The newest guidelines for preventing migraines focus on prescription drugs, and tout the efficacy of several non-prescription and herbal options in fighting the debilitating headaches.
"Studies show that migraine is under-recognized and under-treated,” guideline author Dr. Stephen Silberstein of Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia said in a statement. “About 38 percent of people who suffer from migraine could benefit from preventive treatments, but only less than a third of these people currently use them.”
More than 35 million people in the U.S. experience migraine headaches and estimates suggest they cost more than $20 billion each year, both in direct medical costs and loss of productivity.
The new guidelines, co-developed by the American Academy of Neurology which will publish them Tuesday, and the American Headache Society, found that several seizure drugs, including divalproex sodium, sodium valproate and topiramate, can be effective at curbing the frequency of migraines, as well as the severity of their attacks.