What is A Migraine Aura?

    Around 20-25% of people who suffer from Migraine will likely have an aura prior to the migraine itself. An aura can be described as varying intensities of certain neurological symptoms that act as a 'warning sign' to tell you that you are about to have a migraine. An aura can manifest as you seeing wavy or jagged lines, dots or flashing lights- this often described as a chemical or electrical wave that moves accross the visual cortex. Auras can also lead to you having tunnel vision or blind spots in one or both eyes. There are other symptoms associated with a migraine aura such as auditory/visual hallucinations, changes in small (phantom smells), numbness, pins and needles or speech disturbances. 

  • Can The Weather Affect Migraines?

    For some people, weather changes can cause an imbalance in neurotransmitters and chmicals in the brain such a sereotning (5-HT), which can lead to more frequent migraines. Bright sunshine as well as hot and humid conditions may lead to your migraines being triggered. Some studies have shown that low barometric pressure can act as a trigger for migraines for some people.

  • What is A Migraine Trigger?

    Migraine triggers vary person to person; something that affects one person may not affect the other. Surveys, diary studies and clinical trials have inidicated that stress, menstrual cycle changes, weather changes, sleep disturbances, alcohol, and other foods are among the most common factors mentioned when it comes to triggering a migraine. To help prevent migraines it is important to keep a diary of when you have a migraine attack. This allows for you to pin-point what may be causing your migraine and therefore drastically reducing your chance of getting a migraine.

  • Am I More Likely to Get A Stroke if I Suffer From Migraine?

    Migraines are generally considered a relatively benign neurological condition. However, research has shown an association between migraines and stroke, and especially between migraine with aura and ischaemic stroke. Patients can also suffer from migrainous infarction (blood clot), a subset of ischaemic stroke that often occurs in the posterior circulation of younger women. The exact origina of migrainous associated infarction is not known, but it is theorised that the duration and local neuronal energy level from cortical spreading depression may be a prime factor.

  • Is There A Link Between Hormonal Changes and Migraine?

    Horomones are proteins that are responsible for the regulation and overall biochemical function of our body to allow for complete balance and homeostasis as your environment changes. If you have a hormonal imbalance in your body during menopause, pregnancy or mestruation it can lead to a migraine attack

  • What Medications Can Be Used to Treat The Acute Symptoms of Migraine?

    Acute medications are used to treat the pain of the headache after the migraine has started. Examples of acute migraine medications are some NSAIDS (ibuprofen/diclofenac/naproxen), ergots (ergotamine) and triptans (sumatriptan/rizrtriptan/zolmitriptan)

  • How Can I learn More About Migraines?

    There are a variety of resources available to learn about migraines online. We have summarised the most reliable sources on our cloud pharmacy blog: Migraines: More Than Just A Headache

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