What to do for 14-year-old who has started having Migraines?

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Full Question:

My 14 year old daughter has started having headaches.   From researching internet medical web sites, I think they are migraines.   This started December 24, where she woke up with a headache, vomited and went back to sleep.   She has had five more episodes since.   She doesn't always throw up.   I am at a loss as to what to do.   I took her to an urgent care facility and they told me to give her Excedrin Migraine.   I'm not sure if it helps.   Sleeping it off seems to do more.   She had one that lasted over twenty four hours.   I am terrified and would appreciate some information as to where to start with getting her some help. Michelle.


Dear Michelle;

Start with your family doctor. Urgent care facilities are intended for urgent situations at times when you can't get to your regular doctor, not for diagnosis and treatment of ongoing conditions. A confirmed diagnosis is the first step. Be sure to know if there's any history of Migraine, "sick headaches," or "sinus headaches" in your family or her father's family. Family medical history is important in diagnosing Migraine.

Sleep often helps. It's a natural Migraine abortive. When a Migraineur can get into a deep state of sleep, it stops the Migrainous activity in the brain and aborts the Migraine.

At your daughter's age and depending on her doctor, there are treatment options for Migraines. Midrin is often prescribed as a Migraine abortive for teens. You can read more about it in our _Midrin profile _. The lower dose of Imitrex nasal spray is also sometimes prescribed for teens.

If your doctor isn't able to help you with this, 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,
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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