Migraine

A migraine is a headache characterized by an intense, throbbing pain often on one side of the head. Migraine attacks are typically recurring and may last for hours or even days. According to the 2016 Global Burden of Disease study, an estimated 12 million Filipinos suffer from migraine.

Last Updated: February 24, 2024

Migraine headaches may arise as a result of certain triggers such as: 

  • Lack of sleep
  • Bright lights
  • Strong odors
  • Loud noises
  • Hunger
  • Dehydration
  • Alcohol 
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Stress

 

Other risk factors such as hormonal changes, allergies, and a family history of migraine may also increase the likelihood of getting migraines. 

During a migraine, you may have:

 

  • Throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Sensitivity to sounds

For relatively mild attacks, bed rest alone may be enough for the migraine to subside. In cases where migraine pain ranges from moderate to severe, various medications may be prescribed to relieve pain. 

 

Common pain medications for migraine:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Ibuprofen 
    • Aspirin 
    • Naproxen 
  • Triptans
    • Sumatriptan 
    • Rizatriptan 
    • Zolmitriptan 

 

The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is not recommended for those with stomach, liver, or kidney problems. Triptans are not advisable for individuals who have cardiovascular problems. 

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO (PREVENTION AND CONTROL)

 

There is no clear answer on how to prevent migraines but proper lifestyle management may reduce the frequency and possibly even the severity of the attacks. Here are a few tips that may help:

  • Be active and exercise regularly
  • Eat a healthy diet 
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Avoid irregular eating and sleeping patterns 
  • Find ways to relax and destress
  • Avoid known triggers

 

For those experiencing severe migraine pain, consult your physician and take the prescribed medication. Caution is also advised to patients to not overuse their medication. 

 

REFERENCES

 

Migraine Headaches. Cleveland Clinic Medical Professional. Updated March 3, 2021.  Accessed July 16, 2022. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/5005-migraine-headaches#symptoms-and-causes

 

Migraine Headaches. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Accessed July 16, 2022. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/headache/migraine-headaches

 

Signs and Symptoms

Migraine. Mayo Clinic staff. July 02, 2021. Accessed July 17, 2022. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/syc-20360201

 

Stovner, L., Nichols, E., Steiner, T., Abd-Allah, F., Abdelalim, A., Al-Raddadi, R., … Doan, L. (2018). Global, regional, and national burden of migraine and tension-type headache, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. The Lancet Neurology, 17(11), 954–976. doi:10.1016/s1474-4422(18)30322-3 

 

WomensHealth.gov. Migraine. Updated Feb 22, 2021. Accessed July 16, 2022. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/migraine

Last Updated: February 24, 2024