Friday, October 31, 2014
Sunday, November 13, 2011 StopThinkFeel, Community Member, asks

Q: Chronic Hemiplegic Migraines.

My father (51) has had chronic hemiplegic migraines since July of 2010. He has a migraine every day, and the full symptoms of the hemiplegic migraine occur several times a week. His doctors have put him on several medications, but none of them really help. He can not work now, and has lost many abilities due to the migraines. I was just wondering if you had heard of similar chronic hemiplegic migraine conditions, and what treatment options were used?

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Answers (3)
Teri Robert, Health Guide
11/20/11 5:05pm



Is it a different Migraine every day, or is it one Migraine that has never ended? It's important to distinguish between the two situations because the approach and treatment are quite different.


If it's one continuous Migraine, it's not chronic Migraine. It's status Migraious (or Migraiousus, either spelling is correct). That's when a single Migraine lasts longer than 72 hours. Take a look at Status Migrainous - The Basics. Preventive medications are unlikely to work until that Migraine is broken. Often, the best method for stopping a long, continuous Migraine is IV infusion. You can find information on that in IV Treatment of Refractory Migraines.


Chronic Migraine, on the other hand, is when a person has headache or Migraines 15 or more days a month. See Chronic Migraine - The Basics.


As Nancy said, the best option for many with chronic Migraine is to be sure to seek care from an actual Migraine specialist.


Has your father tried verapamil for prevention of his hemiplegic Migraines? There are many, many options for Migraine preventive treatments, but verapamil is one that has shown more promise than many for hemiplegic Migraine in particular.


Hope this helps.


Please let us know how he's doing?


Josey, Community Member
5/29/12 7:46am

Hi  I wonder if you can help me, I have been suffering with chronic migraines for months now (& now depression) and i've tried so many different types of medications (Metoprolol, Naproxen, Zolmitriptan, Omeprazole & Prochlorperazine) and Bilateral greater occipital nerve block injection.

I have chronic migraines that last up to 72 hrs at least twice a week and a constant dull migraine with occasional random (short term) painful pulsating on the left side.

My consultant diagnosis 'Migraine with complex neurological aura including hemiplegic aura'

The injections worked for about 10 days only (excluding the first 3 days which was horrific).

Can you advise the next step?

Teri Robert, Health Guide
5/29/12 12:51pm

Hi, Josey, and welcome to the HealthCentral Migraine Community!


What kind of doctor gave you that diagnosis? I ask because, to simplify matters and make it easier for people to get information and treatment, doctors usually go by the gold standard for diagnosis, the International Headache Society's International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition (ICHD-II), and your diagnosis isn't consistent with ICHD-II. 


The biggest thing is to not lose hope. I can share with you that, at one point, I was in bed five or six days a week with chronic Migraine with aura and Migraine without aura. It took time and patience, but my Migraines are much better controlled now.


It often seems that we've tried everything there is to try even though there are still many options. There are over 100 treatments in use now for Migraine prevention, so we have more options than ever before.


You didn't say how long you've been working with your current doctor or what type of doctor he or she is. Given what you did tell us, I'd suggest that you seek care with a Migraine specialist.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.


I hope this helps,



Nancy Harris Bonk, Community Member
11/14/11 1:29pm



Hemiplegic Migraine is a rare form of Migraine disease that is often difficult to diagnose and treat because it can mimic other vascular diseases and conditions. I wonder what kind of doctor your dad is seeing right now? Neurologists while fine doctors, are not always experts in one area because they treat so many different conditions like MS, stroke and epilepsy. A Migraine specialist is a "true" expert who does just that. Treat one condition - headache and Migraine - all day, every day.  If you feel the doctor working with your dad isn't helping hime enough, it may well be time to consult a Migraine and headache specialist. 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


Skadeetin, Community Member
11/14/11 4:23pm

I wish i had answers, i really do.  i just wanted to respond to let you know your dad is not alone.  i have chronic HM have had more than 67 attacks in one month, have been wheelchair bound, and have some permanent motor and numbness problems on my right side.  i often want to die and think about it quite often.  I am currently on Verapamil which quieted them significantly believe it or not.  I also take Magnesium Citrate Solution 300-800mg per day.  for me, magnesium helps as much as any other drug without all the horrifying side effects.


the next drug on my list is acetazolamide (also called diomox, i believe) which i might try next.  i am a single mother, i cannot work and am on SSDI.  if i don't get better by next spring, my house will go on the chopping block.  i hope that you find some hope, i truly do. 

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By StopThinkFeel, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/05/14, First Published: 11/13/11