Waking every morning with severe Migraine?

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    I wake up every Morning with aa severe migraine. Even tried changing the pillows thinking it was that. I do take extra strength Tylenol which does seem to help if I take 3-4 of them after a while. No allergies to allergies to anything except Penicillin which hasn't been an issue in years. What can I do to help this as they are very painful & seem to be located from the middle to the back of my head. HELP ! Thanks, Lesaann.


    Dear Lesaann;

    The most common trigger of Migraines that people wake with is some type of sleep issue. It can be too much, too little, disrupted, or poor quality sleep. Many people have sleep problems without even realizing it. A starting point would be to discuss your sleep patterns and quality with your doctor. It's highly recommended that Migraineurs go to sleep and wake at the same time every day, including weekends and holidays. You can learn more about this from our video Migraines, Headaches, and Sleep.

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    Something else to take a close look at is whether this is a Migraine or a headache. That can make a big difference.

    If you're taking Excedrin every day, that's highly likely to be contributing to the problem. Taking Migraine abortive meds such as the triptans or ergotamines or any kind of pain med (prescription or over-the-counter) 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.

    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

    To review other questions from our Ask the Clinician Column,
    browse the Ask the Clinician archives.

    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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    Last updated November 22, 2009.

Published On: November 22, 2009