Today, there are a variety of different migraine prevention options which can help ease the lifestyle burdens that migraine sufferers often live with. There are several goals to migraine prevention, such as a lessening of functional impairments and disability, improved response to acute treatments, and the reduction of attack frequency, severity, and duration (Williams, 2018). The preventative options currently available can help migraine sufferers achieve these goals in some capacity, so that the quality of their lives can be improved. Working with a healthcare professional to find the best preventative strategies and treatments for each patient can make a significant difference in his or her ability to manage symptoms.
Certain lifestyle strategies can help mitigate or reduce migraine symptoms. Adhering to these routines can serve as a key part of a comprehensive preventative approach. One routine that can be helpful to patients is for them to keep a log of their symptoms each day; this may include the type, severity, and frequency of symptoms at certain hours. This can make certain patterns of an individual’s condition evident over time, so that a doctor can better diagnose and treat symptoms. Other recommended lifestyle habits include keeping up with a consistent sleep/wake schedule, exercise regime, and mealtime. Caffeine reduction may also be beneficial for some, as caffeine can trigger symptoms. Behavioral therapies are another option, such as yoga and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Additionally, the avoidance of certain migraine triggers, like specific odors and foods, can help prevent episodes (Williams, 2018).
There are several medications which have been FDA-approved for the preventative treatment of migraine, which can be useful in avoiding the onset of migraine symptoms. These drugs are considered the most effective for migraine prevention, and include divalproex sodium ER, topiramate, propranolol, and timolol. There are other medicines which can help alleviate and prevent symptoms, such as metoprolol, but they are not FDA-approved and have less evidence backing up their efficacy. Experts generally recommend that patients should be considered for preventative therapy if they experience headaches at least four days per month. It is important for patients to discuss treatment options with their doctors, so that the best possible therapy for each individual patient can be considered (Williams, 2018).
A class of medicines in clinical development which have demonstrated promise as preventative treatments are anti-CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide) monoclonal antibodies. These medications are being studied for the prevention and treatment of episodic and chronic migraine and include drugs such as erenumab, fremanezumab, galcenezumab and eptinezumab. The drug erenumab (Aimovig) was recently FDA-approved as the first anti-CGRP monoclonal antibody and is now a preventative treatment option for migraine sufferers (Williams, 2018).
Migraine patients can learn more about their preventative treatment options by speaking with their healthcare professionals. Since each patient is different, it is important that medical care is sought out so that the right treatment options can be explored.
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Williams, G. S. (2018). Current Options in Migraine Prevention. Neurology Reviews, 26(4), 33-34. Retrieved June 14, 2018, from https://www.mdedge.com/neurologyreviews/article/162413/headache-migraine/current-options-migraine-prevention.