Does anyone get regular severe Migraine?

  sunny staines 20:43 01 Oct 2006
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I'm after advice on how you cope with migraine the Dr has gone through the list of medications. I have now been put on a daily epilepsey drug called Topamax & opiate quick acting pain killers called Zamadol melts the side effects look horrendus.

But what I am after is when all fails and migraine strikes how do you deal with it.

  lisa02 20:46 01 Oct 2006

bedroom with the lights blocked out and no noise for a few hours. I had a severe one the other night and I couldn't move or even open my eyes.

  namtas 21:01 01 Oct 2006

sunny staines, as a past sufferer of severe migraine, where the only solution was rest in a dark room for 12 hours, you have my deepest sympathy, sorry I do not have any cure.

  Totally-braindead 21:02 01 Oct 2006

I'm afraid I'm the same. Painkillers, darkness sleeping. I haven't been bothered with migraines for over 20 years and the damn things started again just 3 or 4 weeks ago.

  Stuartli 21:11 01 Oct 2006

Lying down with your feet higher than your body usually helps most people.

It is important that you let your doctor keep a careful watch on the situation - some types of migraine (i.e. the lights patterns) can be a warning of other more serious health problems.

  PurplePenny 21:17 01 Oct 2006

Ditto the painkillers and (very) dark room (I have black-out curtains).

  ade.h 22:09 01 Oct 2006

I sometimes get migraines, though thankfully not as bad as many sufferers. My first indicator is a sort of blurry vision, worse in eye. If I get that, I try to stop whatever I am doing and lie down in a dark room or - if needs must - a cloth over my head! Looks silly but works. I take some Neurofen as well. In most cases, I can significantly reduce or even totally avoid the subsequent migraine, although it still leaves me with sensitive eyes and head for a while - using a computer is a no-no for a while afterwards.

  Kate B 01:21 02 Oct 2006

sunny staines, have you been referred to one of the excellent migraine clinics? If you're where your user name suggests you are, ask your GP for a referral to the Princess Margaret clinic at the Charing Cross hospital in west London, which is a centre of excellence.

I'm a regular migraineur and my life has been improved no end by the treatment regime they prescribed for me. I take a cocktail at the first sign of a migraine of naratriptan (to act on the brain chemistry), Celebrex (an anti-inflammatory to act on the inflamed nerves of the head) and a couple of Migraleves (fast acting general pain relief). Nine times out of 10 if I take that fast enough it stops an attack in its tracks.

I get the odd very nasty one with aura (more so as I get older) and sometimes aura without pain and it's the aura that drives me to lie face-down in a pillow with the curtains drawn, but the lower-level pain-only ones are mostly easy to banish. I can't recommend that clinic highly enough.

Do you know what your triggers are? Mine are alcohol (I've given up booze); hormones (that probably doesn't apply to you); caffeine withdrawal, oversleeping and stress. My aura ones can be triggered by strong contrasts (I had one sparked by walking through a Tube tunnel that was tiled with white mosaic tiles sprinkled with black); horizontal stripes (I've had them triggered by sunlight falling on steps) and flickering images (a TV programme that had a moment or two of flames did it for me last night *sigh*). It's not always easy to avoid your triggers but knowing what they are is a good first step.

I'd suggest keeping a diary - note what you eat and drink and you might spot a pattern emerging that you can take steps on.

My sympathies: it can make your life a total misery. But don't just stick with your GP, most cheerfully admit they don't know much about migraine. Get a referral.

  anchor 09:58 02 Oct 2006

Excellent advice from Kate B. I have never suffered, (thank God), but for many years used to work for a major pharmaceutical company with an interest in Migraine.

You may never find a trigger agent, but a diary might help the specialist. There has been quite a bit of research into the subject, and for SOME patients prophylactic treatment has helped to prevent, or minimise the frequency and/or severity, of attacks.

If you can, get a referral to a clinic such as Kate B suggests, or alternatively to a consultant Neurologist. As I am sure you have been told, taking your medication at the earliest stage of the attack is vital.

  sunny staines 10:03 02 Oct 2006

K.B.
Just been to west middx migraine clinic whic put me on topamax.
migraine's triggered by bright glare from sun/lights, get bad hunger pains if i fail to eat theae cause migraine,also stress, lack of sleep. other times no reason waking up in the middle of the night or early morning with them [worst ones]but they canhit any time of the dy or night. Tried Traditional chinese acupuncture during a migraine they stick pins allover the place there is a flush from the head and the migraine is gone, but TCA cannot prevent migraine and is expensive they say its blood trapped in the head that cannot escape.Also tried red tiger balm on the temple area that helps in minor migraines only. the severe migraine's drive me to despair.

  DrScott 10:03 02 Oct 2006

Sumatriptan? Beta blockers? Oxygen (if it's actually a cluster headache)?

I've fortunately not quite reached the stage of such drugs and my headaches are no way near as severe... humid overcast days are what set 'em off though.

So far 600mg ibuprofen (3 tablets of 200mg) + 1g paracetamol (2 tablets of 500mg) at the same time - usually seems to knock it on the head for me!

I agree with Kate B by the way - migraine clinics are the place to go. Migraine is a very common neurological complaint, but there are many treatment modalities and you really need an expert to advise you if you feel you and your GP have reached the end of the road.

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