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Treatment options

Treatment options for migraine are largely grouped into acute medications, preventative medications, symptom management, and alternative therapies.

Useful links:

Factsheet: Triptans and Acute Migraine Medications

  • Find out more about Triptans and how to use them, as well as an overview of acute medications available. 
  • Clinically reviewed by Dr Emma Foster MBBS FRACP PhD

Factsheet: Preventive Medications for Migraine

  • Information on preventative medications options
  • Clinically reviewed by Dr Bronwyn Jenkins (BMed FRACP)
  • Triptans
  • Ditans (not yet available) work like triptans but can be used by people with heart conditions. The first one, Reyvow, has just been released in the United States.
  • Gepants are CGRP antagonists. Read more about Nurtec on the CGRP page.

The Migraine Trust also has a particularly good page on preventative options.

There is a range of devices becoming available for both acute and preventative migraine treatment. These nerve stimulator devices are worth considering, especially if you have trouble with medications. 

Most people with migraine will manage their attacks symptomatically – that is, they will treat the headache or nausea, rather than using migraine-specific medications. This includes:

  • Over the counter and prescription medications to manage pain, like codeine and tramadol, or Antiemetic (anti-nausea) medication, such as Ondansetron, Stemetil or Maxalon.
  • Medical cannabis has been shown to have some benefit for some people in small limited studies so far, but can be difficult to get.



There are a range of things you can do to help prevent and manage migraine attacks that do not involve drugs. This includes:

Read more about lifestyle adjustments

Allied health professionals can provide a great deal of assistance in managing migraine. The main ones used by many migraine patients are:

Others will find relief working with an exercise physiologist, chiropractor, nutritionist, occupational therapist, or osteopath. As migraine is a complex condition that every individual experiences differently, you need to find the right combination of therapies that work for you. 



We have not had effective preventative treatment for migraine before the introduction of the CGRPs, triptans don’t work for everyone, and there is an enormous number of people living with migraine. Because of this trifecta, we are a vulnerable target for aggressive marketers promoting devices, protocols, systems, diets and concoctions promising a miracle cure. Migraine cannot be cured.

We all have moments of desperation when we are willing to try anything for some relief. Try to protect yourself by never deciding to do or try anything without discussing it with your doctor first, and don’t buy things when severely affected by a migraine attack.