Monday, October 20, 2014
Wednesday, September 24, 2008 T, Community Member, asks

Q: does methylprednisolone really help with migraine pain?

does methylprednisolone really help with migraine pain? I have had an ongoing migraine for almost 4 weeks now. Been to nuero (again) and was given depakote and frova....took the frova and now my muscles and back are killing me. The nuero. seems to think that methylprednisolone will 'break the cycle'. Does anyone know about steroid use for migraine pain? Frown

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Answers (5)
Teri Robert, Health Guide
9/28/08 6:37pm



Steroids are frequently used to break a long-lasting Migraine. They can be given IV for this, just as they can be for Migraines not responding to treatment. See IV Treatment of Refractory Migraines for more on this form of treatment.


Oral steroids can also be used. Most commonly, they're prescribed in a "dosepack" where you take several tablets on the first day, then fewer tablets each day until you've taken them all.


Hope it works!

Louise, Community Member
7/14/11 2:36pm

Hi Teri, My neurologist is suggesting I try IV Solu-Medrol (1 gram) for 3 days once a month to try to break my refractory daily migraines. I worry about the side effects and longterm impact of using corticosteroids on such a regular basis. Can you write about this please? Thank you.

Teri Robert, Health Guide
7/14/11 2:53pm

Hi, Louise,


Honestly, I'm not sure about the long-term impact of using steroids for three days a month, but if I were in your place, it's definitely something I'd ask about before starting the treatment. I know of one young woman who ended up having to have knee surgery when she was just in her 20's because she'd used the oral steroid dosepacks frequently over several years. I don't know if the treatment your doctor is talking about carries that risk or not. If you have diabetes, please talk with the doctor who treats you for diabetes too because steroids can cause an increase in blood sugar levels. For that reason, steroid treatments aren't an option for me.


Something else to discuss with your doctor, if you haven't already tried it is IV infusion of magnesium sulfate. For some people, it works as well as steroids with far fewer potential side effects.


Keep me posted?


aprild, Community Member
9/ 4/11 5:17pm

I have been fighting a month long orthostatic migraine.  I was prescribed the methylprednisone pack for it. Ended up going to the E.R. to get the vomiting under control before starting it.  It seems to help greatly now but I am due for an MRI with contrast to rule out intracranial hypotension in 2 days, have 4 days of methyl left and have read that it may interact with the contrast.  Should I discuss this with my neuro?


Kendall, Community Member
9/24/08 11:23pm

Yes! It can break the cycle. My last neuro. used it for me when I had long-lasting or frequently-recurring headaches and we feared I was getting rebound from triptans. The steroid treatment (13 days) was incredible. I had complete relief. But as soon as I finished the steroids, the frequent migraines resumed. Still, it was fantastic to get that much relief. My doc said we shouldn't resort to the steroids more than once a year because frequent steroid use has other bad side-effects, but it was miraculous for the short-term.

sjbsquared, Community Member
10/13/09 1:21pm

I don't know if you're still checking this site, but I've had a solu medrol injection, with toradol, for my last 2 migraines, after the demorol didn't work to break the week-long cycle, and it HAS given me relief.  My migraines are hormonally related and the best relief I have found is my every 10 weeks depo provera injection.  I went from every week migraines to just 3 or 4 a year.  And that is certainly doable considering the 4 years before that!  There's hope for've "just" got to find the right treatment with docs who care.  Having great support from family - or friends - also is priceless.  Good luck to all who suffer with pain!

B. Woodlee, Community Member
4/22/10 4:16pm

When I get a migraine that won't go away, I ask for steriods. It's the only thing that helps. I don't know why but I won't get over the migraine without them. I do get most of my migraines when the barometric pressure changes, so I'm wondering if their is some type of swelling involved, hence the need for steroids.


SanD535, Community Member
11/11/11 12:45am

I've been a migraine sufferer for 12 years now. 90% of the time they are cyclacle in nature, meaning when I ovulate and when I menstruate. That being said nothing over the counter helped to rid me of them. And prescriptions were way too much money. The o/c stuff only sometimes minimized the pain. Recently I went through a bad few months of something upper respiratory and misdiagnoses but eventually it turned out to be bronchitits. During roughly the last 6 weeks I've been on about 8 different meds. From antibiotics, inhalers, allergery meds and most importantly 2 rounds of steroids. Prednisilone to be exaxt. OMG in 12 years I have never had more than 2 weeks w/o a migraine and now it has been 6 weeks! An added beneifit was an increased energy level and desire to accomplish so much more than I have in a long time. Now  that I am almost done and down to 1/2 a pill a day I am dreading what my next cycle will be like. There has to be an alternative to the steroids right? Something natural would be great but I would be open to a prescription w/o harmful side-effects and that doesn't break the bank. No insurance for me.  Hope someone figures it out soon.

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By T, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/10/14, First Published: 09/24/08