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Chronic Daily Migraines - how do you cope? Medicines? treatments?

(10 Posts)
HaveAGoodDay Tue 04-Feb-14 18:31:54

Trying to keep this brief! I've been living with these for the best part of my adult life. Started around 10yrs old, just had them now & then, eased off until I was in early 20's, when they became frequent. Increased as I got older, and now at nearly 40, for the last 10 years they've been a part of every day life.

I've been put on various tablets to prevent them. Prior to this i was taking the maximum co-codamol everyday, and/ or ibuprofen. Yes it was medication overuse, but I overcame that eventually. Now I'm on amitriptyline, topiramate, verapamil, levorel patches. All to prevent migraine. Except I still suffer about 12-16 a month. I can either take naproxen for relief or paracetamol. I have naratriptan if its really bad.

I've been to see a neurologist at the local hospital who was concerned about one of the tablets, or rather the dose amount of one of the tablets I'm on. He wondered how I managed to get up in the mornings! I told him with kids you don't have any option!

He did mention Botox could be beneficial. As would be drug withdrawal programme & talking therapy. I'm really hoping these treatments combined will help, I don't want to live the rest of my life like this, it's debilitating. This particular migraine I have now I've had since Sunday. It's not lifted at all, it's like a heavy weight at front of my head, aching all the time. My neck & shoulders feel like the weight of the world are upon them. My eyes hurt just to move them.

Has anyone else had Botox treatment for migraines & if so has it helped?

RMPM Tue 04-Feb-14 23:53:58

HaveaGoodDay, you have my sympathy. The only medication that works a miracle on my migraines is voltarol (as its an anti-inflammatory). It has to be prescribed (the off the counter one is too weak)

I haven't had Botox..

Hope you're better soon

Big hug

SabraCadabra Wed 05-Feb-14 03:27:14

Ive been having daily migraines for about 18ths. My GP has given me beta blockers, they do help but I get them still but not quite as bad.
My DP gets Diazepam from his GP and I've pinched a couple when I had a panic attack, the migraine completely disappeared. Now if my migraine is really bad I have some of DPs Diazepam.
My GP wont prescribe them for me though because of them being addictive,maybe they'd help you.

PeriPathetic Wed 05-Feb-14 06:51:51

I've just seen a GP with a specialism in headaches (non-UK) and he's given me a triptan to firstly see if it is a migraine. If it is, then the pain will go instantly.

If the pain doesn't go, he reckons it's a neck problem.
Whilst there, he manipulated my neck like a chiropractor which helped a lot. He seemed to think many migraines are mis diagnosed. Personally, the headaches I'm currently getting almost daily are not the same as the migraine-with-aura I got in my younger years.

Now he's talking about something called a cervical facet joint injection. Injecting a combination of local anaesthetic and anti inflammatory directly into my neck. I really don't know what to think about that right now. Mostly 'no fecking way!'

One friend who has migraine is on beta blockers whilst another discovered the reason for them was a hole in her heart! Several others have Botox treatment and say it's the best thing ever.

So I guess, in my rambling way, I'm saying that I would have thought that daily migraines deserve a whole lot of extra investigation as to cause.

HaveAGoodDay Wed 05-Feb-14 12:26:20

Thanks for the replies.

I too have tried betablockers but they didn't suit. I think migraines are still are mystery & are so individual to the person & perhaps that's why they are hard to treat. Ultimately in an ideal world if I could get to the root cause of them & eliminate that, it would be wonderful rather than 'treat' the symptom.

I'd love to be one of those people that turn around & say 'oh I only get about one headache a year'.

I've been to see a chronic pain manager this morning at my GP clinic. She was quite surprised that I haven't been referred for an MRI scan or anything like. Basically she's advised me on ways to relax more as I could be stressed or to drink more water, as taking all my meds may not be the best thing in the world, on top of taking painkillers.

I wonder if one day I get to see that light at the end of the tunnel.

Lauren83 Wed 05-Feb-14 15:59:09


I too have suffered migraines that were made worse from prescription pain meds, I was on oramorph, naproxen, Tramadol and codeine for stage 4 endometriosis, I tried a few preventatives with no joy, propranolol, amitriptyline and pitzotifen, Sumatriptan works great for me, my GP let's me have 24 a month luckily

I did go on a butrans patch (opiate pain patch) you leave it on for 7 days and I think that helped as the pain meds stayed level so I wasn't getting bounce back, stopped the codeine too x

jasperc163 Wed 05-Feb-14 18:00:48

Hi there,
You have my sympathies and I'm afraid I am still searching too. I have had a constant headache for a year - at best its pressure round my head, at worst its more like a throbbing migraine and feeling like someone has whacked me round the back of my head with a cricket bat.

I have tried amitriptyline (couldnt cope with it), nortriptyline (minimal effect), topiramate (awful side effects), high dose steroids (didnt work), occipital nerve block in back of head/neck - did nothing. Neuro wants to refer me to some top bod in London but that will mean more drugs. Currently use a mix of aspirin (screwing my guts up) and frovatriptan (takes the edge off but can't take often enough) and havng a really bad week. I keep chasing the idea that there has to be a reason for this and I don't want to take more drugs, but the way things are going I wont be able to hold out much longer.

Botox has been mentioned but I am really a bit worried about that after the occipital block experience :-(

It's horrendous and unbelievable that there is no treatment for this kind of thing apart from drugs developed for other uses.

Like you I wonder if there will be light at the end of the tunnel. Some days i have hope, but others none....

HaveAGoodDay Sat 08-Feb-14 07:31:51

Jasper163 It's debilitating isn't it? I hope you are feeling some relief now, if not soon. I've just had the week from hell too with migraine, it's only yesterday that it seemed to lift a little. Then there's the feeling of exhaustion after the long drawn out headache, totally wipes me out.

I'm just beginning to realise what an impact these headaches have had on my life. They've actually made me withdraw into myself, lowered my self esteem I guess. I don't really socialise well. I've become quite shy & I don't have any confidence. I'm not a positive person either, it's difficult to feel positive when in constant pain.

1966gettingold Sat 08-Feb-14 23:16:37

My daughter is a really bad migraine sufferer, last episode she was collapsed in Central London in the gutter being sick and passing out, people walked past her thinking she was on drugs or drunk, luckily two policeman came passed and called an ambulance. Anyway ....... She has taken up yoga twice a week and it has dramatically helped her symptoms, and is eating extremely healthily. Interestingly when she was back packing around South America for seven months she only had one migraine. So stress and lifestyle must play a big part.

Whatfun Sun 09-Feb-14 01:49:52

I have a good friend who suffered daily migraines for years. She tried every option going. They either worked a little bit, or were a complete failure.
She then tried Botox. She says that it is fantastic. No headaches, and the Botox needs topping up every 3 months,I think.
I wouldn't hesitate to try it.

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