How are abortive medications used to treat migraine?

Migraine FAQs: How are abortive medications used to treat migraine?

When head pain and other migraine symptoms begin to take over, medications taken to stop the migraine attack are called abortive medications for acute, immediate, symptom relief. The best time to take these medications is at the very first sign that a migraine is coming. These treatments usually work best in the early stages of a migraine attack when the symptoms haven't grown to full force.

When migraine symptoms begin, abortive treatment is designed to quickly relieve the acute pain and migraine symptoms. Ideally, abortive medications, which are also called acute medications, should consistently ease symptoms and keep them away for at least 24 hours.

For patients whose migraine symptoms include severe nausea or vomiting, oral medications aren't recommended because they may not stay down long enough to work. Doctors also recommend against using acute medications more than twice a week. More frequent use may lead to analgesic or medication rebound headache.