Toradol and Vicodin for Migraines - harmful?

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  • Full Question:

    I have been taken Toradol and Vicodin for my migraines for a year now. They do help when I get really bad attacks. Are they harming by body? If so is there anything not as strong but that works? Wanda.


    Full Answer:

    Dear Wanda;


    While Toradol and Vicodin may not be harming your body per se, they're not generally considered the best choices for treating Migraine, and there is evidence that they can, in the long run, make Migraines worse. Research has shown that any use of opioids (including Vicodin) is associated with increased risk of developing transformed Migraine. NSAIDs, including Toradol, also increase this risk if used very frequently. You can find more information on this in Transformed Migraine - Risk Increased by Some Medications.

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    Most doctors suggest Migraine abortive medications such as the triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, etc.) or ergotamines (D.H.E. 45 and Migranal Nasal Spray) should be the first treatment used for Migraine attacks and that medications such as Toradol and Vicodin be reserved for use as rescue medications to be used when abortive medications fail or if they can't be used for some medical reason. For more information on this, take a look at Preventive, Abortive, and Rescue Medications - What's the Difference?


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert



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    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    Last updated June 5, 2011.

Published On: June 05, 2011