When should you use a preventative treatment?
A preventative treatment is indicated if the frequency of your migraines has an impact on your personal and/or professional life, despite having a healthy lifestyle.
SITUATION A: I have 3 attacks a month or less If you have few attacks per month or year, without headache in between, you should favour acute treatments. Treatments used when needed to stop an attack are called acute treatments. If you are in this situation, your migraines should be easy to manage, without having to use a preventative treatment.
SITUATION B: I have attacks 4 days a month or more, but I do not have headaches for at least 15 days a month. If you have migraine attacks frequently (once a week or more), they can affect your personal and professional life, even if you do not have headaches between the attacks. In this situation, you should try to decrease the monthly frequency of your attacks. This is why preventative, or basic, treatments are used. These treatments are taken on a daily basis, even if you do not have a migraine. This situation requires a prescription and a medical follow-up. You need to see your family doctor or a neurologist.
SITUATION C: I have a headache more than half of the time. If you have severe and moderate attacks and almost constant headaches in between, the situation is trickier. You take pills regularly. You do not know which headache is going to turn into a real migraine attack. Your head (and often your neck) hurts most of the time. Working is difficult, and so is your family life. This is what we call chronic migraine. Drug-induced headaches are often related to chronic migraine. This situation requires an expert evaluation.