Download the Migraine Patient Guidelines

Vetted by both medical experts and people living with migraine disease, our Migraine Patient Guidelines offer clear, trusted information to make sense of all the treatment choices for migraine disease.

Learn about the latest treatment options, get support for coping with migraine stigma at work and in your personal relationships, and learn more about how to be a migraine patient advocate.

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What's Inside

The migraine treatment and prevention information you’ll find in this easy-to-understand booklet is based on current recommendations from leading physician associations, including the American Headache Society and the American Academy of Neurology. 

We review how each type of treatment works to ease your migraine symptoms or help prevent migraine attacks, and let you know any important side effects so you can make more informed choices about your treatment.

This second edition of our migraine patient guidelines has been edited by leading doctors and health care experts. It will be updated and improved regularly as new research and updates on migraine prevention and management become available. It’s also been reviewed by patients with migraine disease to make sure the advice is helpful and relatable.

If you haven’t had a chance to see our Patient Charter, please take a look. It spells out really clearly, we think, what it means to us to be patient-focused, and it gets at the core of our mission.

There are, of course, many sets of recommendations designed to help medical professionals deliver the best care possible — including from the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society. These are an invaluable tool for doctors to use when they weigh different treatment options, but those guidelines are written for professional, rather than lay readers. For patients who haven’t graduated medical school, the language can be a challenge, to say the least.

Migraine is a complicated disease with many co-occurring (or comorbid) diseases that can affect which treatment options are right for you. Many common migraine drugs are prescribed off-label, which means they were technically FDA-approved for another disease but may be useful in treating aspects of migraine as well. Newer treatment options, including Botox, surgical procedures, and a new class of drugs to prevent migraine attacks, have come onto the scene in recent months and years. It’s important that people living with migraine know about all of their options in order to have informed and proactive conversation with their health care providers.

Remember that every person’s health, concerns, and insurance coverage are unique. While this guide will give you a general overview of migraine treatment options, talk with your health care professionals including your nurses, physician assistants, doctors, health insurance company, medical benefits person at your work, and pharmacists to get all your questions answered.

Special thanks to Amgen Inc. for their sponsorship of the first edition and Lilly for their sponsorship of the updated second edition of the GHLF Migraine Patient Guidelines.

© 2021 GHLF All rights reserved


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About the Editors

Dr. Theodore Fields

Theodore Fields, MD, FACP, is an Attending Rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery and Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is the rheumatology medical editor of, the HSS website providing comprehensive education on musculoskeletal disease treatment and prevention for physicians and patients. He is the Clinical Director of the Early Arthritis Initiative at HSS, which focuses on education of patients and physicians about early intervention in inflammatory arthritis. His special clinical interests are rheumatoid arthritis and gout. His most recent publications have focused on clinical aspects of gout and on improving education for patients with gout.

Willa Bryer-Douglas

Willa Bryer-Douglas was diagnosed with gout in 2013. Since then, she has researched the condition thoroughly on credited sources like PubMed or major hospital and medical school websites. She is a member of our CreakyJoints Gout Patient Council and hopes that these patient guidelines can help others living with gout control their disease.

About the Patient Guidelines

Download the Migraine Patient Guidelines

Special thanks to Jaime Sanders aka The Migraine Diva, Dr. Deena Kuruvilla, and Lindsay Videnieks from the Headache and Migraine Policy Forum, for reviewing the second edition of our Migraine Patient Guidelines

The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.