Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Thursday, May 13, 2010 MIsschif, Community Member, asks

Q: Migraines and Tramadol

I am in a migraine treatment program in Tampa, Fl. The doctors went though all my medications, and as they were doing so they came across the tramadol I use as one of my emergency rescue medications.  Now I have severe migraines frequently (more than 3-4 a month and lasting anywhere between 2-30 days.)  I also am aware of the rebound headache theories with taking too many pain meds, triptans, etc. during a period of time.  Therefore, I am extremely  careful with how many I take and always consult with my doctor when I have a status migraine lasting this long.  I can't take NSAIDS or ibuprofen or anything in that category because I have ulcers.  I won't take narcotics because I don't like them, and they don't get rid of the headache anyway.  To top it off, I'm allergic to the majority of the meds that would normally get rid of migraines - steroids, imitrex, dhe, composine, and reglan.  Now I'm being told that my saving grace other than the toradol (which I know I can only use sparingly) isn't good for migraines? If this is true then what else is there?  Help!   I do biofeedback and relaxation and massage, but sometimes when you're at work you have to fall back on the pharmacalogical means, much as I hate to admit it.  I can't stand medicine, but what do I do?

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Answers (1)
Nancy Harris Bonk, Community Member
5/14/10 11:01pm

Hi Misschif,


Tramadol aka Ultram, is an opioid pain releiver. For some people it is used as a rescue medication in a migraine management plan but does have potential problems just like the other opioids do. You can continue reading more about that in the article, Opioids for Migraines - Why Not?

Or these:

Why Yoga Can Help Soothe Many Types of Chronic Pain

Using Mindfulness Meditation to Alleviate Physical Pain  

Music Therapy Can Relieve Pain

Types of Migraines and Headaches


I hope this helps,


MIsschif, Community Member
5/15/10 1:33am

For someone like me, who is alergic to so much what else is there?  I won't take narcotics.  I knew ultram was developed using a morphine derivitive but it is non narcotic.  Most triptans don't work - the only one that works for me ios maxalts and that only sparingly.  I use toradol sparingly.  And I am religious about relation tapes, biofeedbacks and have just been taught about trigger point massage witha teracane - it's heaven on a stick.   But If I have to take some form of pain medication I don't know what to take and when I asked Dr wilson she said she'd get back to me and never did. And now I'm lost. I want to get this right I don't want to over medicate.  I don't want rebounds. I can barely deal with what I have.

Teri Robert, Health Guide
5/15/10 9:31am

Ultram IS an opioid. It's synthetic, but it is an opioid/narcotic.


Pain relief isn't really the primary goal of treating a Migraine attack. Aborting the Migraine - stopping the Migrainous process in the brain - should be the primary goal. There are seven triptans - Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, Amerge, Relpax, Axert, and Frova. Have you tried all seven? Each of them binds to differenc combinations of serotonin receptors, so it really is worth it to try all seven. If none of them work, there are the ergotamines - DHE and Migranal - and generic Midrin that are also abortive medications. Pain medications are generally reserved to be used as rescue medications when abortive medications fail.


It would be best to call Dr. Wilson's office. Situations such as this are ones they're supposed to help us with.


Good luck,


Nancy Harris Bonk, Community Member
5/15/10 9:12pm



Keep calling until you get ahold of the Dr. Wilson. Leave a message (pleasant, but firm) every day if you need to.



Good luck


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By MIsschif, Community Member— Last Modified: 08/04/14, First Published: 05/13/10