What are the treatment options for migraine headache?

Updated: Oct 21, 2019
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Migraine treatment involves acute (abortive) and preventive (prophylactic) therapy. Patients with frequent attacks usually require both. Measures directed toward reducing migraine triggers are also generally advisable.

Acute treatment aims to eliminate, or at least prevent the progression of, a headache. Preventive treatment, which is given even in the absence of a headache, aims to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks, to make acute attacks more responsive to abortive therapy, and perhaps also to improve the patient's quality of life (see Treatment).

See Migraine in Children for a pediatric perspective on migraine. Also see Migraine Variants and Childhood Migraine Variants.

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