Millions of people suffer from migraine headaches, which are caused when nerves activate and inflame abnormally. There is both prescription and over the counter (OTC) migraine drugs available to alleviate the symptoms of migraine headaches, but they are very different in composition.
OTC migraine drugs such as Excedrin and Aleve are often used exclusively by many migraine suffers. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory and can effectively relieve migraine symptoms for some. For others, the need for bed rest and sleep is unavoidable even with OTC migraine drugs. It is the cost and potential side effects that deter many from using prescription migraine drugs.
For migraine suffers who routinely experience migraine headaches that are debilating or who gain no relief from OTC medications, prescription migraine drugs are the only option. Imitrex and Zomig are popular name brand prescription migraine drugs and they are in a class of drugs known as triptans.
Triptans are very effective at alleviating migraine symptoms because they block the activation and inflammation that cause migraine pain. However, one side effect that they are reported to cause is constriction of the blood vessels in the heart. Some patients have reported temporary chest pain and tightness when taking triptans. Though studies have not conclusively shown an increase in heart attacks of patients who take these migraine drugs, they are not recommended for people with heart disease.
If you suffer from migraines and are getting no relief from OTC migraine drugs, you should talk to your doctor about the relief prescription medications might offer. Triptans are not the only available prescription drugs on the market and the potential risks and side effects of any prescription drug may be of little concern if your quality of life is compromised by frequent migraine headaches. You should also discuss the frequency of use of OTC medications with your doctor and the possible long-term effects of regular use.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.