Treatment options

Migraine can be managed well with correct treatment. Consult your physician and he will advice you on the best treatment option for you to cope with your migraine.

Migraine treatment falls into 2 groups – Acute and Preventive

Acute Medications

Acute medications are available over the counter or by prescription and taken as needed. The idea is to stop the pain once it has begun.

Preventive (prophylactic) medications

Unlike acute treatments used at the start of a migraine, preventive medications are taken on a regular daily basis for 3 to 6 months with the goal being to reduce frequency and severity of attacks.
They are generally prescribed to patients whose quality of life is severely compromised by their migraine, to those who suffer from frequent attacks and to those who do not respond well to acute treatment.

The U.S. Headache Consortium lists the following goals of long-term migraine treatment:

Reduce attack frequency and severity

Reduce disability

Prevent headache

Avoid headache medication escalation

Improve quality of life

Educate and enable patients to manage their disease


  • Silberstein SD. Practice parameter: evidence-based guidelines for migraine headache (an evidence-based review): report of the Quality Standards Committee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2000;55(6):754-762.
  • Diamond S, Bigal ME, Silberstein S, Loder E, Reed M, Lipton RB. Patterns of diagnosis and acute and preventive treatment for migraine in the United States: results from the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study. Headache. 2007;47(3):355-363.
  • S. Headache Consortium. Evidence-Based Guidelines for Migraine Headache in the Primary Care Setting: Pharmacological Management for Prevention of Migraine