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Enough is enough

People have been coping with migraine for far too long. Its destructive nature brings with it a fear that may never subside – from the agony of previous attacks, to the anxiety of the next.

People have been
coping with migraine for far too long.

Its destructive nature brings with it a fear that may never subside – from the agony of previous attacks, to the anxiety of the next.

Tame your migraine is about containing that fear. A message of empowerment to help people believe that it is possible to take back some of the control that migraine steals from them.

Finding ways to manage life around migraine can feel like an impossible task. But we’re here to say migraine doesn’t have to call the shots. Instead, ask your doctor about preventative treatment options.

Assess your migraine, then speak to your doctor

One of the
reasons why
migraine can be so
difficult to understand
and explain to others is
that it is uniqueto
each individual. It is migraine
that chooses when to turn up and
how much damage to cause.

One of the reasons why migraine can be so difficult to understand and explain to others is that it is unique to each individual. It is migraine that chooses when to turn up and how much damage to cause.

Work through this short quiz and in a few minutes you will have a personalised migraine impact report to download and take with you to your doctor.

Whilst you may not see the back of migraine altogether, there are a range of preventative treatment options that could help to reduce the impact migraine is having on your life.

Your answers are for your eyes only, and are intended to help summarise the impact that migraine is having on your life. Novartis UK does not collect this information (please read our privacy policy for more details).

FAQs

Migraine affects people in many different ways, often prompting a variety of questions. Hopefully you’ll find some of the answers you need here.
Can migraine be cured?

Many people who experience the debilitating effects of migraine simply want to know how to cure a migraine, so it can be difficult to hear that there is currently no cure.

However, there are a number of preventative treatments available that can help; by reducing the frequency, intensity and/or duration of migraine attacks. Whether you have episodic (up to 14 headache days a month) or chronic (15 or more headache days a month, of which eight include symptoms of migraine)1, it may be helpful to discuss preventative treatment options with your doctor to see if you could benefit.

The complexity and individual nature of migraine means these treatments can work differently for every person.2 Acute treatments are also available which may help to ease symptoms once the migraine has already started.2

Usually, the first step in migraine management is to try to identify and avoid, if possible, your migraine triggers.2,3

Keeping a migraine diary can help you, and your doctor, work together in order to manage your migraine more effectively.4

What kind of doctor treats migraine?

When you’re living with persistent migraine symptoms, you need to know who you can turn to for help.

For most people, the first doctor they will see is a general practitioner (GP). You should make an appointment to see your GP if you have frequent or severe migraine attacks, or if you feel migraine is having a negative impact on your personal or professional life.5

Some people continue to have migraine managed by their GP, but those who experience severe migraines may benefit from seeing a doctor who specialises in the nervous system, including the management of headache conditions, such as a neurologist or headache specialist.

Regardless of the type of doctor you see, it is important to have regular reviews to ensure you are getting the best treatment and care available to you.2

To make the best use of your time with the doctor, why not work through our migraine assessment quiz to create a personalised report to take along to your next appointment.

When should I ask my GP to be referred to a specialist?

Your GP may refer you on to a neurologist/headache specialist if:6

  • They are unsure of the right diagnosis for you, or if a less common form of migraine is suspected
  • You experience different types of headache
  • Your treatment is not working well for you
  • Your migraine attacks are getting more frequent or more intense

Research has shown that many people living with migraine have unnecessarily low expectations of what they can achieve through optimum management, but do remember your GP can refer you on to a neurologist if you ask to see one.2,6

So, if migraine is having a negative impact on your daily life, and you’ve not managed to get symptoms under control despite trying multiple preventative treatments, talk to your GP about the possibility of a referral to a specialist.

Completing our assessment quiz and taking along your responses may also help to ensure you cover everything you wish to during an appointment and that your doctor has a complete picture of all the ways in which migraine might be affecting you.

What is meant by preventative migraine treatment?

Preventative treatments aim to reduce the frequency and/or severity of headaches, helping to stop migraine attacks before they start.

These medications are taken regularly, even when you aren’t experiencing a migraine attack.4

What is the difference between prophylactic, preventative and preventive treatment?

When reading about, or discussing, preventive treatment, you may notice that different terminology is used, including ‘prophylactic’, ‘prophylaxis’, ‘preventative’ and ‘preventive’.

Although this may be confusing, all these terms mean the same thing and simply refer to treatments taken on a continual basis aimed at stopping migraine attacks before they start, and therefore reducing the number of migraine attacks experienced.

How many migraine days do I need to experience in a month to be eligible for preventative treatment?

Usually, a preventative migraine treatment will be considered by your doctor if you have more than four migraine attacks a month, but your doctor will make the decision based on your individual needs and circumstances.4,7

Preventative migraine treatments are also often considered if the individual has significant disability, associated with the migraine, despite appropriate symptomatic therapy.4

When do I change from one preventative treatment to another?

It can be very frustrating to feel like your prescribed medication is not working for you. If this is the case, we recommend discussing your symptoms with your doctor. Remember that finding the right treatment, at the right dose, can take time.

Bear in mind that there are a range of preventative treatments and they have different ways of working. Migraine is very individual, if one treatment is not working for you, another may be effective.

Your doctor may suggest changing your preventative medication if one or more of the following applies to you:2,4

  • It isn’t providing you with the symptom relief you need
  • You are experiencing side effects from treatment
  • You have developed a condition that may affect the way the treatment works on your body
  • You need to take drugs for another condition that may interfere with it
  • You are finding it difficult to keep up with the dosing schedule.

Some treatments may not be safe to use during pregnancy and so you should tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant or are thinking of getting pregnant.2

Helpful resources

To find your nearest headache specialist centre, visit the
British Association for the
Study of Headache (BASH)
website, alongside a list of other migraine resources:

References