Migraines or Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Health Professional

Full Question:

After 40 years of being treated for migraines my pain management specialist has reclassified my headaches trigeminal neuralgia, although I do not have any of the symptoms of this disorder.

Imitrex has always helped but I get about 15-20 per month. He can relieve a migraine by giving me a shot of lidocaine and steroids in the occipital nerve and it will last for a few hours and because of this, he says they can't be migraines.

He has limited me to 9 tablets per mo. and I'm scared I will end up in the ER again like before I had plenty of Imitrex. Is this a possibility that I do have trigeminal neuralgia since Imitrex does relieve the pain? HELP!! Pam.


Dear Pam;

For many reasons, I would disagree with your physician's thoughts. Imitrex would not be expected to help a real Trigeminal Neuralgia disorder.

If your doctor isn't able to help you, 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 _.

Are you sure it's your doctor who's limiting your Imitrex to nine doses per month? Insurance companies often impose such limits

Good luck,
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

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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