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If you have ever had a migraine, you know how utterly debilitating it can be. From the searing pain, to the nausea and aura… It can feel impossible to deal with. That’s not even touching on the social stigmas around migraines when people say “oh you’re having a headache … I get those all the time”. I am happy to tell you that there are Natural Alternatives to Triptans and that not all hope is lost if you want to focus on natural remedies instead of adding another prescription to your daily lineup.
First off … what is a migraine?
Migraines will often come on suddenly without warning. Or at least, until you learn your warning signs it will feel sudden. But chances are if you have nausea accompanying your head pain and/or have an aura with pain… You are likely having a migraine. Here’s an article I wrote about natural migraine relief that you will find helpful, too. I am not a doctor and I highly recommend seeing your primary care doctor or a neurologist to get an official diagnosis. Here is an article that breaks down the differences between the various types of headaches and migraines.
The Most Commonly Prescribed Migraine Medication: Triptans
This is not an all inclusive list but if your doctor prescribed or suggested one of the following – these are all Triptans.
- Almotriptan (Axert)
- Eletriptan (Relpax)
- Frovatriptan (Frova)
- Lasmiditan (Reyvow)
- Naratriptan (Amerge)
- Rizatriptan (Maxalt)
- Sumatriptan (Imitrex, Onzetra Xsail, Sumavel DosePro, Zembrace)
- Zolmitriptan (Zomig)
What do Triptans Do?
Triptans are a type of medication that treats migraines by changing how the blood circulates in your brain, as well as adjust how your brain processes pain. They are often the first suggestion from neurologist to try when you get officially diagnosed with migraines or cluster headaches. They come in a few different forms… Most commonly prescribed in pill form. But they are also available in nasal and injectable forms as well.
Triptans directly connect with cells in your nervous system and attached to the receptors to activate your serotonin receptors including the 5H1B receptor. This will affect how the blood flows and you can literally feel how it is affecting you. According to the US agency for healthcare research and quality, 1 million people fill prescriptions for rizatriptan and 1.6 million people filed a prescription for sumatriptan in 2020. This means that millions of people in the US alone take triptans annually. And yet … so many of them find that they get side effects that make the trade-off simply not worth it.
Triptan Side Effects
While a lot of people do you find relief from their migraines with triptans… a lot of people simply bear with the side effects that can be absolutely horrible. It’s also important to know that you cannot take triptans regularly they are “rescue medications” and can give you heart or circulatory issues if you take too many.
Side effects of triptans include:
- Chest pain (rare).
- Drowsiness or fatigue.
- Neck pain.
- Tingling, numbness or a “pins and needles” feeling in your hands or feet (paresthesia).
As you can see… The side effects can be really scary. I have taken them myself and got quite a few of the side effects. Thankfully I did some research and was able to stop taking them since I found a natural alternative. That’s why you’re here, right?
Natural Alternatives to Triptans
One of the most common natural alternative to Triptans is Ginger. I specifically take this ginger supplement for migraine relief because I have found it to be extremely effective. Ginger has been used in Asian medicine for generations for good reason. There have been studies about Ginger showing that it is as affective is sumatriptan to abort a migraine attack with zero side effects. But I personally do, is a soon as I feel a migraine coming on inside take to Ginger supplements. Since I started doing this a few months ago, I have cut my migraine days in half and the migraines that I am unable to stop are generally less painful.
I also take Migraleaf Supplements daily which is actually recommended by doctors and is completely natural! Magnesium has been proven to help prevent migraines before they even start, which is one of the key ingredients in this specific supplement. The second ingredient is the herb Feverfew, which has been a natural migraine reliever for many years.
Lastly, don’t scoff at the idea of lifestyle changes. Some migraines are caused by foods that your body doesn’t tolerate well (often times gluten, sugar, and caffeine). Consider integrating things like acupuncture into your life. Whenever I’m going through a migraine flareup period I try to incorporate a lot of meditation into my morning routine as well and find that it helps a bit, too.
Anyone who suffers from migraines knows that any relief is very welcomed. I hope that you found this helpful, and find relief to your pain soon. Let me know in the comments if you try any of my suggestions, and the impact that it has on your migraines.