I Need Advice On How To Make Sure I Get The Pain Meds I Need And Actually Work On The Few Times I Go

Question

Asked by Shannon

I Need Advice On How To Make Sure I Get The Pain Meds I Need And Actually Work On The Few Times I Go

I have chronic migraines (about 25 a month), and occasionally go to the local ER when my meds don't help and the pain lasts for 2 or more days. The first couple times I went, the drs were happy to give me dilaudid, but the last couple of time, the drs (a different dr each time) refused to give me anything but a Benedryl cocktail, which doesn't work. I've gone to the ER a total of 5 times in the past year and a half. Is there any advise on how to get the meds I need without seeming like a drug addict?

Answer

Shannon,

Welcome to MyMigraineConnection!

There really is no way to be sure of anything when you go to the ER. Different hospitals have different policies, and different doctors respond differently. Many ERs and doctors will not administer opioids for Migraine, for multiple reasons.

First, opioids can't abort a Migraine. All they can do is mask the pain for a few hours during which, hopefully, the Migraine will end on its own.

Second, ANY use of opioids increases our risk of developing transformed or chronic Migraine. For more on this, take a look at Transformed Migraine - Risk Increased by Some Medications.

Lastly, the "bad apples" have made things more difficult for everyone. When true drug seekers go to the ER trying to get opioids, the top complaint they use is Migraine. One reason is that there's no diagnostic test to confirm that a person has Migraine, so they think faking a Migraine is the way to go.

What does your specialist say about your ER visits? He or she should be willing to prescribe rescue medications for you to take at home when Treximet and Cambia fail.

If you must go to the ER, try asking them about an IV infusion of magnesium sulfate. It can abort a Migraine and is safe and innocuous. There are other medications that can also be used in IV infusion. You can find more information on that in IV Treatment of Refractory Migraines.

I hope this helps!

Welcome again,

Teri