How are migraine headaches diagnosed and treated?

Updated: Jan 29, 2020
  • Author: Tejas Raval, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Migraine headache is typically considered to be a throbbing, unilateral pain, although up to 40% may have bilateral symptoms. [2] It is 3 times more common in women, and a positive family history often exists. [23] Classic migraine occurs in 25% of patients with associated symptoms such as nausea, aura, and photophobia. Migraine symptoms can also overlap with those more characteristic of tension, cluster, or so-called sinus headache. [24] Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are first-line agents for acute attacks. If these are ineffective, then specific medications such as triptans and dihydroergotamine are used. Preventative agents can also be used for those who experience chronic migraine, including beta blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, and anticonvulsants. [2]

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