18-day Migraine; ER didn't help; now what?

Ask the Clinician Health Pro
  • Full Question:

    I have had a migraine for 18 days. Since Thursday of this week I have taken four 200 mg Imitrex prescribed by my doctor that didn't work. So I went to a rural ER and had one bag of iv fluids. They gave me four 0.5 of dilatyn, one dose of Toradol all iv and two Percocet pills. I still do not have any relief. What should I do now? Toby.


    Full Answer:

    Dear Toby;


    Call your doctor for assistance. When a Migraine lasts longer than 72 hours, without at least a four hour break while awake, it's time to call your doctor for help. Your doctor may be able to treat you in his or her office, or may send you back to the ER. If you're sent back to the ER, ask your doctor to call ahead, let them know you're coming, and suggest what treatment they should give you.

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    Often, an IV infusion of medication is the best option for refractory Migraines - Migraines that aren't responding to medication. An infusion of simple magnesium sulfate works to stop a Migraine for many people. You can find more information on this type of treatment in IV Treatment of Refractory Migraines.


    Another topic to discuss with your doctor is rescue treatment that you can use with your Imitrex fails. One goal should be to keep you out of the ER. To that end, doctors need to make some kind of rescue treatment that you can use at home available to you. For more on this, see Preventive, Abortive, and Rescue Medications - What's the Difference?


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert




    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 February 4, 2014.

Published On: February 04, 2014