Migraine headaches generally respond to medications known as triptans. While effective at treating individual headaches, they do not prevent migraines.
Unlike other acute medications, triptans are considered vasoconstrictors that reduce inflammation and constrict blood vessels, thereby stopping the headache or migraine.
Triptans are approved by the FDA to treat moderate to severe migraines. Triptans are most effective when taken early in a migraine attack while the pain is still mild or just starting. Triptans are prescription only and are generally well tolerated. They should be taken as prescribed by a physician. See list below.
Before taking triptans or any prescription medications you should consult with your doctor or pharmacist about any side effects or precautions. Triptans should not be used by those who have a past history of, or risk factors, for heart disease, high blood pressure, angina, peripheral vascular disease, impaired liver function, diabetes or past strokes.
If you are more interested in preventing your migraines, be sure to read the article on why you get migraines see Ending Migraines
There are currently seven triptan medications available in the United States, including:
- Almotriptan — Axert® (Tablet)
- Eletriptan — Relpax® (Tablet)
- Frovatriptan — Frova® (Tablet)
- Naratriptan — Amerge® (Tablet)
- Rizatriptan — Maxlt®, Maxlt- MLT® (Tablet, Orally Disintegrating Tablets)
- Sumatriptan — Imitrex® (Tablet, Nasal Spray Injection)
- Zolmitriptan — Zomig® (Tablet, Oral Ingesting Tablet, Nasal Spray)