Manage your migraines & get on with your day

Migraines can affect one in seven people across the world. They're three times as common in women as they are in men, largely due to hormonal factors.

What are the symptoms of a migraine?

Migraine headaches are typically moderate to severe and are usually based on one side of the head. The pain often starts gradually over one to two hours and is often described as pulsating or throbbing. Migraines last from a few hours up to several days.

Migraine headaches are sometimes accompanied by:

• Vomiting or nausea

• Sensitivity to light and sound

• Decreased appetite

What can trigger a migraine?

While there is no known cause of migraines, it often runs in families. Some common migraine triggers include:

• Hormonal changes, like during ovulation or menstruation

• Some foods like chocolate, cheese or red wine

• Stress

• Tiredness

• Sleep disturbances

What type of migraine do I have?

Migraines usually fall into one of three categories:

• Migraine without aura

• Migraine with aura

• Migraine aura without headaches, also known as silent migraines – the least common type

You may experience all three types at different times. All migraines are uncomfortable and the pain can sometimes be very severe. 

How can migraines be treated?

You may find that some simple measures can be enough to manage your migraines. These include:

• Drinking plenty of water

• Taking a nap in a quiet dark room without white light stimulation from televisions, computers or mobile phones

• Taking a painkiller like paracetamol or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen. Remember to eat a small snack before taking any NSAIDs and talk to your pharmacist for advice about dosage, drug interactions and which painkiller is most suitable for you

• Migraines can also be treated with a group of drugs called 'triptans', and with anti-sickness medication. Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to advise you

You may find it helpful to keep a migraine diary to record, for instance, any foods you may have eaten that day, or the stage in your menstruation cycle. You can include any other information you may think is important, like stress levels. This will help you identify triggers and hopefully learn how to avoid migraines.

If you find that your migraines are still not under control or are severe, make an appointment with your GP who will be able to give you stronger medicines like triptans. If you have frequent migraines, even if you're able to manage them with painkillers, you should visit your GP as they may be able to prescribe preventative treatment. They may also decide to send you to a specialist for further guidance on managing your migraines.

When should I see my GP?

You should visit a doctor if your headache does not improve after two days despite taking painkillers regularly, or if your headache is severe.

Do I need to go to hospital?

You should call 999 for an ambulance immediately if you also have: 

• A fever

• A rash

• Difficulty in moving your arms or legs

• Slurred speech

• Fainting episodes 

What are the next steps?

• When you get a migraine, try to rest as much as possible and keep yourself hydrated

• You can also take some painkillers to help ease your headache. Don't hesitate to speak with your pharmacist if you need advice on which medicines to take and how to take them

• If you find that your migraines are severe and difficult to control with these simple measures or are frequent, talk to your GP for advice


We’ve hand-picked some products that could help when migraines strike. From herbal headache capsules to cooling eye masks, we’ve got lots of options to help make migraines more bearable. Why not pick one or two products to keep on standby?

Boots Pharmaceuticals Migraine Relief

Rapid relief

These clever tablets could help provide relief from migraines and associated side effects (including sickness and sensitivity to light) in as little as 30 minutes.*

*Contains the active ingredient Sumatriptan. Always read the label.

Boots Cooling Headache and Migraine Pads

No refrigeration required

Keep a cool head with these ready-to-use pads, designed to help provide immediate relief. Use alongside other migraine products for maximum effect.

Boots Pharmaceuticals Migraine Relief Feverfew Capsules

The traditional approach

If you’re over 18 and you’ve been diagnosed with migraine headaches, you might find this traditional medicine helps stop them in their tracks.**

**A traditional herbal medicinal product used for the prevention of migraine headaches exclusively based on long standing use as a traditional herbal remedy. Contains the active ingredient Feverfew Herb. Always read the label.

Boots Cooling Eye Mask

Refresh & revive

Get headaches that sit right above your eyes? Take 10 minutes to lie back and relax with this soothing mask. For maximum relief, pop it in the fridge for a few minutes first.

Boots Head Calm Stick

Cool & soothe on the go

Pop this handy menthol head stick in your bag, car or coat pocket and apply gently across your forehead to help cool and soothe.

*Contains sumatriptan. Always read the label

**A traditional herbal medicinal product used for the prevention of migraine headaches. Exclusively based on long standing use as a traditional herbal remedy. Contains feverfew herb. Always read the label.

***Subject to avaliablility and clinician approval. Charges apply.