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Antidepressant medicines, which are usually used to treat
depression, can be effective in preventing migraine
headaches. Antidepressants have some pain-relieving properties and may reduce
duration and frequency of headaches. Antidepressants are also used to improve
Tricyclic antidepressants are used most to prevent
migraines. Amitriptyline and nortriptyline are used most often. Both have been
shown to be effective in preventing
Other antidepressants may be tried if you do not respond well
to amitriptyline or nortriptyline. The choice of antidepressant to treat your
migraines may depend on your ability to tolerate the side effects of the
Side effects of tricyclic antidepressants
Never suddenly stop taking antidepressants. The use of any
antidepressant should be tapered off slowly and only under the supervision of a
doctor. Abruptly stopping antidepressant medicine can cause negative side
effects or a relapse into a depressive episode or panic disorder.
FDA advisories. The U.S. Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) has issued:
Drugs for migraine (2011). Treatment Guidelines From The Medical Letter, 9(102): 7–12.
Current as of:
March 12, 2014
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
& Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
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