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Question:

What are phenothiazines?

Expert:   Lawrence C. Newman, MD, Director, The Headache Institute, Roosevelt Hospital Center »

Doctors prescribe phenothiazines for many different conditions. Take a look at this video to learn how they treat the nausea, vomiting and headache pain of a migraine attack.

Transcript: Phenothiazines are a class of drug that is used to treat everything from schizophrenia to severe hiccups. Two brand-name drugs of this type, Compazine and Thorazine, are also effective in easing migraine symptoms, including severe nausea and vomiting. For some people they also ease headache pain. These drugs are very helpful if they ease nausea and vomiting during a migraine attack, because when THOSE symptoms go away, a person can take OTHER medicines such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen—that can STOP the headache pain altogether. They are generally not used in conjunction with TRIPTANS, a type of prescription medication for migraine, because TRIPTANS often ease nausea as they relieve pain. And if you still get nauseous taking a triptan, then the doctor can simply switch you from an oral form to a nasal spray or injection. Talk to your doctor if you’re interested in taking phenothiazines. They are associated with complications and side effects, just like other medications, so find out if the risks and benefits make sense for you. More »

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