5 Types Of Medicines Available For Treating Abortive Migraine

Abortive migraine medicines can be effective to control severe pain and symptoms. Here are the medications which are available for treatment.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Jun 30, 2021Updated at: Jun 30, 2021
5 Types Of Medicines Available For Treating Abortive Migraine

Migraine is a neurological condition that affects the person in multiple ways. It can cause severe headaches, irritation, vomiting, speaking difficulties and tingling sensation at times. Migraines are often caused to heredity and affect all ages. It can be a very troublesome disease at times and cause challenges in academics and other daily activities. Diagnosis of this disease is usually determined by age and its major symptoms. However it can be prevented and symptoms can be relieved at early stages. Abortive Migraine medications have this function of relieving the symptoms of migraine attack and prevent it from occurring again. 

Are Abortive Migraine Medications Effective?

To clear this query, we have Dr. Rahul Chakural, Clinical Neurologist and Epileptologist from AIIMS New Delhi. He says that migraine medications are usually used to give relief to the patient and does not guarantee full treatment of migraine. Also different people may get affected differently by the medications that are available. Effectiveness of medications is not a concern otherwise. It is to be understood that migraine tends to return as much as you get stressed or put pressure on your brain. 


Hence firstly, do not take stress, try to control your extreme emotions, secondly be sure that you take the prescribed medications as soon as you get a migraine attack. Abortive medications are as good as taken at the time of migraine symptoms. There are some factors which affect the severity, frequency and symptoms of your migraine according to which these medications are prescribed. 

5 Types of Abortive Migraine Treatments

1. Over-the-counter medications

These are the medications that are used to treat or lower down the migraine attack. It needs to be taken as soon as you get an migraine attack. It can include anti-inflammatory drugs that are non-steroidal such as ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, and acetaminophen. The medication prescribed can even have combination of these medications. Over the counter medications are used as first line of treatment for migraines. It can be taken as oral pills or tables.

There are some side-effects of OTC abortive medicines as well that can depend on the drug that is used. Most common side effect is empty stomach, nausea and diarrhoea. Acetaminophen can also have allergic reaction is some cases.

2. Triptans

Several types of triptans have been approved by food and drug administration for the treatment of migraine. It is used to reduce the migraine pain that is of severe intensity. Triptan is ususlly prescribed after OTC medications fail to reduce symptoms or pain. Triptans can be as follows-

  • Sumantriptan
  • Rizatriptan
  • Almotiptan
  • Naratriptan
  • Frovartriptan
  • Eletiptan 

All the triptans can be in the form of pills or tablets that can dissolve on your tongue. It can also be in form of nasal sprays or an injection. Injections are only given at intense pain, not before that. Side-effects may include fatigue, muscle pain or tightness in chest etc.


3. Ergot Derivatives

Two ergot derivatives are used as abortive medications for migraine treatments. They are Migranal and ergotamine tartate. Ergot derivatives are basically used as medications given after OTC when the patient is not very responsive to those medications. These can also be in the form of nasal sprays, tablets, pills and injection. However being a high dosage, it can cause multiple side effects such as-

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal cramp
  • Leg cramps
  • Discomfort in chest
  • Numbness and tightness in hands

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4. Anti- nausea Medications

These are basically medications that are meant to control nausea that in some cases happens with migraine. These are given along OTC medications for those who have tendency to get nausea in the migraine attack. Anti-nausea medications are usually taken orally and can have possible side-effects such as headache, fatigue or restlessness etc. There are three anti-nausea medications that are prescribed in most cases, they are-

  • Reglan
  • Compazine
  • Thorazine


5. Other Medications

There are two other medications which have been approved recently in 2019 for abortive migraine. They are-

Ubrogepant- It is a medicine that is used as first hand treatment like OTC. It has side-effects like nausea, tiredness and dry mouth.

Lasmiditan- This is a new abortive migraine medication which is taken in form of pill or capsule. It has side-effects such as fatigue, dizziness, sleepiness or pinning sensation in some cases.

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Migraine pains can be very severe and it can prevent a person from doing his daily activities. Medications are available for the treatment of abortive migraine and it can be given to them in times of migraine attack. All the medications given are effective for abortive migraine but effect depends from person to person. Therefore there are several types of medications which are used and prescribed by the doctors for migraine. These can be first hand treatment medicines that are taken at times of migraine attack or second hand treatment that prevents symptoms from arriving again. Consult your doctor to get medication of abortive migraine according to your condition.

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