Friday, April 23, 2010

Tranquilizers for Migraine Prevention in Hard to Treat Patients

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For migraineurs who have tried many preventative medications and had no success with them, the remaining options can begin to seem increasingly and depressingly limited. An article on the Neurology Reviews website discusses the rarely-mentioned possibility of using tranquilizers (benzodiazepines) for prevention in hard to treat migraine patients.

A Novel Option for Migraine Prevention?

Benzodiazepines, such as Klonopin, Xanax, Ativan and Valium, are commonly prescribed for treatment of anxiety, panic attacks or insomnia. There have been very few studies of their use for headache prevention. However, there is anecdotal evidence demonstrating their efficacy for certain patients. This makes some sense given the frequency with which migraine patients also experience depression and anxiety. Perhaps the use of a benzodiazepine allows for better control of anxiety, which lowers the trigger threshold in some people.

Unfortunately benzodiazepines are considered highly addictive, which makes some doctors reluctant to prescribe them, especially for routine use. However, for those of us who have been on many preventatives with no results, they may be well worth a try. They can be an inexpensive option and tend to have tolerable side effect profiles. The use of benzodiazepines as migraine preventatives is only recommended for patients who have unsuccessfully tried three other categories of prophylactic medications.

Related Posts:
The Beauty of Not Choosing
Managing Migraine as a Chronic, Progressive Disease

Benzodiazepines: Side Effects, Abuse, Alternatives

A Novel Option for Migraine Prevention?

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.