What are Migraine Preventative Drugs?

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To prevent migraine attacks, it’s important to use a multi-pronged plan of attack including natural and conventional medicines. Migraine preventative drugs include a wide range of medications originally formulated to treat heart disease, depression, hypertension, or epilepsy.

What are Migraine Preventative Drugs?

With your doctor’s help, you can find the right migraine prophylaxis therapy to significantly reduce the number of migraine headaches and fits of nausea or dizziness you experience each month.

Migraine drugs

There are several types of medications available for treating migraines that are approved by the FDA. These include:

  • Migraine prophylaxis medications (preventative drugs)
  • Migraine abortive medicines
  • Migraine headache painkillers

While painkillers and abortive meds are meant to be taken only as needed, preventative drugs for migraines are taken every day.

Over time, many prescription migraine preventive medicines may cause harmful side effects, including severe memory loss, heart conditions, and disabilities. If you’re using migraine prophylaxis medications, then it’s important to keep your migraine specialist informed of any new, unusual symptoms you are experiencing.


Anti-epileptic medications like topiramate (Topamax) are among the most popular preventative treatments for migraines, but are meant as a last resort option when all other attempts have failed, as they can cause debilitating side effects. You may need to take Topamax for several months before you start to notice any change in migraine frequency.

Anticonvulsants help to prevent migraines by altering neurotransmitter activity, suppressing nerve cell excitability in the area of the brain where epilepsy occurs.

Topamax may interfere with birth control, and also cause memory loss, fatigue, and disorientation.

Also read 10 Topamax Side Effects that are worse than Migraines


Beta-blockers, or beta-adrenergic blocking agents, relax the blood vessels in the brain, allowing for more fluent blood flow. They are typically prescribed for hypertension, but can also be effective in preventing migraines when high blood pressure is a factor.

Side effects may include memory loss, fatigue, and insomnia.

Also read Migraine Headaches and Hypertension: What’s the Link?


Depression is often comorbid with migraines, and doctors have found that migraine patients who suffer from extreme depression, anxiety, and panic are able to prevent migraines after taking tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), or selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Also read 5 Effective Natural Supplements for Depression

Like other prescription migraine preventative medicines, long-term antidepressant use can also result in uncomfortable side effects.

Calcium channel blockers

Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) prevent calcium from entering your blood vessels and heart. CCBs are used to treat heart disease, in addition to preventing migraines.

Fewer side effects are associated with CCBs than with other migraine preventative drugs.

Natural treatments

Taking prescription medication is not enough. To further improve your chances, it’s important to employ natural non-drug tactics.

These include:

*Daily exercise

*Relaxation techniques

*Migraine trigger avoidance

*Restrictive dieting

*Sleep hygiene

*Migraine diary

*Supplementation with vitamins, herbs, and minerals that sustain healthy circulation, protect the nervous system, boost mitochondrial energy, and support healthy cognitive functioning.

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