I will try to keep this as brief as possible but also as detailed as possible.
A little bit of background...I am 22 years old and have had migraines for about the past 5 years. I have been seen by a few doctors. I was prescribed some medicine for tension headaches and that was that. I have them often but they are usually manageable ( i have an extremely high pain tolerance).
Saturday night the pain began very abruptly around 6:30 PM. It continued to escalade as the night progressed though I was laying in bed with no lights or sound. Around 11:30 that night it was almost completely unbearable. The pain was excruciating. I caught myself crying out in pain, grabbing my head, you get the idea. It was so bad I almost drove to the emergency room but also did not think I could drive at that point. I did not get much sleep that night and would wake up in pain shortly after falling asleep.
It is now Wed night/ Thursday morning and I still have this migraine. I cannot sleep hardly at all. It seems to be dull during the day but at night it just continues to get worse. I have taken my prescription and over the counter meds and nothing seems to be working.
So I have a few questions. Should I go to the doctor? Is there any meds you would suggest? And could this be something more than a migraine?
Yes, you should go to the doctor! This headache has gone on for too long... if a headache does not get better with home treatment, please go to the doctor. Also, if a headache does not go away for over 3 days at all, like no relief at all, then you can even go to emergency. If you feel you cannot handle the pain, please go to emergency. If the headache at any point becomes "the worst pain imaginable" then also please go to emergency. If you can't drive, phone a taxi... or, if you feel you are in serious danger due to the pain or if you develop any very concerning symptoms you could even call an emergency vehicle if you did not think you could take a taxi and you needed immediate medical attention. But... whatever you do, please go to the doctor because you don't need to be hurting for this long and a doctor can give you better pain medication for migraines.
It is probably not something more than a migraine... it is usually very rare for someone with migraines to have a migraine-like headache and have it not be a migraine BUT if your migraine pattern changes it is important to go to the doctor to let them know this because even though it is rare, there is still the very small slight possibility that it could be something else if it is different from normal. So, that is why it is so important to let your doctor know that your migraine pattern has changed.
As for meds I would suggest... the best meds for migraines in my opinion are triptans, but you can only get these by prescription and you must get a prescription from a doctor. If you go to the hospital they will probably give you an injection of sumatriptan, which is a type of triptan. Your doctor can prescribe you a quick dissolve tablet or a nasal spray (those are both better than a regular tablet) that you can take at home though... examples are maxalt-MLT, zomig-ZMT, zomig nasal spray, imitrex or imitrex nasal spray. But, only your doctor can prescribe these or say if they are actually appropriate for you and your headache (not everyone can take them).
You should DEFINITELY go see your doc, if not going to the ER first. If this is a new presentation of the pain for you, your doc needs to be notified. For me, that would be nothing new, but my neuro knows my history. If you haven't had anything like this before, it's a change, and your doc needs to be appraised ASAP.
Well, if it is a migraine, then the thing is sometimes migraines are just really hard to get rid of. And, nothing can "cure" migraines because it is a genetic disease that doesn't go away, it's just something we are born with... like diabetes or epilepsy. BUT! We can CONTROL our migraines by identifying triggers and with medication. But, right now the medication you are using isn't working, so you and your doctors have to keep searching for a medication that will work to control your migraines. By finding the right medication, you will be able to control your migraines and stop them when they start using medication, and by figuring out what triggers them (keeping a headache diary is a good idea to track triggers) you will be able to avoid some of the headaches.
What medications other than Imitrex have you tried? Imitrex is a triptan, and although usually very effective, it does not always work for everyone. I would suggest getting a prescription for a different triptan to see if you have more success with a different triptan... as different people react differently to different triptans... that's why there are so many on the market and why lots of different people here on the boards will swear by a specific triptan where as others on the forums here will have not found that specific triptan helpful but will swear by another triptan.
The triptan you are currently using is Imitrex, generic name Sumatriptan. The triptan that I use is Zomig Nasal Spray, generic name Zolmitriptan. Some other examples of triptans are Maxalt, generic name Rizatriptan and Axert, generic name Almotriptan. It would be worth it to give one of these other triptans a try. I would suggest getting a triptan in a fast acting form, either a quick dissolve tablet or a nasal spray. The forms out there are Maxalt-MLT (orally disintegrating tablet) or Zomig-ZMT (orally disintegrating tablet) or Zomig Nasal Spray or Imitrex Nasal Spray. There is also an Imitrex Injection although this is usually only prescribed in very rare circumstances or administered in a hospital setting.
At this point, since you haven't had more than 15+ headaches a month for three months I don't think a neurologist would classify you as a chronic headache sufferer so I don't think it is really time to talk about daily preventative medication yet. Some people who get 15+ moderate to severe headaches a month have to take daily medication... but you probably don't need to think about this yet. Right now what is important is stopping THIS headache that you have before it becomes chronic. So, I think it is important getting you the RIGHT triptan.
Trigger point injections might be an option for you at this point. Usually they are are some of temporary freezing agent that is injected into some trigger points in your back, shoulders and neck. Usually lidocaine or procaine or cortisone is injected. Few family doctors do this, but you can ask your family doctor if they do this. If they don't, you can ask for a referral to a pain clinic where they will do this. Some neurologists do this as well. Some hospitals also do this. The injections only last for a few days but that should be enough to have stopped the pain cycle and once the freezing wears off you shouldn't be in pain anymore, hopefully.
Another option is to go back to emergency is the pain is severe, as you have been hurting for days now. They will be able to give you strong pain killers which might stop the pain cycle. It is important to stop the pain cycle in the early stages.
Also, I mentioned trigger avoidance earlier. Lots of things trigger migraines. I think if you are consuming anything currently that triggers migraines it would be wise to completely cut these things out of your diet now, as they may be triggering your migraines... even if they never did before, they might have started to now. Try cutting out chocolate and all hard cheeses (example don't eat cheddar cheese or feta. cream cheese should be okay.). Also don't drink alcohol, especially red wine. Avoid foods with MSG. There are lots of other food avoidance suggestions, but I think those are a good start... if you cut out too much food then I find that is stressful and stresses on the body can trigger migraines just as much as foods can... so little changes are better than big changes.
Caffeine is a huge migraine trigger too, but caffeine withdrawal is equally a migraine trigger... try to slowly cut caffeine out of your diet if you drink coffee or tea. Start ordering half and half (half regular, half decaf) or if you are a coffee drinking you might want to switch to black tea at first... or water down your coffee. How ever you do it, try to slowly cut out the caffeine without making it a shock to your system, because a shock to your system will only make the headaches worse. But, once the caffeine is out of your diet, things will be better... that is if you have caffeine in the first place. Otherwise... just get the other things I mentioned out. If you don't have any of those things in your diet... I can give you a list of other things to try cutting out.
Hope that information helps. Let us know how it goes.
This breathing technique will help with the migraine gradually.The extra oxygen will stimulate the brain to sort out the system imbalance in the body.Try to do as much as you can up to 30 minutes.You can even do it 3 times a day.You will notice some benefit in 9 days, but allow up to 4 months for migraine to disappear.I would like to see your progress, so update whenever you can.Drink warm water.
Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after one minute.
Anulom Vilom –
Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril
then – close left nostril with two fingers and breath-out through right nostril
then -keeping the left nostril closed deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 15 to 30 minutes twice a day.
Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed.Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.
Copyright 1994-2016 MedHelp International. All rights reserved.
MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.