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Migraines are moderate or severe headaches that are accompanied by other features such as nausea, and sensitivity to lights, noises, and movement.

There are three main types of migraine:

  • Migraine without aura;
  • Migraine with aura;
  • Chronic migraine (migraine on >15 days/month).

6 million people in the UK suffer from migraine.

Migraine Treatment

Migraine can be treated through a combination of medication and self-care. Lifestyle changes and avoiding triggers can help reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.

Medications to treat symptoms are dependent on the severity of attacks, associated symptoms, and other health conditions.

Acute treatment involves either simple painkillers (e.g. aspirin, paracetamol, ibuprofen) and/or a triptan (e.g. sumatriptan).

Clinicians may prescribe preventative medication for patients with a significant reduction in quality of life. First line medications recommended by NICE include propranolol, topiramate, and amitriptyline, though other medications are available (e.g. candesartan, calcium channel blockers, sodium valproate), and Botox is licensed for chronic migraine.

Medicinal cannabis can be considered when first line therapies have not achieved adequate symptom control.