Migraine headaches drugs - on average, patients satisfied

(April 8, 2018)

For the "migraine headaches" drug treatment category on AskaPatient, patients are satisfied overall with the treatment options. For the 19 drugs listed in this category, the overall average satisfaction score (combined) is 3.75, a rating corresponding to "satisfied." A "5" score indicates the highest patient satisfaction, while "1" is the lowest patient satisfaction. Here are drug satisfaction scores for migraine medications with at least 180 ratings. Click drug name to link to patient comments and reviews.

Migraine Headache Drugs

Drug Count Rating
IMITREX 581 3.6
ELAVIL 560 3.2
MAXALT* 310 4.0
ZOMIG 259 4.2
PAMELOR 187 3.2
MAXALT-MLT 185 4.4
*Maxalt was third highest-rated drug on AskaPatient in 2016; it was also one of the top 15 drugs most frequently described as "expensive" by patients.
Complete drug list: MIGRAINE HEADACHES Average Satisfaction score for all 19 drugs: 3.75

Preventing migraine headaches:

Inderal (click for patient reviews for migraine) and Inderal LA (click for patient reviews for migraine) (brand name) or Propranolol (generic name) are approved for preventing migraine headaches. These are multi-use drugs, and also approved for treating high blood pressure and angina pectoris. Inderal is not meant to be taken once the symptoms of a headache have begun.

Propranolol (Inderal) is the only drug listed on the World Health Organization's "essential" medication list for anti-migraine prevention. On the AskaPatient site, it also has over a 3.5 satisfaction score.

While headaches might respond well to the many prescription strength treatment options available in the U.S., familiar OTC aspirin or NSAIDs are often good enough to bring relief, and these are medicines that are readily available in many countries. So for treating migraine headaches, the WHO essential list includes these three medications:
Acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin, an NSAID)
Ibuprofen (an NSAID)
Paracetamol (Acetaminophen)

More reading on migraine headache treatments and prevention:
The New York Headache Center blog has articles on chemical prescription drugs including off-label drugs like Namenda, Botox injection for prevention, as well as non-drug treatments such as the wireless electrical patch that is attached to the forehead. There are many, many headache web sites and resources. Do you know of a good one? Please let us know at https://www.askapatient.com/general/contact.asp and we may add it to the "Drug Resources" list.