Eventhough conditions such as migraines, tension and cluster headaches have becomefairly common, the changes accompanying them, and biological in origin, are yet to be fully comprehended andmade known. But numerous studies and researches done on this subject, revealedthat some of the factors which are most common “meddlers”. The first on thelist are changes in neurotransmitters, most of all in serotonin levels. Lack orexcess in this neurotransmitter results in headaches, mostly chronic innature. Next are inflammations which occur in the vicinity of our bloodvessels and nerves situated in our head. Muscle tension which, even thoughit contributes to headaches, is rarely the main culprit,and is also on the list.
Medicationsemployed in headache treatment are supposed to aid in the following: providingstability to blood vessels, reducing muscle tension, limiting and stoppinginflammations, mimicking serotonin effects. Medications, as such, do not provide alot of help in treating headaches and similar conditions, but the fact remainsthat they are most effective if we combine them with certain other therapiesinvolving appropriate diet, proper sleep, plenty of exercise and stressmanagement.
Thefollowing medications give particularly good results when treating varioustypes of headaches: corticosteroids, which decrease inflammation in the areaaround blood vessels when headache occurs; antihistamines, which relieveintense pain, diminish nausea, prevent unwanted side effects of othermedications; abortive medicines, which have the potential to prevent, reverseor ameliorate an occurring or headache that has just begun. Muscle relaxants releasethe tension in muscles and blocks body’s sense of pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatorymedications reduce inflammation and pain, and triptans imitate serotonin andrestore the proper size of blood vessels, which is why all of them can be usedin treating headaches.
Fortreating the more intensive cluster headaches abortive drugs are used as well.Most of all anesthetics (liquid cocaine and lidocaine which prevent nerves tosend pain signals) and oxygen (inhaling additional oxygen can initiate changesin our blood vessels which can bring headache attacks to a halt).
Asidefrom these drugs, effective are also preventive ones. They are known to reducethe occurrence rate, seriousness and duration of headaches. People who areespecially in need of them are those who experience more than 3 headaches inthe course of the month, those whom these medications don’t provide consistentrelief and those who are practically paralyzed when under the headache.
Anothervery important fact is that preventive medications can add up to the overalleffectiveness of the abortive medications. Also it should be always kept inmind that almost all medications which are employed in treating headaches, canbe used for treating conditions similar in nature.