Can Blood Pressure Medications Treat Migraines?
An extreme headache along with nausea is referred to as migraines. They are severe and recurring in nature. This extreme pain can last for hours or sometimes even days. Migraines could begin with sensory disturbances followed by a headache. This headache ideally occurs on one side of the head. People of age 15 to 55 years are more likely to face issues of a migraine.
Sometimes migraines are preceded by warning signs and people usually know when a migraine attack is on its way. There are plenty of triggers such as light, stress, allergies, etc. which are the prime causes behind the occurrence of migraines. Preventive medication is prescribed to people who have extended migraine attacks.
Preventive Therapy For Migraines
Migraine attacks can be prevented from occurring by taking preventive medication daily. Choosing the medication for preventive therapy can be complex as it is dependent on the co-existence of other factors such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, pregnancy, obesity, depression, anxiety, etc.
Aggressive preventive strategies are required for those who suffer from frequent migraine attacks. Although it does not eliminate migraines completely, preventive therapies can reduce the severity and the frequency of these attacks.
The ultimate goal of preventive therapy is to reduce disability due to migraines, reduce overuse of acute medicines, reduce the duration of migraine attacks and improve responsiveness to treatment of attacks.
Your doctor would review various treatment styles before choosing the preventive therapy for you. You might want to know the efficacy of the therapy suggested. Low doses are prescribed first and initially the dosage is increased. It might take about a couple of months or more for you to begin seeing the results of the therapy.
Lower dosing is convenient most of the time. You might need to take a medication three to four times in a day with a gap of a certain number of hours in between each dose. The entire duration of treatment may take about six months to a year's time.
There are potential side effects associated with each medication. Therefore, if any abnormal signs or symptoms are observed after taking the initial doses of medicines, then it should be immediately reported to your doctor.
One of the preventive therapy approaches used to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines is the use of blood pressure medications. It has been observed that beta blockers (commonly used to treat cases of high blood pressure) has the ability to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine attacks. This belongs to the cardiovascular class of drugs.
Beta blockers have proved to be effective in preventing the occurrence of migraines. The types of medications include beta blockers propranolol, timolol and metoprolol tartrate.
The medication might take weeks to start showing an effect in treating migraines. Therefore, you need to be patient enough with this form of preventive therapy to treat migraines. The other similar beta blockers used for the same purpose are atenolol and nadolol. Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are other beta blockers as well that could be used for treating migraines. Your doctor would assess your case and prescribe medications accordingly.
However, a different kind of medicine might be prescribed by your doctor, if you fall in any of the below categories:
• You are older than 60 years
• You use tobacco
• You have blood vessel or heart-related disorders
Another class of cardiovascular drugs that are ideally used to treat high blood pressure has also found usage in treating migraines. This is the calcium channel blockers. This has been associated with relieving symptoms of migraines to a great extent.
Verapamil is a calcium channel blocker used as a preventive therapy for treating migraines and its symptoms. The other calcium channel blockers used for similar purpose are diltiazem and nimodipine.
There could be certain side effects of using beta blockers and calcium channel blockers to treat migraines.
Following is the list of side effects caused by the use of beta blockers for treating migraines:
Following is the list of side effects caused by the use of calcium channel blockers for treating migraines
• Low blood pressure
• Weight gain
In some cases, your doctor might decide to add different medications as the preferred preventive strategy to treat migraines. This is because in most of the cases, a migraine occurs in addition to other conditions that are commonly linked to the occurrence of migraine, for instance obesity, anxiety and depression.
Each condition needs to be treated optimally here to ensure that the overall well-being is maintained. The first step towards effective treatment is determining the various medical conditions and identifying the treatment required for each.
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