A regular headache is often easily resolved by taking over-the-counter pain medication. But with a migraine, we have to take some heavy-duty medication that may or may not work and often have some very unpleasant, sometimes dangerous side-effects.
All medications have the potential for side effects. Some side effects can be tolerable and managed well, while other side effects may be intolerable and may make it difficult to continue taking the medication. Some medications will not even have an effect on your migraines. Any unusual symptoms should be reported to your doctor.
It’s really important to discuss with your doctor and/or pharmacist prior to beginning any medication:
· the risks of your medication(s)
· how you can handle side effects (i.e. taking ginger capsules to ease nausea)
· how long you should trial the medication before you know if it works or not
· what you should do if the side effects are intolerable
Side effects may often be limited by starting with low doses, increasing the dose slowly, allowing time for your body to adjust to the medication. It may take two to three months, or more, before you notice a positive effect – a decrease in frequency or severity - or to reach your optimal dose.