National Migraine Centre
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My migraine has suddenly shifted sides - is this normal after 6 years?

Hi Everyone,

I have had migraines every month for the past 6 years every single month - this is due to hormones and stress.

The only thing that gets rid is the Imigran.

I always get them on the right side around the eye - i know them so well.

But this week, Im having my 4th attack and strangely, they have shifted to the left side. This is very out of of the ordinary for me as they are always on the left.

The pain is almost the same,except seems go hurt a little more but I'm thinking this js down to the fact that I'm not used to having attacks on that side.

Imigran ususally gets rid of the pain even when it's been on the left. It's just very out of the ordinary for it to suddenly shift after so many years of it hitting my right side.

Any feedback will be great



9 Replies

Mine were left sided for years and years and in the past 2 years started occasionally being right sided - they are now a mixture of the two. My neurologist didn't seem to think this was unusual but I really have no idea. The brain is such a strange thing isn't it?!


Thanks for your response :)

You know when you know your migraines so well, so anything out of the ordinary almost becomes a little worrying !

I guess I may be following the same path as yourself !


Difficult to say for sure that it wasn't always the case but I get migraines on both side - right responds well to rizatriptan - left is just forget it throw painkillers at it and try and get through as best I can. Mine are also hormonal and get them when hormones change - so 2x per month. At one point the left side tended to be mid-month and the right side end of month.


So far, both sides are responding to the sumatriptan, it's just so out the ordinary - going to start keeping a diary to really track what parts are affected in an attack .


diary sounds like a good idea. Is probably worth mentioning to GP at some point as well, just in case there is something else going on.


I have had right sided migraine ever since I can remember. They were always frequent but strangely disappeared when I was pregnant. They came back with a vengeance straight after the pregnancy and I was also getting cluster headaches. I also started getting left sided headaches about 15 years ago which do not respond to imigran and are a different intense sort of pain. If I take an imigran at this stage the pain actually becomes much more intense and I can feel my head throbbing. I am very pale and feel nauseated. I have to wait until the left sided pain migrates to the right side of the head and then I treat it with imigran tablets or injection and this usually quells it. So yes, I believe that migraine headaches change in form as you go through life.


My migraines have changed dramatically in the 44 years since I had my first one at the age of 20. Always left sided, always accompanied by diarrhoea and vomiting every 10 mins and not being able to eat or drink for 3 days. Then around the menopause they lessened in both duration and severity and started moving all over my head thus becoming much less predictable but a little more bearable in terms of pain at least.

This may have coincided with the intro of triptans as they worked miracles on aborting the pain which ever side it was - though it usually took up to a couple of hours. But soon I was taking 20 or more a month which was giving me LFT results of a chronic alcoholic (& I'm teetotal). Prophylactics gave me major side effects, GONI did nothing. Botox helped when I first had it in January 2014 allowing me to reduce triptans to 4 a month, but the second belated dose in August hasn't worked at all. I'm due another set of jabs in December and I'm hoping this time they will reduce the frequency and severity again.

I seem to have veered off the point a little (I'm rarely feeling well enough to type this much) but I do believe that migraines transform over the years of suffering and often a bit of rebound and medication overuse gets involved. This may be what causes them to be variable in position as well. I think (hope) its normal but I would suggest you try and get to see a neurologist for reassurance and proper pain relief.

Good luck! Patti


Hi, I'm finding the same, I keep thinking my migraines have got worse since taking Imgran

I woke up with a migraine, now shifted to the right eye, only since the last 2 months this has been happening.

migraine for me has become a nightmare since August I have one every day


I suffered horribly from migraines for YEARS. Went down the path of Imitrix, always needing more so I stopped. Tried completely giving up all caffeine by giving up my beloved morning coffee, but it works. If you give up ALL caffeine and then drink a pot of coffee when a migraine starts, it restricts your blood vessels and the migraine goes away. My blood pressure overall dropped to a healthier level as well. I also realized salt/dehydration is my main cause of migraines. It's hard to give up Joe (_)] I know, but well worth a great cure!


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