00:00 / 00:00
Anticonvulsants and anxiolytics: Barbiturates
Anticonvulsants and anxiolytics: Benzodiazepines
Medications for neurodegenerative diseases
Opioid agonists, mixed agonist-antagonists and partial agonists
0 / 3 complete
0 / 1 complete
Methylergonovine (Methergine) and Ergotamine (Ergot Alkaloids)
Triptans & migraine
cluster headaches p. 534
coronary vasospasm with p. 247
Migraine medications include a wide variety of drugs used to treat a specific type of headache called migraine.
Migraines are the second most common primary headache.
They’re often preceded by symptoms like irritability, depression, and fatigue that can begin hours to days before the headache itself. Sometimes there can be an aura where people experience strange smells, lights, visual disturbances, or even hallucinations before the onset of the migraine.
The migraine itself usually feels like a pounding or pulsating, typically localized to one side of the head and can last from hours to days.
As if this was not bad enough, these headaches tend to come with nausea and vomiting, irritability, and pain or discomfort with lights, sounds, and smells called photophobia, phonophobia, and osmophobia, respectively.
During childhood, individuals can have nausea and vomiting without the headaches; and that’s called an abdominal migraine.
After a migraine is over, it can leave people feeling sore at the location of the pain and generally fatigued.
To remember the main features of migraines, you can use the mnemonic POUND, where P stands for pulsatile headache, O stands for one-day duration, U stands for unilateral, N for nausea, and D for disabling.
Although the underlying mechanism causing migraines isn’t well understood, there are some clues.
Concentrations of the neurotransmitter, serotonin, increase during the aura, triggering vasoconstriction, and then decrease to lower-than-normal levels during the migraine attack, triggering vasodilation. This change in the blood vessel size may be a trigger for pain receptors, causing the headache.
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