Hereditary Migraines - Effectiveness of detoxification and new medication?

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  • Full Question:

    I have tried virtually every medication available for migraine. Only fiorinal works. However I am up to 8 -10 a day. I have been offered detox by my physician. However, I am concerned that due to the failure of other medications I will go right back to fiorinal. What can you tell me about the effectiveness of detoxification and new medication? I now take butterbur and other vitamins. It is too soon to see if they will have any effectiveness. I am in my 60's and have hereditary migraine since age 7. I have used fiorinal for 25 years and I fear for my liver too. Many of my cousins have migraine and so do many of our children. One cousin has taken her life because she couldn't take it anymore ( age 45). I can manage this but am tired of "managing" this and the rebounds too. Liora.

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    Full Answer:

    Dear Liora;


    We feel for your predicament; most folks who tell us that they have tried "everything" really haven't. Many have been given primitive meds (ie, fiorinal) and have not really been investigated/treated with IV therapy, labs, and many of the available suppressive medications (off-label). Detoxification off your security blanket takes guts, inspires fear and anxiety and takes time. We in the headache and Migraine trade try to encourage detoxing off older meds to see if medication overuse headache (rebound) can get better, and it often does. Sleep quality is also often a huge issue.


    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 October 22, 2012.

Published On: October 22, 2012