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Migraines are the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world. 6 million people in the UK suffer from Migraine attacks every day. It is estimated that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 15 men suffer from migraines. The frequency of migraines varies between patients, with some suffering several attacks per week and others going years between each attack.

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Migraine medication packs

Migraine treatments

Rizatriptan (Oral Lyophilisat)

Rizatriptan belongs to a class of medicines called serotonin 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonists. Rizatriptan Tablets are used to treat the headache phase of the migraine attack in adults.

Rizatriptan medication packs


Sumatriptan belongs to a group of medicines called serotonin receptor (5-HT1) agonists. It's a painkiller specifically used to relieve migraine attacks.

Sumatriptan medication packs


Zolmitriptan tablets contains zolmitriptan and belongs to a group of medicines called triptans. Zolmitriptan is used to treat migraine headache.

Zolmitriptan medication packs

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What are Migraines?

Migraines can be classed as -

  • an attack with an aura - warning signs such as flashing lights before an attack occurs.
  • an attack without an aura - no warning signs before an attack starts
  • silent migraine - all the warning signs but no headache develops.
Headaches types

What are the main causes of migraines?

The cause of a migraine remains unknown although there are some theories about this. One theory is that it is caused by vasodilation (blood vessel expansion) in the brain, one theory is that it is vasoconstriction (blood vessel narrowing) and another theory relates to a change in brain chemistry affecting blood vessels, nerves etc.

Migraines often occur in response to a trigger. These triggers are unique to each migraine sufferer and a key part of managing your migraines is to learn and manage your own triggers. There are many potential triggers for migraine, and to help you determine your own, a headache diary can be helpful in identifying what might be a trigger for you.

For example, many people find emotional stress and poor or disturbed sleep to be a trigger, others find the world around them can trigger a migraine such as harsh chemical smells and bright lights or flickering screens. Many find there are dietary triggers - such as missed meals, dehydration, alcohol (particularly red wine), caffeine as well as foods containing tyramine (such as cheeses). Women may find that normal hormonal changes (such as during the course of their normal period cycle) can trigger a migraine.

What is the fastest way to treat a migraine?

To treat a migraine, there are two main strategies: treatment of the acute migraine episode and then prevention of migraine episodes.

For many migraine sufferers, lying down in a darkened and quiet room at the onset of an attack can be helpful. Simple analgesia, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can be beneficial, but it is always important to monitor how often you need these treatments - as overuse of pain-relieving medication can themselves cause headaches. Codeine containing treatments should only be considered following discussion with your GP, as headaches can occur frequently with codeine.

Some migraine sufferers also experience nausea and vomiting as well as a headache, and some over the counter treatments also contain a mild anti-sickness treatment to counteract this.

If over the counter treatments are not helpful in the acute phase of your headache, there is a type of treatment your GP can offer to take at the onset of your migraine. These treatments (sometimes called Triptans) aim to reverse the changes that have happened in the brain to cause the migraine. These can only be taken a certain number of times per month, however, and if you are using these treatments regularly then you will need to see your GP again to discuss whether a preventative treatment would be more appropriate for you.

Avoidance or managing triggers is also key to managing your migraines, as limiting your exposure to triggers where possible will help to prevent the migraine from happening in the first place.

Is a migraine a serious problem?

Migraines are not serious but they can have a serious impact on quality of life. Those with frequent migraines may find they are less able to be productive for days at a time, being unable to carry out normal daily activities, which may occur several times a month.

Meet our team

PrivateDoc is happy to introduce you to some of our leading UK licensed clinicians who will be supporting you through your migraine journey.

Digital health clinic for migraine

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