Migraine is a primary headache disorder characterized by recurrent headaches that are moderate to severe. Typically, episodes affect one half of the head, are pulsating in nature, and last from a few hours to 3 days.
Initial recommended treatment is with simple pain medication such as ibuprofen and paracetamol (acetaminophen) for the headache, medication for the nausea, and the avoidance of triggers. Specific medications such as triptans or ergotamine may be used in those for whom simple pain medications are not effective.
Signs and symptoms Migraine typically presents with self-limited, recurrent severe headache associated with autonomic symptoms. A migraine lasting longer than 72 hours is termed status migrainosus. There are four possible phases to a migraine
- The prodrome, which occurs hours or days before the headache
- The aura, which immediately precedes the headache
- The pain phase, also known as headache phase
- The postdrome, the effects experienced following the end of a migraine attack