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Getting migraine help: Treatment options

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Ashleigh Payne says the pain was constant.

“Hours and hours [of] intense throbbing,” she said.

Her migraines have caused her to miss work for days.

“It took me out of work for at least a week. I went to the emergency room multiple times,” Payne said.

Frustrated that she did not find a successful treatment, Payne stopped seeking help for about five years.

However, Wake Forest Baptist neurologist and headache specialist Dr. Juline Bryson reassures migraine sufferers help is available.

Bryson says although there’s currently nothing on the market that was invented for preventing migraines, medications for other health issues can help.

“We use either antidepressants even though the patient isn’t depressed, antiseizure medications even though they’re not having seizures or, antihypertensives or blood pressure medications. All of these have been found to be able to decrease the number and the severity of headaches,” Bryson said.

Payne has been seeing Bryson for about six months and is on a regimen that includes an antidepressant.

“I’ve gone from having four to five headaches a month to maybe one and it’s very manageable,” Payne said.

Checking with your primary care physician can be a good place to start depending on how comfortable he or she is with migraine treatment.

Otherwise, Bryson recommends seeing a headache specialist with United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties certification.