How to stop migraines before they start, from the Harvard Health Letter

People who suffer from migraines often live in fear of the next one. Many of them don't know that proven treatments can help prevent their migraines from developing in the first place, reports the August 2012 Harvard Health Letter.

Several types of medications, if taken daily, can prevent these debilitating headaches in about one-third of migraineurs. Yet the majority of people who could benefit from these pain-preventing treatments don't take advantage of them, according to the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society. They have issued guidelines urging migraine sufferers to discuss preventive therapies with their physicians.

Medications shown to be especially effective include the antiseizure drugs divalproex (Depakote), valproate (Depacon), and topiramate (Topamax), and the beta blockers metoprolol, propranolol, and timolol. One herbal remedy—butterbur—was also listed as an effective migraine prevention option.

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