If you're living with Chronic Migraine, there are preventative, acute, and alternative treatment options that can help manage your headaches.

While there is no cure for Chronic Migraine, there are different approaches to managing headaches, including preventative, acute, and alternative treatments.

The goals of preventative therapy are to reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of headaches.

The prescription medications listed below are for the prevention of migraines:

OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox®)

  • Dosing: Every 3 months (12 weeks)
  • Possible side effects: Headache, facial muscle weakness, drooping of the eyelids, muscle spasm, muscle tightness, injection pain, rash*

Propranolol

  • Dosing: Daily
  • Possible side effects: Congestive heart failure, slow heart beat, bronchospasm (spasms of the bronchiole tubes in the lungs), anorexia (weight loss), nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, cold extremities, dizziness or lightheadedness*

Timolol

  • Dosing: Daily
  • Possible side effects: Congestive heart failure, slow heart beat, diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, dizziness or lightheadedness, drowsiness, dry eyes, headache, nausea or vomiting, unusual tiredness or weakness, cold extremities, shortness of breath, ringing in the ears*

Flunarizine

  • Dosing: Daily
  • Possible side effects: Drowsiness (sedation or fatigue), weight gain, increased appetite, depression, restlessness, trembling or uncontrolled movements of the face, arms and legs, slow movement, stiffness in older individuals*

Topiramate (Topamax®)

  • Dosing: Daily
  • Possible side effects: Co-ordination problems, difficulty concentrating, slow thinking, confusion and forgetfulness, dizziness, tiredness, tingling, headache, upper respiratory tract infection (e.g., colds, bronchitis), drowsiness*

* This is not an exhaustive list. Please consult your doctor to find out if the product is right for you.

There are also several natural health products that can be used for the prevention of migraines.

Natural health products

Coenzyme Q10 (e.g., Trophic Coenzyme Q10, 80 mg; Coq10, Co-Q10; Clear-q; Bpt Ubidecarenone Capsules Usp 100 mg)

  • Dosing: Daily
  • Possible side effects: Stomach upset, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, appetite suppression, allergic reactions; consult your doctor if migraine frequency increases, and associated nausea and vomiting persist or worsen*

5-HTP (L-5 Hydroxytryptophan, e.g., L-5-HTP Capsules; Westcoast Naturals L-5-HTP Capsules; Cifolia)

  • Dosing: Daily
  • Possible side effects: Drowsiness, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain*

Tanacetum Parthenium (e.g., Migrelief, Feverfew, Extra Strength Feverfew)

  • Dosing: Daily
  • Possible side effects: Hypersensitivity/allergy, gastrointestinal discomfort, sore mouth, mouth ulcers*

Petasites hybridus (butterbur, e.g., Sisu Petadolex, Petadolex, Migranon Ii)

  • Dosing: Daily
  • Possible side effects: Burping, headaches, drowsiness, constipation, upset stomach, hair loss, depression, skin or eye discoloration, skin and allergic reactions, fatigue, difficulty breathing or exhaling, itchy eyes, bad breath, itching, discolored stool*

* This is not an exhaustive list. Please consult your doctor to find out if the product is right for you.

Talk to your family doctor or a specialist who has expertise in treating and diagnosing headaches to find out how preventative, acute, and alternative treatments may benefit you.