Damn you, migraines.

Every once in awhile I get migraines. Horrible, horrible headaches, occasionally with visual problems. Well, this morning I woke up and felt as though someone had stuck a knife through my head- I swear, someone somewhere has a voodoo doll of me. Every time I bent over, extreme pain rushed to my head.

But today is the last day before Spring Break. Well, thought I, I should go to school to take all of the tests that teachers have scheduled for today. Big mistake.

Before I went, I took Excedrin Migraine. I also took Maxalt (sp?), something that my doctor had prescribed awhile ago for me. I had never taken it before, as I was afraid of possible side effects, but the pain was so bad that I decided that I didn’t care what the side effects were- Hell, I would have dealt with breaking out in purple polka-dots.

I got to the Gifted Resources room at our school and the pain became so bad that I started crying. I am still unable to stop. Our gifted resources teacher declared that I was in absolutely no condition to go to classes, missed work or not, and marched me down to the clinic. My parents came and picked me up.

Now, the pain is receding, thank Og. But instead I have terrible dizziness, probably from the medicine and hyperventilating. I just want to feel better, and I don’t seem to be able to.


You should talk to your doctor, or neurologist, about getting something stronger to manage your pain. Excedrin Migraine is a marketing scam; it contains the same ingredients in the same proportions as their non-migraine product.


It sounds like you need to see your doctor anyway, as obviously the prescribed medication didn’t work for you. I would also be careful about mixing pain medications like that without consulting your doctor. Plus Excedrin Migraine, if I recall correctly, has caffeine in it, which in some migraine sufferers might actually worsen the situation.

It sounds like you might want to talk to your doctor about getting a migraine preventative medication, one that you take daily, in addition to a different kind of migraine “stopper” medication. I used to get migraines 3-4 times per month. Since talking to my doctor and being put on a preventative (nortriptyline in my case) plus a pain medication for when I do get migraines (prescription form of Aleve (naproxen sodium), higher dosage), I’ve had two in just over three months, and one was due to running out of my preventative medication for a day or so. The worst medication side effect I’ve had is getting a little dizzy and feeling like I might pass out if I stand up rapidly from being in a crouched position or lying down. I can live with that. We discussed caffeine among other things, and since my previous two New Year’s resolutions had involved going completely off caffeine for six months at a time, with no apparent change in migraines, she said that we could obviously rule that out.

Finding a medication that works for you may take some time, and you might have to change medications down the road, but I think that considering the severity of your migraines, it might be worth seeing a doctor about getting a preventative medication and changing your pain medication.

(I work in a medical center, but I am not a doctor or nurse, this is not medical advice, blah blah.)

I always found Aleve to be the best over-the-counter headache product. Have you given it a try?

Although migraines are much more common than more serious headache-causing problems, I would also suggest ruling out such problems if you haven’t already done so. You don’t want to be treating a migraine if there’s something else wrong. An MRI could rule out many of the other possibilities.

If you need more information, I found this resource from the Mayo Clinic very helpful: http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?id=DS00120

Regular Excedrin also has caffeine, hence the “scam” comment from UncleBeer. Excedrin Migraine is exact same thing as regular Excedrin, just in a different box, and with a higher price tag. You’re paying a dollar or two more for the word “migraine” to be on the box. :rolleyes:

Caffeine can help get rid of a migraine, but can also be a factor in rebound or bounce-back headaches for some people, some of the time. It’ll get rid of the pain, but once the meds wear off the migraine comes back even worse.

My doctor also has me on Elavil, to be taken nightly, which is supposed to help prevent the migraines. It’s actually pretty successful- I only get them every once in a while, as opposed to the several times a week I used to. Also, with the mixing of medications, I wasn’t really thinking clearly this morning when I did so, but my father is a doctor and he didn’t stop me, so I assume I didn’t do anything too terrible.

The Excedrin “scam” gets brought up here fairly frequently. Maybe it’s different where you guys are, but around here (the Los Angeles area) Excedrin Migraine is the exact same price as the other, identical flavors of Excedrin. The reason I bought the Migraine-labelled bottle is so that the people I live with will know that the bottle is mine, and what I use it for. (I don’t mind if people take some of my antihistimines, but eff with my migraine pills and you’re toast)

I’m sorry Maxalt doesn’t work for you … I have the melt-in-your-mouth variety, and it usually works. When it doesn’t, it’s off to the emergency room for a shot or two (Toradol and sometimes Phenergan, depending on if the headache’s making me vomit). I don’t know what I’m going to do when my parents’ health insurance stops covering me in June.

Caffeine for migraines is a tricky thing. Usually it will help the pain (constricts the blood vessels or dilates them or some such) but for some people it’s a trigger. Your mileage may vary, see dealer for details.

Definitely consider getting put on a preventative medication. I take a beta-blocker for an irregular heartbeat, a medicine that coincidentally is also prescribed for migraines. I have far fewer and less intense migraines now.

Oh my GOD! I get them about twice a year and that’s too damn much. I’ve been using Imitrex and it turns migraines into mild headaches. Luckily, I “go blind” before a migraine hits, so I have plenty of time to take the Imitrex. If I miss the signs though, I’m in for three days of agony.

I hope you’re feeling better.

I found Advil Liquid Gel Caps to be a gift from Og!

Only works for my run-of-the-mill migraines though – the kind that knock me on my ass but I can still suffer through (a bit).

The “classic migraines” that are precipitated by an aura and are debilitating do not respond as well.

TroubleAgain, I was prescribed a beta-blocker once for a really, really annoying migraine. Never took it though. It freaked me out that it was a heart medication. Suffered through that one. It felt like someone had whacked me on the head with a ball pin hammer. Was out of comission for a few days.

You know, I have gotten horrible, awful, crippling migrains since I was about 12 (and yes, I shake a fist at you puberty). Anyway, my doctors orginally blamed it on allergies; for 5 years I never got anything but Clarinex. The pain increased and increased, to where I was getting them everyday (sometimes twice a day). I couldn’t see, my legs would give out under me, I’d throw up- I just, literally- couldn’t function. So finally 6 months ago (at the ripe age of 17 1/2) I went to the doctor- determined to get help. Well, once again she blamed it on allergies, but I refused to listen. I explained the instance where I got a migrain while driving, and had to pull to the side of the road for 3 hours- then a kind police officer drove me home while his partner took my car home for me. She finally took me seriously, and prescibed me two things: the first being Maxalt which you have, and the other being Indural (proper spelling I think).

The Indural is a great drug (blood pressure medicine that relaxes the blood vessels just enough, when taken in the right dosage). She started me on 10 mg, and worked me up to 20 twice a day. Well the 20 made my head spin, I even passed out, so we went back to 10. The point is: I haven’t had a migrain since I started. It’s really amazing since I was getting them twice a day- EVERY DAY. You def. might want to look into it- it’s a miracle.

The Maxalt always worked for me (you just need to give it a little time). My doctor told me if, after 30 min, one didn’t work- take one more. If that didn’t work I needed to go to the hospital. Isn’t it really cool how it fizzes on your tongue? (I’m a loser).

And finally, when people take “migrain” versions of over the counter- whether they are diff or not- it’s important to remember that- once you have the migrain- no regular medicine will stop it. Headaches can be stopped- migrains no. Migrains you have to take it right as they onset or there’s nothing you can do. Maxalt and it’s fellow prescriptions are a diff. story though, I believe.

So I hope my REALLY long post was some help, I like to think I’m a migrain expert of sorts.

I take zomig for my migraines, and I’m like a lot of sufferers…I thought it was allergies for a long time.

Everytime I hear someone complaining about crippling headaches I turn into a bit of a zealot about seeing a doctor. It literally changed my life when I found out I could stop these headaches. I notice I get a lot less of them now, due to the fact (I think) that I’m just not stressing about them so much anymore.

Imitrex or Zomig are the most effective abortives for me. As for preventatives, I’ve probably tried about 10 different things in the last ten years, including various anti-depressants, epilepsy drugs, blood pressure meds, etc. I’m currently taking an anti-depressant (Nortriptaline) and a muscle relaxant (Zanaflex). The muscle relaxant is not a typical migraine treatment, but my pattern changed signficantly over a year ago from 3 or 4 migraine-days a month to 20 days a month. It’s really chronic daily headache with migraine combined now. Things are easing up lately - I still get migraines 20 or more days a month, but it actually goes away in between now, and they’re generally less severe than a couple of months ago. They’ve definitely gotten more frequent as I’ve gotten older - when I was little kid (2 or 3), I’d get a few a year.

There are a lot of different treatments, so try not to get too frustrated if the first one doesn’t work.

Good luck to everyone out there with managing their migraines.

Migraine sufferer here as well (I started a thread in IMHO for migraines). Anyway, suddenly I started getting them at the beginning of March. No reason. Just started getting these terrbile headaches. So I got my sinus’ checked out. They are fine. So I went to my normal doctor and he said I have migraines, so I had to go to a nero. He put me on Amitriptyline HCL for me to take before I got to sleep to “disrupt the cycle”. I also got Imitrex for during attacks. I have been on Amitriptyline for about 2 weeks now, and not ONE THING HAS GOTTEN BETTER. In fact, not only have I gotton the same cycle on migraines (anytime, anywhere), but they have gotton worse. So one time I started to get a really bad one, so I tried Imitrex to try to get it off. HUGE MISTAKE. This increased my migraine by about 100%. So not only did it double how long it was, but it made me extremly dizzy, so I couldn’t walk, eat, sleep, read, even think. This went on for about 10 hours. I laid on my bed with this horrible migraine for 10 HOURS. Then I had an after headache for 4 days. I then got another terrible one. I started to cry and I couldn’t stop. It felt like someone drove an ice pick into my temples. Now I have to back sooner to my nero, because the meds he put me on DON’T WORK. My mom says I shouldn’t let migraines get in my way of school. Yeah you’re right mom! I should go to school with an ice pick in my head! :rolleyes:

That’s what I use. My neuro said I can take 800 mgs. for minor ones, and use the Imitrex for the knock-you-on-your-ass migraines. The liquid gel caps get the medicine into your system quicker. Of course, IANADoctor of any type, so check with your own doc before taking that much.

You can have my Advil Liqui-Gels, my Topamax and my Imitrex injections when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.