Headaches/migraines - had them for 11 days now

This seems to be the longest I've ever had them :(

Mainly headaches but also in bed for two days earlier this week with migraine. I know keep taking meds doesn't help but what do you do when you're in pain? They usually only last a couple of days (migraines) but having a headache every day is debilitating and getting me down. It;s not all the time. They come and go. My GP prescribed me Sumatriptan (Imigran) but it's not really helped any more than the usual painkillers I take which sometimes work, sometimes don't.

Just to say that I am coming up to the menopause. I last had a period after two months but it was lighter than usual and the migraines/headaches started quite a bit after that.

26 Replies

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  • I have suffered with migraines for many years and have tried every med there is. Please go back/phone your doctor and ask to try something else. there are many different tablets available. The tablets did not work for me and i have been on injections for years, as my fibro pain worsened the injections becams unbearaby painful and i have recently started nasal medication instead. I usually have 4/5 days of migraines each month minimum.

    Taking too msny painkillers also causes rebound headaches/migraines, it can be very tricky to manage so please speak again to doc, all the best

  • Thanks Shazzy. Yes, i will go back to the doctor. Hope you get some relief from yours too

  • By any chance you aren't on Tramadol are you?. When i was on it although I can honestly say it really helped with the pain elsewhere I had a most peculiar headache and had several really bad migraines even though I had never been prone to them before.

    Hope you can find some solution to your problem.x

  • No, the doctor gave me Sumatriptan (Imigran). But maybe it's taking that that's made them worse. I never thought of that x

  • Just looked up Imigran and noticed this in the side effects:-

    migraine - overuse of Imigran may make migraines or other headaches worse or make them occur more often. Seek medical advice if your migraines or other headaches get worse or occur more often.

    So perhaps have a word with your GP to see whether this could be what is happening in your case. best of luck as my OH suffers with migraines and I see the horrible effect they have on him.x

  • Thanks rosewine. In fact, I didn't use Imigran for ages because I was worried about the side effects! I always read them first but my GP said most people are OK. I wasn't in danger of over-using them, lol. But I did have several in a short space of time. Even so, i don't think I've taken enough for it to be overuse yet. Sorry to hear about your OH's migraines. x

  • I was having migraines about once a week. The headaches however were daily and this went on for months. I think part of the cause was anxiety.My doctor and I are working to get that under control. CBT helps some.

    I still get them in the temple and right over my left eye and am hoping part of it is my eye glasses. I will be getting a new Rx in a few days and see. But I think they come on (regardless of my eye sight) whenever something irritating triggers them.

    I find that rest, good nutrition, and not responding to people pushing my buttons helps. But I can't really say what your situation is. I know people who use lavender and/or chamomile on their temples or upper lip. I've tried it, found it doesn't help too much, but it does relax me a bit so that's got to help.

    I've used Sumatryptan for migraines, even when a severe headache is building and I think it might get to migrained stage. But I use it infrquently. Maybe if you use it regularly, your body develops a tolerance, accustoming to th med it no longer does its job. Just a thought.

    No meds I have ever taken have done much to help the headaches much. I use moist heat wraps fairly often for neck, occiput, and shoulder pain which I thinmk my be related.

    God, headaches are so non-specific. I wish I could help you, share a little massage!

  • Thanks Clare-hart. Yes, different things work for different people. Syndol used to help me but they discontinued it but not used to having them every day. I think the fatigue is making it worse and plus had two very stressful days last week and buttons pushed. Then it's hard to shake them off and the longer they go on the more it becomes set in!

  • I am so sorry to read that you are suffering and struggling in this way, and I genuinely hope that you can find some resolution and relief to this issue. I would definitely go back to your GP and discuss what is happening and see what other medication they can offer you or give you a referral to a neurologist to see what the cause is?

    I want to sincerely wish you all the best of luck with finding the answers that you so desperately desire and deserve.

    All my hopes and dreams for you

    Ken

  • Thanks kindly, Ken, and sorry for the delay in replying but I've been at my mum's and hard to log in on my ipad sometimes.

    But yes, i do need to get sorted because the headaches have been going on.

  • I'm amazed how many of us Fibro friends also get migraine. My migraine was controlled fairly well for years but got worse with added facial pain around the time of my menopause. Then all my other Fibro symptoms joined in!

    Would your GP ref you to a Headache/migraine clinic? I was told that it is worth trying a different Triptan if the one you try isn't effective, so maybe discuss it with your GP.

    I used Sumatriptan with good effect until I started taking it too often in an attempt to stay in work. I really suffered with medication overuse headaches so had to go cold turkey, awful!

    Hope you can find some relief.

  • Thanks so much, Sewnsew. Sorry I've been offline so have only just seen your message. Yes, I've had heard migraines can get worse at the menopause and that maybe why they're worse for me at the moment. I'm trying not to take as many meds but when the pain gets bad what else can you do? But as you say, then you get the medication overuse headaches. I will stick with the Sumatriptan for now as I've not used it that long but if there's no change or things get worse I will think about changing.

  • I can sometimes get headaches for weeks on end. i used to take co-codamol and that cleared them up but it has stopped working on me. It is only usually really bad for the first day or so and then it turns into a dull ache. I have now just learned to live.

  • Hi Bluejeans - thanks for your reply. Yes I also have to be careful taking CoCodamol, having codeine in it makes it addictive. I usually take it for period pain only although that can go on for weeks now (in the premenstrual phase)! Yes, I had two days in bed last week but now it is just a headache that is coming and going but I'm still needing to take something most days and it never quite goes.

  • I've had migraines and cluster headaches for years, and my neurologist put me on Topiramate, but she cut the dosage back since it can cause kidney stones, and I had developed one while on holiday and had to go to an emergency room.

    The Topiramate has helped me. It is a preventative medication (to keep migraines away ~ not to stop after you already have) ... Has anyone ever taken Topiramate (generic for Topamax)? I lay down with a cool compress, usually over my eyes, and warm on the back of my neck. If you've had clusters, you know they move all around your head and neck ... The alternating coolness and warmth can help sometimes.

    I am sorry for all your pain, and wishing you gentle comfort in the days and nights to come ... (I need help just now for my sleepless nights, because I am awake again, at 3:30 am here, and haven't been to sleep at all tonight and just don't know why ... )

    Baffledkaffy

  • Thanks for your reply BaffledKaffy - I've been offline at my mum's so sorry for delay to your reply. My sister was given Topamax for anxiety and it made her twenty times worse and as we are similar genetically I think I'll give it a miss! I know it's said to be good for migraines but it didn't help hers either even as a by-product! I'm very glad it's helped you anyway :)

    I understand the sleepless nights too. I alternate the medication I use so that I don't get reliant on one. I sometimes take half a tranquilliser which helps, other times I will take zopilcone which is quite effective but I've not taken that lately because I wake with a headache after taking it! The sleep-inducing ingredient in Syndol which used to help with migraines but has now been discontinued is doxylamine and you can get this online on Amazon as Kirklands sleeping tablets. Just taking half a one can help sleep so sometimes take those.

    Hope you get some restful sleep soon. I am always tired *sigh*

  • Thanks for the info about Syndol. They are advertising it on TV now but it's just Paracetamol/codeine/caffeine, no doxylamine!

  • Yes my sister said it had come back without the doxylamine but that was the ingredient that made you sleepy and relaxed! It was discontinued for ages and I had a feeling they would remove that ingredient so I buy it online separately and add half a tablet to CoCodamol which gives something approximating the old Syndol!

  • I am so amazed that all of you have had your headaches taken seriously, (good that you have , of course !)

    I have had skull pain, coat hanger shapes headaches, migraines, and 'other' headaches for at least forty years.

    No GP has ever responded by suggesting medication ! I used to be at work struggling to even speak. I took Cocodamol for years, now can't.

    Iam DEFINATELY going to address this with my GP ! Thanks.

    A very cold compress, frozen, helps a little, on the back of my neck. Ironically, these headaches seem to hit out of the blue when I am feeling a little better.

    I hope you find a solution.

  • Thanks Micro and sorry for the delay in replying, I have been offline. I am really sorry that you've not had your headaches and migraines taken seriously. I think it's persistence with me and I've had them all my adult life, ever since I was a teenager in fact, so probably 40 years too. No GP offered to help, I just used to take over the counter painkillers until I saw others were taking triptans. As I say I think you have to be persistent.

    I used to find Syndol very good but they have been discontinued in their previous form but their ingedients were paracetomol, Codeine and doxylamine so you wouldn't have been able to take those either. Are you able to take anything nurofen based? I actually find the migraine relief tablets from Superdrug just as effective as I did the Imigran. I never know what is going to work, to be honest, and often it's just a case of the headache or migraine needing to run its course. The meds usually only help to alleviate the symptoms, but this every day headache is new to me.

    Another thing that helps me, for lesser headaches, as you were memtioning compresses is an anaesthetising stick from Superdrug called 4Head. Quite dear, can be £4.95 sometimes, other times they have it reduced but it last some time and you rub it on your forehead and it gives a cold feeling. When I have a migraine though I need a hot water bottle, so depends on the severity of the headache.

    But do go to your doctor and discuss options. I wish you all the best.

  • I am SO sorry Micro, that you have not had your headaches taken seriously in order to get treatment!

    I think it can depend on the doc you have, their background & their gender (mine was a woman a little younger than me, now retired & now I have another woman doc, still a bit younger). I believe that a factor, tho it SHOULDN'T be. Just seems that women empathize more with our physical symptoms. The first sent me to a neurologist (also a woman) to investigate the cause. OR it's entirely possible that it's just a fluke that my docs have mostly been females, very empathetic w/all my issues ...

    The 4Head you mention, FoggyMoggy, sounds great ... I'll see if it's avail here in US ... I do have milder headaches too & I'd like to have that to use.

    Because the Topamax has the side effect of kidney stones & I'm having the same pain again today as with my stone before, I'm watching. But bc I have so much spinal/back pain, I never know what's what. I have to wait to see if any other symptoms develop, then go to the hospital. If it subsides it's just my usual back pain.

    Thanks for all the info for both migraines & sleep ... I have noted them all & will check w/my doc re possibilities for me. I was awake again all last night. I have a very understanding & loving hubs who encourages me to "sleep in" late in the morning if I can, but then my whole day would be off if I did that ... I'm retired from my job, but have much work to do for an upcoming art and "crafts" show, and a church volunteer group event.

  • Hi BaffledKaffy - I hope you're able to find some relief for your other pains and for your sleep problems. Yes, I also worry more and sleep less when I have engagements coming up! I hope they go well. I do sleep late and also I sleep in the day too which may be why sleeping at night is difficult but I have learned to go with my rhythms. I just can't get up early. The best sleep I have is in the morning! I didn't realize you were in the US so you probably have different meds available. I know that for something entirely different you have something called Airborne which is a great boost to the immune system. One of my American cousins brought it over when he came over here and has done several times but you just can't get it over here :( x

  • Yes, my hubby takes Airborne bc he travels a lot! It seems to help him avoid colds, etc., while on airplanes (so many germs there!) ...

    As for sleep, I don't take any naps now bc I know that would really keep me awake. It seems every third night or so, I'm up. Dr's theory was that my brain needed to be re-trained to sleep after I reduced a really large dose of morphine from 230mgER, to 60mgIR daily, bc I was not really "living" ~ just sleeping my life away. I don't know if he thought it was going to last as long as it has, however.

    I think we have many of the same meds here, actually. I find I'm familiar w/some, others not so much, but that's not so unusual. (My husband worked in a pharmacy while in University, so he's more informed than I.)

    It so helps to talk to others and know you're not alone w/your pain, and the problems it causes. Or if I can at all give help to others in times of their pain, trouble or emotional need, I hope to do that, too. Sharing experiences is easy & this site is all about that ... I'm so happy to have found it.

    Even tho' I'm not from the UK & some of the terms are a little "foreign" to me, I find interesting information & gentle, helpful new acquaintances that I hope will grow to be new friends around the world ...

  • Yes, that's just what my cousin used Airborne for - for warding off colds and we found it helped too! Just a shame we cab't get it over here.

    Alas I don't have any choice when to sleep, I get that wall of fatigue and I just have to go with it...

    But yes, this is a great site, a lot friendlier than some of the others and you can ask and share about anything :)

  • I know Airborne has lots of Vitamin C, I'll see what else ... maybe you can get the ingredients separately since you can't get it as is, Foggy! Hope sleep comes tonight!

  • Thanks kindly, BK! You too :)

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