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Understanding the Types of Migraine Medications: A Guide for Migraineurs

If you ask me, medications can be one of the most confusing parts of any health condition. However, migraine medications can be especially confusing because there are different types of medications for different reasons, and sometimes people take multiple medications depending on the day. Plus, as more doctors spend time researching migraine, more medications hit the market, which throws everything off-kilter.

Whether you are new to your migraine diagnosis or a veteran who is looking for better options, you may want to know how migraine medications work and what options are available to you. Well, luckily for you, this list breaks down the most common types of migraine medications based on whether they help with prevention, acute treatment, or can be purchased over-the-counter.

Preventative Migraine Medications

Many people with migraine use preventative medications to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. People who are prescribed these medications take them daily or receive them as injections monthly or quarterly. While there are many different preventative medications available to migraineurs, they fall under four main types of preventative medications: antihypertensives, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and CGRP inhibitors.

Antihypertensives typically treat high blood pressure, but can also help prevent migraine attacks. Common antihypertensives used for migraine treatment include lisinopril (an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor), propranolol (a beta-blocker), and candesartan (an angiotensin receptor blocker). Most doctors believe that these medications prevent migraine symptoms by lowering the blood pressure of the individual using them.

Unfortunately, these medications can come with side

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If you ask me, medications can be one of the most confusing parts of any health condition. However, migraine medications can be especially confusing because there are different types of medications for different reasons, and sometimes people take multiple medications depending on the day. Plus, as more doctors spend time researching migraine, more medications hit the market, which throws everything off-kilter.
With our ongoing “What Helps Me” series, The Mighty is leaning into what sets us apart from other health sites: We aim to provide real health advice from real people who live it.

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