Antidepressants for Migraine Headaches
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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 sleep problems.
Tricyclic antidepressants are used most to prevent migraines. Amitriptyline and nortriptyline are used most often.
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 medicine.
Side effects of tricyclic antidepressants include:
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:
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Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofOctober 9, 2017
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