What Are Triptans and How Do They Stop Migraines?

By: EileenDavies


For the longest time, doctors believed that migraines only had one cause, which was the swelling of blood vessels in the brain that caused the pain response and the other symptoms that often accompany a migraine. The medications that were used addressed this issue, by causing the swollen blood vessels to constrict or shrink back down to normal size, which in turn relieved the migraine headache and its symptoms.

There is more information about how migraine headaches work since there has been a lot more research. It is now understood that migraines definitely have the blood vessel swelling, at least for the most common types of migraines, but there is more to that. It is what causes the blood vessels to swell in the first place that provides a bit more information about the function and cause of a migraine.

It is now believed that chemical reactions, electrical reactions, and a flood of neurochemicals are the instigators. In a response to these problems, the blood vessels swell which puts pressure on the nerves and causes your migraine and all its symptoms. The results of the research has led doctors and scientists to out the blame on serotonin because it is one of the main neurochemicals that the body produces.

The medications that treat migraines now deal with these issues, and they are known as triptans. Triptans, like Imitrex and the generic sumatriptan prescriptions, are specifically designed to cause an interference with serotonin levels. They are also designed to alter the effects of a migraine. Triptans will only be effective in people who suffer from the type of migraines that are described, because of their specific interactions.

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