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Preventive treatment of migraines is underutilized

Posted Feb 05 2010 7:53pm

There are several effective preventive medications for migraine headaches, however they are prescribed to only a small number of people who could benefit from them.  A study by Dr. Richard Lipton in the journal Cephalagia and his colleagues discovered that only 13% of migraine sufferers are taking preventive medications, but those who do have significantly less disability than those who don’t. Among possible reasons, doctors who don’t realize how disabling migraines are, patients how think that medications are dangerous or will cause side effects. Cost does not seem to be a factor because all patients in this study had insurance and most of these medications are inexpensive. Patients are often reluctant to take medications, but would rather find and remove the cause. Unfortunately, in most cases migraine is a genetic disorder and true cure is not possible. However, for most migraine sufferers it is possible to find and remove triggers which make headaches worse. If this is not sufficient, magnesium, CoQ10, other supplements, biofeedback, Botox injections, and regular exercise can provide relief without drugs. If all this still does not provide relief, medications, such as anti-depressants, epilepsy drugs, and high blood pressure drugs can be very effective and improve the quality of life.

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