When people are suffering from a migraine they just want their pain to subside and their headache to go away. But what if there was a way to stop migraine headaches right when they started? Abortive medications, when used at the onset of a migraine headache, can halt the processes that cause headache. These drugs can provide profound relief for migraine sufferers by preventing the pain and nausea which occur when the headache is allowed to continue. A prime example of this occurred in Super Bowl 32, when Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis got a migraine headache during the second quarter and an abortive medication stopped his headache and had him back in the game by the start of the second half just 45 minutes later. In recent years, new medications have been made available that are highly effective at stopping migraines. There are two types of abortive medications, those that are specifically for migraine and others that are non-specific, and can be used both for migraine and other pain disorders. Triptans are a new class of drugs designed specifically to treat migraine. DHE-45 is the brand name for dihydroergotamine, which is an older medication that can be taken as either an injection or a nasal spray. Both the triptans and DHE-45 are extremely effective in treating migraine. Notably, patients who experience aura can take these abortive medications during the aura, but only in the nasal or oral form, not as an injection. Although not as effective as the triptans and DHE, many over-the-counter drugs have abortive properties which are non-specific to Migraine. Drugs like Excedrin, Motrin, and Aleve, are all known to be effective in treating migraines. The effectiveness of abortive treatment was showcased in a recent Super Bowl. When Terrell Davis, the star running back for the Denver Broncos, felt a migraine headache coming on during the second quarter of Super Bowl 32, he went to the locker room and treated himself with DHE. When he returned to the field for the second half, ready to bang heads with the Green Bay linebackers, he was able to play at his peak and he was awarded the Super Bowl MVP for his efforts. If a headache progresses and becomes a full-blown migraine, it can be extremely painful. Patients often use prescription narcotic pain relievers like demerol, codeine, and dilaudid to combat migraine pain, but these medications, unlike the triptans, often have severe side effects like nausea and sleepiness. Also, it is extremely important to note that overuse of narcotic pain relievers can lead to more headaches. If you think you are suffering from migraine headaches and could benefit from one of these treatment options, please see a doctor with an interest in migraine today.