National Migraine Centre
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Migraine following stressful events

I wondered if anyone is like me and gets migraine after a stressful day. I have just spent a day with a family member who has drug problems. He was in a bit of a crisis and I got him to the doctors for an emergency appointment. It seems to be that I always cope with the problem on the day that it occurs but suffer with terrible migraine for the next 2 days. When I am like this I also start to vomit and can't get out of bed. Any suggestions for something to stop the vomiting please. Dee

11 Replies

Hi Doris, hope you feel a little better now. What you describe is very common. You can get a prescription from the doctors for anti sickness during migraine or buy the pink migraleve from chemists. But you must take them as soon as you feel all the familiar symptoms. Hope this helps. Migraines are no joke.


Thanks gillyflower. Dee


Hi, yes if I have had a really stressful day or little sleep or in a really loud environment it is the next day that I get a migraine.I find taking Ondansetron (zofran,zuplenz) fantastic to stop vomiting.You take it as soon as the nausea begins.It dissolves under the tongue so no need for water.It was originally used for chemotherapy patients IV but is now available in this sublingual form.I found the other usual anti nausea drugs (maxalon,stemetil) did nothing.I hope this helps,good luck.


i find post stressful event is a huge trigger. The event can be positive or negative. I recently got 11+ exam results for my 10 year old. He has passed. I was so happy I got a bit teary (at work -- sort of embarrassing). I was so happy I could hardly sit still. This means the adrenaline levels were probably quite high, and in increase in adrenaline is a well know migraine trigger.

I take triptan at the first sign of a migraine (tiredness, slightest twinge of a headache).


I get bad migraines after stress and then get stressed by the migraine. I had to be on Valium for a week last time to break the cycle of cluster migraines.

I try to avoid stressful situations now and leave some stuff to other people to deal with. People don't like it, especially if they are used to you playing the role of rescuer. I have family members not speaking to me. But I have taken my GPs advice and 'got real' about my condition. If I'm in a stressful situation I can't avoid I do an hours meditation ( there's loads online) and I find that helps avoid the migraine altogether or makes it less severe. My GPs advice to take proper care of myself has made more difference to my condition than any drugs. I have accepted I need a low stress life to survive. Good luck.

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Thanks for all replies. It is so true that I feel that I have to be the rescuer in all of my family's problems. I have always been this way but I do suffer the consequences for the following few days. I MUST learn to say that I can't help this time. I need a low stress life to feel normal and cut out the migraines. I will try all of the above suggestions. Dee


This sounds very familiar. After suffering for many years, I have only recently really learned that taking your migraine medication as soon as you feel the least twinge or even just that feeling you get that makes you think "I know I'm going to get a migraine". I take 3 x 300mg aspirin + a triptan (Almogram) + an antiemetic (if I know it could be bad) all at the same time, and this really does seem to work. But I do have to then take this everyday for a few days (however long the migraine decides to last) but I don't get the full blown symptoms and am not totally incapacitated for days. I just feel tired and a bit grotty.

Avoiding stress is good, but quite hard to do and there are always times where this is not possible - and families can be very stressful - the price of love!


I find that stress is definitely a trigger. As is high anxiety over the stressful situation. Zofran is a great anti vomiting drug but I find that it doesn't quite get rid of the nausea. Promethazine helps but makes you sleepy but in my experiences that's better. The quick dissolve zofran tablets have phenylalanine in them which aggrivates my migraines. Avoiding the stressor if possible is your best bet. Though sometimes impossible I know. Good luck!


Yes, yes, yes, my migraines are so easily triggered by stress, one telephone call with my brother can easily push me straight into migraine mode !

I try now to avoid contact as much as possible, to save myself from the dreaded migraine.



Hi Fibrofoggiest, Thanks for replying, I'm glad to hear that I'm not alone in this.


Hi, I got so desperate with nausea that I now have an IM injection of cyclizine or stemetil from the GP or GP out of hours service, if its in the night. This sometimes has a benefit of making me sleep, or sometimes I can recover from the whole migraine after 30 minutes, not needing pain killers. Mind you, I had to beg my GP to give me the jab, I feel I have to fight each time.

The nausea makes me feel like an animal, I moan and groan, can't speak properly, shout and scream. Normally I'm a happy positive person, work as a nurse so am always looking for new ideas on migraine treatment!

Good luck, don't put up with it


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