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Abortive treatments for migraine are those taken during a migraine, or at its onset, to stop the migraine from continuing. There are many different kinds of abortive treatments, from traditional over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers to triptans.

Some abortive treatments must specifically be taken at the onset of a migraine, and will be ineffective if the migraineur waits too long to take them.

OTC Painkillers Recommended for Migraine

 * Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
 * Aspirin (Bayer, Bufferin, Ecotrin)[1]
 * Aspirin, Acetaminophen, and Caffeine (Goody's, Excedrin Migraine)
 * Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, Nuprin)[("Drugs for Migraine and Headache Pain.")] 
 * Naproxen (Naprosyn, Anaprox, Anaprox DS)[2]

Prescription Painkillers Used for Migraine

 * Butalbital, Acetaminophen, and Caffeine (Fioricet)
 * Butalbital and Acetaminophen (Phrenilin)[3]
 * Butalbital, Aspirin, and Caffeine (Fiorinal)[3]
 * Indomethacin (Indocin) [4]
 * Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen (Vicodin, Vicodin ES)[3]
 * Oxycodone and Acetaminophen (Percocet, Tylox)[3]
 * Oxycodone and Aspirin (Percodan)[3]


For more information regarding triptans generally, click here.

 * Almotriptan (Axert)[2]
 * Eletriptan (Relpax)[2]
 * Frovatriptan (Frova)[2]
 * Naratriptan (Amerge)[2]
 * Rizatriptan (Maxalt)[2]
 * Sumatriptan (Imitrex)[2]
 * Zolmitriptan (Zomig)[2]


Dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal)[3] Ergotamine (Ergomar)[3] Ergotamine and caffeine (Cafergor, Wigraine)[3]


 * Magnesium sulfate
 * Hyperbaric oxygen
 * Caffeine
 * Stimulation of the vagus nerve
 * Temperature Therapy
 * CGRP Blockers
 * Transcranial magnetic stimulation


  1. "Drugs for Migraine and Headache Pain." WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/pain-relief-headaches August 22, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Jim Morelli, MS, RPh."Prescription Migraine Medications." RxList.com. http://www.rxlist.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=104593. August 22, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Jerry W. Swanson, MD. "Mayo Clinic on Headache." Mayo Foundation, 2004: p. 63
  4. "Treatments and Drugs." MayoClinic.Com http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/migraine-headache/DS00120/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs