If you suffer from migraines, you know how debilitating they can be. Your doctor might prescribe you a medication to help with your symptoms, but there are over-the-counter migraine medicine options that don't require a prescription as well. To help you determine the best over-the-counter migraine medicine, we've put together a helpful blog.
Migraines are a debilitating headache disorder that affects around 15% of Americans. They can start as severe throbbing pain on one side of the head and can last for several days. Some people have them so often that they have to miss work or school because the headaches make it impossible to function normally.
Over-the-counter migraine medicine can provide relief from common symptoms. However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to know which one is the best for you. The best migraine medicine will depend on what type of migraines you experience and how bad your symptoms are.
Read on to learn more about the available OTC options to treat migraines.
OTC Migraine Medicine Options
Over-the-counter migraine medicine can be bought without a prescription. Many of these drugs are available in different strengths and formulations. However, they may have different side effects and work differently for some people.
It’s best to consult a healthcare provider before taking an OTC migraine medicine for the first time. They can help guide you on the best option, depending on your overall medical condition and other medications you’re taking.
Here are a few of the most common migraine relief options:
Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter medicine that is commonly known by the brand name Tylenol®. It works as a pain reliever and fever reducer, and it can be effective in treating severe headaches associated with migraines. It is usually taken multiple times per day.
If you have liver problems or drink alcohol regularly, talk with your healthcare provider before taking acetaminophen. The use of acetaminophen could increase your risk for liver damage, especially in high doses.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs are one of the most common types of over-the-counter migraine medicine. This class of drugs includes aspirin (Bayer®), naproxen (Aleve®) and ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®). NSAIDs are especially useful for treating migraines because they target inflammation that contributes to symptoms.
NSAIDs can be effective for the short-term treatment of migraine symptoms. However, you should tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of heart disease or stomach ulcers before using an NSAID. The use of an NSAID may increase the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or stomach bleeding in certain groups of people.
Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms associated with migraine headaches. OTC options are available to help reduce vomiting and provide migraine nausea relief. Anti-nausea drugs are most effective when taken early during a migraine attack or within a few hours after symptoms appear. Examples of anti-nausea medications that can be found over the counter include meclizine (Bonine®), diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) and dimenhydrinate (Dramamine®).
What’s the Best Over-The-Counter Migraine Medication?
Over-the-counter migraine medicine is a good option for mild migraine symptoms. Some options are marketed for teenagers with migraine headaches, though you should check with your child's pediatrician before giving them any medication.
It's important to note that not all migraine medications are suitable for everyone. It's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new medication to ensure it's safe to use. If migraine symptoms persist after taking an over-the-counter migraine medicine, then it might be time to see a healthcare provider who can recommend a prescription medication. A prescription drug can be a stronger option for more severe symptoms.
Inside Rx is Here to Help
For most people, over-the-counter migraine medicine is a safe and effective way to treat migraines. They can be taken on their own or combined with other treatments, which can help relieve pain and other symptoms associated with migraines. However, the cost of over-the-counter drugs can add up, especially if you use them frequently.
If you’re looking to save on the cost of an over-the-counter migraine medicine, you may want to consider a prescription savings card. Inside Rx offers a free prescription savings card that can be used to save on a variety of prescription and OTC medications. You can use the savings card for OTC medications if your healthcare provider writes you a prescription.
With Inside Rx, you can compare the lowest prices for migraine medicine at your nearest pharmacies. Just present the savings card at the pharmacy counter to save up to 80% on brand and generic prescription medications.