Headache Prevention Medications

Along with traditional headache medications, other drugs — like antidepressants — can help you have fewer and less-severe headaches.

Generic Name

Brand Name

Possible Side Effects

Amitriptyline

 

Fatigue, dry mouth, weight gain, constipation, drowsiness, and blurred vision. Older adults also may feel confusion or faintness.

Desipramine

Norpramin

Dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, increased appetite, nausea, tiredness, weakness, weight gain

Doxepin

Silenor

Dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, increased appetite, nausea, tiredness, weakness, weight loss

Imipramine

Tofranil

Dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, weakness, weight gain

Nortriptyline

Pamelor

Dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, increased appetite, nausea, tiredness, weakness, weight gain

Protriptyline

 

Dry mouth, weight gain, constipation

Other Antidepressants Used in Headache Prevention

Generic Name

Brand Name

Possible Side Effects

Fluoxetine

Prozac

Nausea, dry mouth, appetite changes, agitation

Nefazodone

 

Blurred vision, lightheadedness, clumsiness, ringing in the ears, skin rash, itching

Paroxetine

Paxil

Fatigue, weight gain

Sertraline

Zoloft

Insomnia, restlessness

Venlafaxine

Effexor

Vision changes, low sex drive, headaches

Citalopram

Celexa

Drowsiness, nausea, insomnia, dry mouth, sweating

Escitalopram

Lexapro

Ejaculating too fast or too slow, insomnia, headache, drowsiness, diarrhea, nausea

Trazodone

Oleptro

Dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, nausea and vomiting, a bad taste in your mouth

Bupropion

Wellbutrin

Agitation, anxiety, buzzing or ringing in ears, skin rash, hives, itching

Phenelzine

Nardil

Chills, cold sweats, confusion, dizziness or lightheadedness when you get up, overactive reflexes

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