Having a hard time tolerating Migraine preventive medications?

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  • Full Question:

    Having a hard time tolerating preventative medications for migraines and I don't want to become too dependent on my triptan.  Any advice on what to do? Shannon.


    Full Answer:

    Dear Shannon;


    It's wonderful that you're looking at this issue and trying to resolve it. Taking triptans, ergotamines, or any kind of pain medication more than two or three days a week can make matters worse by causing medication overuse headache (MOH), aka rebound. See Medication Overuse Headache - When the Remedy Backfires for more information on this.


    It would be wonderful if we had a simple solution to offer for your problem with tolerating the preventive medications, but there isn't one. We do see this with some patients, and the only thing we can do is keep trying. Something that's vital for people in your situation is to not get so discouraged that you fall into the trap of the self-fulfilling prophecy. What that means is that if you start a new medication and you're sure you're going to have problems with it, you will. The mind is that strong. If you're sure you're going to have problems, the mind can create problems that you wouldn't have had if you'd been able to start the new medication without the preconceived certainty that you'd have problems with it. This is in no way a criticism of you. Please know that. It's just important that you know this can happen.

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    Is your doctor a Migraine specialist? If not, finding a Migraine specialist to work with is definitely the way to go because these specialists have more experience with and training in treating Migraine than other doctors. It’s important to note that neurologists aren’t necessarily Migraine and headache specialists. Take a look at the article Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? If you need help finding a Migraine specialist, check our listing of Patient Recommended Migraine and Headache Specialists.


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert



    If you need help finding a  Migraine and headache specialist,
     visit our listing of Patient Recommended Specialists.



    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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    Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape© Teri Robert and J.C. Krusz, 2013.
    Last updated June 6, 2013.

Published On: June 11, 2013