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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 tricyclic 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
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an
advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of
suicide. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines.
Instead, a person taking antidepressants should be watched for
warning signs of suicide. This is especially important
at the beginning of treatment or when the doses are changed.
Drugs for migraine (2011). Treatment Guidelines From The Medical Letter, 9(102): 7–12.
June 10, 2011
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
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