Migraine Shortens Lifespan?


Asked by SteveW

Migraine Shortens Lifespan?

Age 65. Crippled with daily migraines. Maxalt, Imitrex etc.,etc. Probable brain damage. Will migraines shorten what's left of my life?


Hi SteveW,

At 65 you still have a lot of living left to do! Anyone who has three or more Migraines a month needs to be talking with their doctor about prevention. There's growing evidence that Migraine is a progressive brain disease. A recent study showed that Migraines can cause brain damage, and that people with three or more Migraines a month are more susceptible to this damage. For more information, see Is Migraine a Progressive Brain Disease? and Yes, Migraines Can Cause Brain Damage.

Now, having said all that, if we take certain prescription - like Maxalt and Imitrex-and/or over the counter (OTC) medications more than two to three days a week, we run the risk of another type of headache called medication overuse headache, MOH.

See Medication Overuse Headache - When the Remedy Backfires for more information on this.

Another problem if we have MOH is running the risk of Transformed Migraine, TM. Medication overuse has been shown to be a factor in 80% of cases of transformed Migraine. Stopping the medication overuse is key to stopping the transformed Migraine. You can read more about this in Stopping Medication Overuse Can Halt Transformed Migraine.

Frequent use of triptans and NSIADs and ANY use of opioids or barbiturates are associated with increased risk of transformed Migraine. See Transformed Migraine - Risk Increased by Some Medications for more information on this.

I hope this helps,


Answered by Nancy Harris Bonk