What is a Migraine Cocktail?

By Dr. Pallavi Sharma

Table of Contents


The best way to get rid of a migraine is by taking some pain medication. This will help you feel better and prevent future headaches. There are many migraine cures available on the market.

Migraine is one of the most common complaints of females that disrupt their day-to-day life. neurological disorders. It’s a condition that causes severe headaches and can sometimes result in nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to bright light.

Migraine sufferers often find themselves trying every possible treatment before finding the right one.

While there are many different types of medications available on the market, only a few of them have been proven effective in treating migraines.

What is a Migraine Cocktail?

A migraine drug cocktail is a method of treating migraines with the use of a combination of drugs. The term “cocktail” refers to combining medication in a single dose rather than taking it separately.

The drug cocktail consists of one or more prescription medications taken together to control migraine headaches. This can be used for both acute treatment and prophylactic treatment.

It is used for patients who have not found relief from other drug combinations or treatments, such as triptans or opioids, or those who cannot tolerate them because of side effects or other reasons.

Medications in the Migraine Cocktail

A migraine drug cocktail is a combination of drugs that are used to treat migraines.

It is recommended that you take the cocktail at the first sign of a migraine, which is usually when you feel a sudden onset of pain in one temple or forehead that spreads down your face.

You may be given one or more types of medication in the cocktail, depending on what your doctor thinks you need.

The different types of medication can work differently together, so they are combined into a single pill or a capsule.

In general, there are several categories of prescription migraine medications.


These are the most common type of drug used for treating migraines.

These drugs work by blocking the release of certain chemicals in the brain.

They are usually taken as a pill or injected into a muscle, but they can also be given as an injection into a vein (intravenous) or under the skin (subcutaneous).

Triptans are not just used for migraines and other headaches; they can constrict the blood vessels and relieve pressure in the brain.

These are the triptans that are frequently prescribed.

  • Sumatriptan (Imitrex)
  • Zolmitriptan (Zomig)
  • Frovatriptan (Frova)
  • Rizatriptan (Maxalt)
  • Almotriptan (Axert)
  • Eletriptan (Relpax)
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin, (usually given as an aspirin-containing tablet).

  • Aspirin
  • Diclofenac
  • Ibuprofen (Advil)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)


The first medication in a migraine drug cocktail is an antiemetic.

Antiemetics block the receptors in the brain that respond to nausea and vomiting.

They work by blocking certain chemicals (such as dopamine or serotonin) that cause nausea and vomiting.

  • Chlorpromazine
  • Droperidol
  • Metoclopramide
  • Prochlorperazine

Ergot Alkaloid

The most effective migraine treatment is the use of drugs that inhibit the release of serotonin (serotonin antagonists).

Ergot alkaloids are also used as migraine prophylaxis in some cases.

Dihydroergotamine is a type of ergot alkaloid that is used for the treatment of acute migraine attacks. Dihydroergotamine has been used as an injection for the acute treatment of migraines.

It typically takes effect within 15 minutes and lasts up to 6 hours.

The use of dihydroergotamine can be limited by its side effects, which include high blood pressure, chest pains, and heart problems.


The third medication in a migraine drug cocktail is an anti-inflammatory medication.

NSAIDs are a type of drug that is used to reduce pain and inflammation. They work by reducing the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that cause pain and swelling.

The most common NSAIDs are listed below.

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Ketoprofen

Some NSAIDs can also be used to prevent migraine headaches.

Some people with migraines may experience relief from their symptoms by taking NSAIDS for a short time after the onset of a headache or as soon as they feel the migraine coming on.


Steroids have been included in the cocktail to relieve inflammation.

If a patient is having an acute headache, intravenous steroid injections can be used.

IV Fluid

Intra venous fluid is given as the patient is experiencing vomiting and nausea.

Dehydration is a key factor in migraines.

Proper hydration might reduce headache complications.

Magnesium Sulfate

Intravenous magnesium sulfate is used to treat headaches. It is proven that magnesium is beneficial in treating migraines with aura.

Valproic Acid

Sometimes, antiepileptic medicine and intravenous valproic acid may help to treat symptoms.

Side Effects of the Migraine Cocktail!

This cocktail may occasionally cause side effects, which are usually less severe than migraine symptoms.

  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Gstritis

Over the Counter Migraine Drugs to Try at Home!

If you are at home, you can try a combination of migraine drugs or a cocktail to relieve the migraine.

The combination of the three drugs is as follows: (NSAID+Acetominophen+Caffeine)

The drug doses below are for adults.


Aspirin 250 mg twice daily, or

Ibuprofen 500 mg every 8 hours or so

Naproxen 500mg twice daily.

With Acetominophen

The dosage is 1000 mg every 8 hours.

And Caffeine

Caffeine is a trigger of migraines when used in large amounts.

When you are having a migraine episode, it is better to use a hot caffeine cup in small quantities (60-65 mg).

Caffeine has properties of anti-inflammatory and antioxidants that can reduce blood flow to the brain.

Is it Safe to Take an O-T-C Migraine Cocktail?

The O-T-C migraine cocktail has three drugs.

You should choose one from the NSAID group and combine it with caffeine and acetaminophen.

It is not safe to use this drug on children less than 12 years of age.

it is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Allergy to any drug out of three means it is not safe to use.

If you have organ failures like renal or liver failure, you might need to Submit second opinion from the doctor before taking these medicines.

Other Treatment Methods for Migraines

Most people rely on prescription medicines to help with their migraines.

There are many different types of migraine medications available, including over-the-counter medicines and herbal remedies.

It is best to consult with a doctor when deciding which type of medicine will work best for you.


Migraine medications are usually classified into three groups.

  • Abortive drugs
  • preventive drugs
  • symptomatic drugs.

Abortive Drugs

The most common abortive drug is sumatriptan (Imitrex).

This drug can be taken in pill or nasal spray form.

Other common abortive drugs include dihydroergotamine (DHE) injection, naratriptan (Amerge), zolmitriptan (Zomig), and frovatriptan (Frova).

Preventive Drugs

Preventive drugs can be taken daily as a preventive measure or at the onset of a migraine headache to reduce the severity or frequency of attacks.

They include antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil) and topiramate/zonisamide (Topamax).

Symptomatic Treatment

Antiemetic treatments: Metaclopromide and ondansetron to treat nausea and vomiting.

Special Medications

Lasmiditan (Reyvow)

This is a newer drug that is used to treat severe migraines and helps to reduce severe symptoms.

Erenumab (Aimovig)

This is another newer drug that has been used as a preventive medication.


These are used as a last resort to relieve pain as there is a risk of dependence and abuse.

Morphine, butorphanol, tramadol, codeine, and meperidine (Demerol), etc.

Relaxation Therapies

Massage, acupressure, or acupuncture

These techniques can reduce migraine pain as there is an increased release of pleasure hormones in them and, in turn, will reduce headaches.

Acupressure and acupuncture can additionally reduce sympathetic nervous activity, increase blood circulation, and reduce inflammation in the brain.

These therapies are helping to reduce severe chronic headaches and reduce their frequency.

Lifestyle Changes

Dietary Modifications

Diet can play an important role in helping to treat migraines because they can reduce inflammation and decrease the frequency of migraines by preventing the release of stress hormones that cause them.

Some common dietary changes include

  • Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil)
  • Getting plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables each day
  • Avoiding processed foods that contain high levels of sugar and gluten (which may lead to food sensitivities)
  • Reducing caffeine intake (which can trigger an attack)
  • Avoiding Certain Foods: Some foods have been shown to trigger attacks or worsen existing ones.

Hydration and Meals

  • A glass of warm milk will energize you and help you to sleep.
  • Ice cold water and lemon juice can help relieve the pain of a migraine.
  • Chamomile tea or ginger tea can help reduce the inflammation in your head, which is often caused by migraines.
  • Have a cup of coffee or tea with caffeine in it; this helps relieve muscle spasms and the pain associated with migraines.
  • Eating an apple or banana with some cheese will help keep your blood sugar stable, making it less likely for you to Submit migraine.

Exercise Regularly

Stretching exercises may help to relieve symptoms of pre-migraine and aura.

Certain behaviors should be avoided.

Recent research findings have shown that certain behaviors may induce migraines. These are some examples:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Chewing
  • Loud noises
  • strong smells
  • Strenuous exercise

When to See the Doctor!

The majority of migraine sufferers are able to manage their symptoms through self-care methods like medication, relaxation techniques, or lifestyle adjustments.

However, if the pain persists for several days and does not respond to any of these methods, then it is time to see a doctor.

Other indications to see the doctor:

  • If the headache comes with fever and neck stiffness
  • If the headache is accompanied by muscle weakness and slurred speech
  • If a headache appears without a migraine stage, as a “thunderclap”.
  • If you have a history of blows to the head or a fall within 24 hours,

You must see the doctor.


TeleHealthDoc articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Dr. Pallavi Sharma

Dr. Pallavi Sharma is one of Melbourne’s best, well respected cosmetic doctors and aims to provide longstanding anti-aging benefits for her clients. With over 11 years experience in Performing cosmetic procedures, Dr. Sharma has lectured medical professionals regarding cosmetic treatments and is heavily involved in providing up to date cosmetic treatments to her clients and friends.
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