Has anyone had worse/more frequent migraines after the flu jab?


I have chronic migrianes once or twice a week, but since the flu jab two weeks ago I have had one every other day. Pharmacy couldn't give me any advice, has anyone else experienced this? I've had the jab before and been fine. It is really getting me down, even though my meds usually take away the pain I still feel generally unwell and I'm worried about taking too much medication. Would be grateful for any advice, thanks.

18 Replies

  • It's hard to say as I,ve never had a flu jab but things to bear in mind are has anything else changed that could trigger the migraine? Also sometimes flu jab can give you flu symptoms, I ALWAYS get migraine when I,m Ill so maybe this has triggered the migraines? Hopefully it will pass soon and things will settle down. In the meantime have you tried belladonna a homeopthic remedy for headache? I tried it yesterday for headache and it worked but not convinced it will bust a migraine? However if it makes pain more bearable it may be better than taking all the painkillers? Good luck, its sooo frustrating when they get worse but go back to see your doctor if things don't improve

  • I've had a flu jab every winter for several years and not noticed a connection between it and the migraines. I usually feel absolutely fine afterwards, got a cold once but think I was going to get one anyway. The nurse who does ours at work says the vaccine is dead so it can't actually give you the flu and if you get symptoms you're probably harbouring them and it's a coincidence. The only time I've suffered badly was after the first time they decided to give everyone the swine flu jab about 4 years ago - but I was going through a bad time with poorly managed facial pain and migraine so I can't really blame the jab.

    Maybe you should go back to the GP if you don't feel better soon. I had a really bad run of lots of migraines close together a couple of years ago and just went back to get checked over and they gave me a different medication to try.

    Got my flu jab coming up soon - hope I will not be eating the above words! (last winter the nurse bought us all lollies to eat after the jabs. We're such children sometimes!)

  • I've not had the flu jab trigger a migraine. And I have had the flu jab for the last few years. But, if there is one thing I have learned over the years about migraines it is that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to triggers. Anything is possible. Maybe you need to see your GP for a referral to a migraine clinic?

  • The link with flu seems likely, but having flu would be much worse wouldn't it? If you are having frequent migraine symptoms anyway have you looked at means of preventing them rather than reacting to them? I recognise that constant feeling of the effects. I agree with all the above comments, migraines vary from person to person and time to time. Try and get some more experienced help!

    PS I started this thread and thankfully have no migraines now.

  • You are lucky. My migraines began at age 11 and 40 years later still have them, worse than ever! I have taken so many different meds and shots. If the migraine is bad, nothing works. It's awful.

  • Thank you all for your responses. I met someone today who also had several migraines after their jab this year, so I feel a little less crazy now! Today I also feel like I am coming down with something, so maybe I have a bug and that was setting them off, will try and get to the gp if I get another one tomorrow. I am under National Migraine Centre. I emailled them this week for any advice, I can't get there for an appt feeling like this at the moment, but no response or acknowledgement yet..

    Thanks for the tip about Belladonna I may give it a go, never tried it before.

    You are lucky getting a lolly teadrinker! I had to go to Boots to get my jab GP wouldn't give it to me even though I've had bad health problems from severe flu 2 years ago!

    Unfortunately binkey I have tried a lot of preventers which haven't worked (well, did in the past but not now) and the others I can't take at the moment due to other factors. I have a lot of food intolerences so thinking about whether I have some new triggers. Great to hear you don't have any migraines now, what worked for you?

  • Hi, I have had a flu jab for the last three years and can't remember having a Migraine or headache afterwards, but this year my migraines have returned with a vengeance and I did have a particularly bad one about two weeks after the jab, I wouldn't have thought anything of it but several of my colleagues have been reported as saying that they too have had really bad headaches after having the jab, so maybe this years jab has something in it that is triggering headaches or migraines in people who are more sucseptible, I used to get migraines a a teenager but they stopped 20 odd years I went to my GP this week and she diagnosed Migraine asthecause of the frequent severe headaches I have been getting, so it looks like they have comeback :(

  • I had the flu jab yesterday about 2:30pm. By 3:30pm my head was screaming violently. Prior to the shot I was just fine! I have been in pain since. I suffer from cluster headaches and sometimes those trigger migraines. This is a different headache than I've ever had. But since it's only been less than 24 hours will see if it goes away on its own in the next couple of days. What a mess. I can't go without a flu shot every year since I had the flu 3 years ago and it almost killed me.

  • I'm worried too that the jab has triggered my cluster headaches. I've been great for months and suddenly gone downhill after the jab. Any news on your clusters after the jab?

  • Hi, I had the Flu jab Two and a half weeks ago, and have been aura riddled and intermittent Migs ever since, It has make me wonder if there's a link also, before this I'd been 10months Mig free, my longest time ever. I've been taking a vitamin and healthy eating and excercise reguime, including Fever few herbal tablets and evening primrose and B2 tablets all which where recommended to me by a herbalist. I have also tried every proventative and pain killer meds from a specialist and my GP, over the years to no avail. Diagnosed as Basilar Migraine.

  • Hi, sorry for the long delay in replying. The migraines settled down after a couple of weeks on naproxen, but I think they are a bit worse than they were before. Have heard of other people getting more headaches and migraines since the flu jab so I think there must be a link with this year's dose. Last week I had Botox as I got to a point where I felt desperate and don't have many options left. No change in frequency yet, but I had a bad one in the night which went much quicker than usual. How are you all managing now? Hope the migraines and cluster headaches are reducing.

  • I got the flu shot (first time ever) at the age of 52. I got it last Tuesday. Within 24 hours I had a migraine that kept me from work for 2 days and ruined my weekend. I now don't know if I will ever get another flu shot. The headache led to vomiting and feeling like a baseball bat had hit me in the head. Normally one of these only last 36 hours at the most.

  • YES!!! I'm 40 YO Male, and haven't had a migraine since I was a child... Maybe only 3 times in my life.

    I had a flu shot on 11/3 and last night (about 35 hours after the shot) I started getting a bad headache, when I woke up this morning (6:30 am) I was fine, but at 10 am it was back with a vengeance. For the last hour it's been getting progressively more and more painful. I just realized that the shot to the headache might be connected and started looking on line.

    The migraine hits me in waves about every 3-5 min, but the pain never goes fully away. On a scale of 1-10 it goes from a 4 up to an 8 every 5 min or so... It feels like someone is sticking an ice pick in my head just above my right eyebrow.

    I have much more empathy towards those of you who have to deal with migraines on a regular basis.

    Could you please let me know if there is any over the counter medication that will elevate this pain?

  • Hopefully these have gone for you now, but if it has still persisted you might benefit from the following.

    This sounds similar to what I was having and it is similar to the description of 'cluster headaches'. Look up the organisation OUCH uk. They specialise in Cluster headaches and have lots of info. Not much you can buy over the counter in the UK that is any good for migraine/cluster symptoms. I tried one called migraleve, but I didn't find it any good. In America you can buy Excedrin for Migraine which is quite good and you can order standard Excedrin online if in the UK but unfortunately not the migraine one which is the one that really helps. Sorry, not sure where you are.

    Prescription: Sumatriptan may help you (commercial name is Imigran). Ask your GP about it. It comes in 50mg, 100mg and injection form. You take one when the first signs start and one two hours later if symptoms persist. There are lots of treatments available. You could also discuss a preventative treatment (something you'd take everyday) like Amitriptyline. .

  • Hi,

    I had the flu jab at the end of October. I typically get a migraine once or twice a year. Following the jab I got what can only be described as the worst headaches I have ever had. I had one a week for four weeks. I had never heard of cluster headaches but when I looked that up, the description of cluster headaches matched what I was experiencing. They were very different from a regular migraine which I have had plenty of over my 43 years. Anyway, it seems to have died down now, but I've been trawling sites to see if anyone else could link it to the flu jab. I already avoid pretty much everything that causes migraine so I can't blame any of that and I wasn't stressed or anything. There is nothing else at that point which I can see could have caused such a rapid decline in my wellbeing and such a dramatic change in the severity of the headache I got. Nothing touched it, it was so painful I actually was scared something was just going to pop and I wouldn't know anything about it. Definitely not sure about every having it again. I'd rather have the flu than those headaches.

  • I was wondering if my migraines were triggered by an auto immune response following the swine flu jab some 4 years ago now? Up until that time I had monthly headaches managed with paracetamol. Now I take amoltriptan and naproxen 3 - 4 times per month and my life has been turned upside down . This time also however coincided with the menopause and a stressful job so I'm just speculating? !!

  • hi i hade a flu jab allmoast forced on me when i was in a psychiatric hospital in clermont ferrand in france were i live. im english.. and after the flu jab a few months later every day or two i kept getting massive migrains allways the left emisfere of my brain and it when to the extente of pain that i could not stand on my feet and was sick my legs shaking so week.. until i got fed up of this what seemed to me as unnatural pain in my head so i focused all my chi energie into my left index finger and wile it was hurting i pulled the pain out of my head.. i felt crackeling and so mutch releas on tention i got it all out like puling severall strings out of my head and felt like i was at the top of a mountain when all the pain was out... but then....... hundreds of prickely thing started to push back in the top of my head... i held strong and dident let the back in mind over matter.. but they changed quiquely and some of theme are atached to my hands and well i realy need help if someone can... one of them show its self to me its bacteria but verry big bacteria... and they bite . ive hade theme for over a year and a half now.. in the cold i feel them more in the sumer i hardly feel them.. when im angry there insupôrtably rigeling in my hand o god im so strong but i wish someone could help .. i have hade no migrains ever since. witch isent a bad thing.... feel like iv been raped.. feeling verry verry angry sometimes if i ever cross the guy hwo gave me that jab god help him .. he stuck it right into the bone of my arm to hurt like F!!!!

    and also little detail after a got all the pain out.. all the left side of my head was saw for a week like it was healing inside... just know i will never do annything to hurt my self or others im just waiting for the truth to com out and if i can push it i will.. just wait till the shit comes out on what there realy doing to us..

    benjamin charles bougie

    5 rue des boucheries


    montaigut en combrailles


  • I always get a migraine or two after a flu shot. However, I always have them when I have the actual flu, and way worse. I skipped it this year (too busy) and I am currently on day 2 of a nasty flu with a continual migraine that keeps switching sides. :(

    UPDATE: 6 days later, I now have pneumonia in my right lung, just at the tail end of the flu.. the flu had set up the conditions to contract it. Every breath really hurts, the antibiotics are giving me diarrhea, aaand: migraine nearly every day of it.

    Wishing I had taken the flu shot at this point.

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