It is estimated that as many as 30 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches. Specialists say that migraines are frequently underdiagnosed and undertreated. The majority do not get effective preventive treatment that could help avoid a debilitating attack.
New guidelines from the American Headache Society offer seven approaches to avoiding migraines including anti-seizure drugs such as topiramate or divalproex, beta-blockers like metoprolol or timolol or the non-prescription herb butterbur. Other approaches that may be helpful include magnesium, vitamin B 2 and the herb feverfew. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen can also be helpful for some people.

Join Over 70,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. DianeTC

    Jeff, I just came across your comment while looking for help for a friend who is also suffering from migraines, although hers are not as dreadful as yours.
    You sound like a very caring person, one who has always been there for others. You gave of yourself unselfishly when your country asked you to come to the aid of others half a world away, and that’s something that not everyone would do or does. I greatly admire you for gallantly serving our country on behalf of people who were suffering invasion through no fault of their own, as I admire your steadfastly hanging in there while your doctors have searched for answers. And now you are are the one suffering, the one waiting for troops to rescue you from your own invasion–by migraines.
    You have been through a lot, and it would be a miracle if you didn’t feel tired of all this. Considering your history, I see you as probably much stronger than you see yourself. Thank God some progress has been made, and the headaches are no longer causing you to scream. Your shutting out the light makes sense to me; I just know that I’d be doing the same thing, and probably also considering moving to the Pacific Northwest. Your saying “I really do not know how much more of this I can take” is understandable, but it concerns and worries me. I wish that I were able to give you concrete help, but I don’t have any answers. All I can do is simply care about you as a brother who is worn down from hurting, and to hold you in my prayers, which I am doing. I’m writing because it seemed important that I let you know that someone you don’t know cares about you, wants you to be cured of your pain, supports your returning to a good job, and joins you in praying that you will return to living a long, happy, healthy and fulfilled life.
    Jeff, I hope and pray with all my heart that the Graedons have been able to provide you with the help and relief that you seek. From this moment on, may you receive all that you need to turn your migraines from present-day reality into seldom-recalled memories.

  2. Jeff M.

    I have been diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome and have been having migraines in stretches since 2004. My current stretch is at 26 months every single day and counting with no relief in sight ! My Dr.’s and I have tried everything and nothing has stopped them ! I am now on one med as a preventative that has helped knock the pain down from out-right screaming my head off to something I would call more …normal. But I can no longer work. Light hurts and I live like a vampire blocking my windows and praying for cloudy rainy days. I really do not know how much more of this I can take…..

  3. Paul43

    I would like to hear what else works

  4. evc

    I found that ARBs (for high blood pressure), specifically Benicar, almost totally stopped my frequent migraines.
    I find that if I do get a migraine, an extra partial or whole dose aborts it.
    My doctor did not “buy it” at first, but now agrees with me.

  5. C.S

    Feverfew works very well for eliminating migraines. It is inexpensive but must be taken every day to prevent the headaches. The only side effect that may be of concern for some people is that it could possibly raise blood pressure. It has been my observation that many people who suffer from migraines have lower than average blood pressure, so a slight elevation of blood pressure is not a major concern.

  6. BAP

    I suffered from occasional migraines which progressed over a number of years to daily headaches and frequent migraines. I only found relief after a neurologist gave me a list of foods to watch. Eliminating several foods at a time didn’t help, so out of frustration I eliminated almost everything on the list — and the improvement was amazing!!

  7. TA

    This week I read that some people who eat ice cream fast enough to create “brain freeze” stop their migraines before they become too bad. Anyone try it?

  8. AA

    I have had migraines, on and off, since I was a young teen (I’m now 45). There have been periods in my life whey they’ve occurred with much greater frequency & intensity and times when they weren’t so bad.
    I had been a couple of years without having them and thought maybe I’d turned a corner then, wham! Back they came. After several months of battling a near constant migraine (sometimes it wasn’t so bad but rarely was it completely gone), I stumbled upon the suggestion to include a magnesium supplement. It’s been several weeks and I’ve only had one slight migraine that went away quickly. Magnesium has become my new best friend – I take one first thing every morning! It would definitely be worth a try for someone battling migraines.

  9. Cindy

    Although I am loathe to admit it, I am finding that the newly available generic Imitrix stops any migraine I get. It is actually affordable, too, for those of us without insurance. After menopause, I’ve found the migraines are fewer and much less severe. However, a migraine just doesn’t seem to respond to any OTC medications for many of us.

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.