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Migraines and What You Should Know About The Triptan Drugs

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Triptans are the relatively new weaponry in the scientists’ arsenal in migraine management and treatment. They work at the neurochemical (serotonin receptor) level. Triptans are not painkillers.

All the Triptan drugs act at the wall of the blood vessels (especially cranial/dural blood vessels) and cause their constriction (or narrowing) called vasoconstriction, thus offsetting the swelling that causes the pain. It is also effective in alleviating some of the other symptoms of migraine attack such as sensitivity to light and sound. It acts towards stimulating the release of serotonin in the bloodstream.

Triptan range of medication includes chemicals Frovatriptan, Naratriptan, Eletriptan, Sumatriptan, Almotriptan and Rizatriptan. They should however, never be mixed with ergotamine drugs or any other drug stated in the drug literature or by the doctor. In addition, they are not to be taken in conjunction with any anti-depressant that is known to increase serotonin levels. Neither are they indicated for use by hemiplegic and basilar artery migraineurs.

All of these medications have similar possible side effects such as those of dizziness, fatigue, tingling sensations on skin, dryness of mouth, hot flashes, chest pain or tightness, sensitivity to temperatures, joint pains, coronary artery vasospasm, transient myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation, serotonin syndrome etc.

Triptan drugs are available at pharmacies on showing a doctor’s prescription due to the potential side effects, which may be serious in nature. Some Triptan drugs work faster than the others do. Some others work for longer hours, some have only one set of side effects, and the other Triptans may have another set. This makes it imperative for you to consult your doctor before taking these medications. The doctor will make a decision on a case-to-case basis depending on your migraine frequency, intensity, duration, medical history (especially those of heart, diabetes and hypertension etc).

Mamta Singh is a published author, seasoned business, creative and academic writer.

Add a Comment5 Comments

ok, girls! this is the answer to your migraines. go get your blood pressure checked and get on the correct meds for you or get a way to lower those bp numbers. this will help you immediately.

May 27, 2010 - 8:52pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Mamta,
i suffer from severe migraine for the past 7 years.I saw an article in http://www.empowereddoctor.com/menstrual-migraine-treatment which says that approximately half of all women who seek clinical treatment for migraines have reported an association between migraine and menstruation.I do feel the same about my health.Do triptan drugs help migranes during menstruation?

August 13, 2009 - 7:47am
(reply to Anonymous)

Dear Anonymous,

Though I am not a competent authority to advise on this, I can say that studies have shown a positive correlation and results between the use of Triptan drugs (especially Sumatriptan) along with other drugs (like Naproxen) to manage/treat menstrual migraines. However, each one of us has a different medical history (of conditions) and body constitution. It is recommended that you consult your physician/gyn before you start on potent drugs like any of the Triptan family ones. They come with quite a few side-effects.

See articles: http://www.modernmedicine.com/modernmedicine/Obstetrics/Gynecology+&+Women's+Health/Combining-sumatriptan-and-naproxen-relieves-menstr/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/609670



I have suffered menstrual migraines, myself for 11 years now and have eventually found relief with the use of SSRIs (Cipralex 10 mg) combined with workouts. However, what has worked for me may not work for you and so it is best to consult a doctor before starting on any serious drug (incl SSRIs).

Also since, menstrual migraines are sticky and so the long-term dependence on any drug needs to be considered. It is thus wiser to combine it with support therapies such as yoga, massage or workouts etc, so that one may eventually shift out to these Complimentary Alternatives in the medium term at least.

You may find help going through my blog: www.migrainingjenny.wordpress.com
or you may want to read my book Migraines For The Informed Woman (Tips From A Sufferer). The book talks about menstrual migraines, the brain chemistry , the physical chemistry, CAMs, mainstream medication to tackle it, foods etc. It is available through Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_0_18?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=migraines+for+the+informed+woman+mamta+singh&sprefix=migraines+for+the+

Again, it would be best to consult your doctor. I hope this helps in some way.

Thank you and Best Regards
(Hope you have a pain-free month)

August 13, 2009 - 9:53pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Mamta Singh)

Thanks a lot mamta for your kindness and timely health.I will do follow your advice.

August 13, 2009 - 10:40pm
(reply to Anonymous)

The Pleasure was mine and you are welcome any time.
Best Regards

August 14, 2009 - 5:12am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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