Migraine is a condition of the neurological system which is accompanied by very intense headaches and sometimes, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in talking, a numbing, pulsing or tingling sensation, and a light and sound sensitivity. The area of the head affected by migraine can depend from person to person, and the intensity of pain in that area also varies. There are many medicines, and home treatments available to help people with migraine feel better. One of these treatments is this miraculous drink called migraine cocktail, which unlike what the name suggests, is a drink made by combining various medicines.
Reading the definition of migraine is enough to make anyone realize how troublesome this problem can be. This condition makes carrying the daily activities a taxing job and can affect the person of any age, the most common cause of it being genes. We understand the plight of those suffering from migraine and have curated an explicit article that includes everything about this elixir!
What is a migraine cocktail?
Migraine cocktail is a common medication provided to people with migraine. Migraine is a condition that is not curable but can be brought under control which is exactly what this drink does. The components of this cocktail can vary depending on the symptoms of the person. People turn to these cocktails because typically just a single medication is not able to make the person free of migraine. A cocktail has different medicines that work in harmony to make the person feel better.
There are two kinds of migraine cocktails- prescription and over the counter. A medical health professional can design the right cocktail, depending on the patient’s medical history and how they react to certain medications. When a person listens to the term cocktail for the first time, they think it can only be ingested, but sometimes cocktails are taken through IV as well. It is highly recommended to only take cocktails prescribed by a professional to avoid any discrepancies in the amount consumed.
Migraine cocktail ingredients
Here are some of the ingredients or combinations of medications used in making migraine cocktails.
- Triptans– triptans are the family members of the drugs based on tryptamine. These drugs can stimulate the production of serotonin which in turn calms down the pain nerves that trigger the headaches of migraine. This reversal of action technique makes triptans a beneficial medication in treating headaches. Frovatriptan, naratriptan and sumatriptan are some examples of triptan that help to deal with the symptoms of migraines.
- Antiemetics– antiemetics like metoclopramide (Reglan) and prochlorperazine (Compazine) are useful medications for people who experience symptoms of nausea and vomiting while going through migraine pains. They can also lessen the pain of migraines.
- Ergot alkaloids– The work and function of ergot alkaloids are similar to that of triptans. A commonly used ergot alkaloid for migraine cocktails is dihydroergotamine.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs– the most commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug in the treatment of migraine is ketorolac or Toradol, which eases the pain of migraines.
- Intravenous steroids– IV steroids are taken intravenously and have a reducing effect on the pain and inflammation caused due to steroids and also prevents the pain from returning for a few days.
- Intravenous fluids– these medications are usually prescribed to patients who may have lost some body fluids due to migraine, to reduce other symptoms caused by migraines, and to lower or prevent the side- effects of certain drugs that are a part of the migraine cocktail.
- Intravenous magnesium– magnesium is a useful metal that naturally helps in the betterment of migraine pains and lowering the number of migraine attacks
- Intravenous valproic acid or Depakote– severe migraine attacks are treated with IV valproic acid, which is also a medication used to treat seizures.
Side-effects of migraine cocktail
All the individual medications used in a migraine cocktail have some potential side-effects. We will elaborate on all of these side-effects for your benefit.
- The side-effects of triptans can include body aches, pains, extreme fatigue, and stiffness in body parts like the jaw, neck, and chest. Some more rare side-effects of triptans are heavy feeling in certain body parts, flushing of the skin, dryness in the mouth, feeling drowsy and dizzy, and nausea.
- People who are on antiemetics and neuroleptics can experience side-effects like muscle tremors and tics and restlessness.
- Ergot alkaloids can produce side-effects like nausea and vomiting, drowsy feeling, and upset stomach.
- The side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs include upset stomach, pain in the abdominal area, and diarrhoea.
- A person on steroids might experience side-effects like trouble falling asleep, feeling dizzy, nausea, and vomiting.
What is an over the counter (OTC) migraine cocktail?
Many people might have heard about this over the counter migraine cocktail, which is made by combining three drugs, namely, aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine.
250 mg of aspirin acts on the pain and inflammation caused due to migraines, 250mg of acetaminophen can reduce the pain by lowering the number of prostaglandins produced by our body, and 65 mg of caffeine causes vasoconstriction which is the process of narrowing the blood vessels. This the standard OTC migraine cocktail.
These medications act best on the migraine when taken together and are known to reduce the symptoms of migraine significantly.
OTC cocktails like the other one can have side-effects like racing heart and insomnia due to OTC caffeine, which is why doctors usually recommend against it. The overuse of these medications can also lead to other side-effects like dizziness, headaches due to overuse of medicine, abdominal pain and cramps, nausea, sleeplessness, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
Apart from medications that help in relieving the symptoms of migraine attacks, some medications can also prevent a migraine attack. Beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, Amitriptyline, venlafaxine, valproate, Topamax, and botox injections are some examples of medications that can prevent migraine attacks.
The bottom line is that there is a myriad of medicines for patients suffering from migraines that can help them love a close to normal life! We hope we took at least the headache of not-knowing off the shoulders of our readers!
Also, read- One-stop solution to all types of headaches