Triptan - rebound headache?

I've been migraine sufferer for more than 20 years - now 45.

Using triptans and painkillers (ibuprofen and paracetamol) to manage attacks… I now have more attacks each month - rizatriptan is effective in stopping attack but recently have had 3 really nasty what I now think are rebound headaches. Dr's /consultants advice so conflicting over what/how much to take. I always try to be careful with how much I take.

Keen to get off the painkillers and limit/stop the triptans - I'll be seeing NMC in a month.

In the meantime, to avoid triptans what is the best for me to take to stop an attack?

9 Replies

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  • Hey Oggie, have your migraines changed? Sorry,can't tell if your male or female with your name 😆 thinking hormone factors may be involved?

    Rebound is aweful i know 😔 i use ice at the back of my head and temples as much as possible to avoid pain relief/triptans.

  • Yes female - hormone factors definitely involved but migraines other times of month. Not changed significantly other than frequency and severity! Tried pretty much all preventatives; amitryptyline, propronolol, pizitofen and a recent brush with topiramate

    Have tried progesterone only pill - didn't make any difference and tried estrogen gel but just seemed to alter timing of attack.

    I prefer warm heat and use warm wheat bag for relief with attack.

    At moment looking into alternative therapies, regular acupuncture, physio vitamin supplements.

  • Yeah you sound like me only I'm a bit further down the road, done everything with no joy. I'm now looking into a specialist to determine exactly what i need and looking at what i eat.

    Have marina coil for progesterone and tried patches/gel for oestrogen but can't nail it due to no period! Just migraine but it's on me without a warning for 4 days then the flashing ones come 😔 no break for 8 days now.

    Been getting really stiff legs in the morning trying magnesium spray tonight.

    It's bloody aweful isn't it 😔 determind to get it nailed though!!

    Used to have 2 types but i nailed the jaw ones 😆 so their not every day multiple migraines now 😆

  • hi 🙋

    syndol used to be the answer to all my prayers until it lost its license in the UK. Note it's returned without the key ingredient so I'm having to use other things. Had migraine since I was very young so tried most things by now (36 years old). I take preventative amatryptaline and propanalol. About five attacks each month for which I take naproxen, paracetamol and an anti sickness drug. However my consultant is giving me an occipital nerve block to see if that helps. I hate taking preventatives. Hope you find the solution. It's very much trial and error! Xxx

  • you say you have headaches at other times of the month- have you documented them - for some people, myself included - its triggered by changes in hormonal levels so one way of knowing when I am ovulating.

    I don't know if you use whole wafers of rizatriptan - you can use fractions. at the moment I'm down to somewhere between 1/4 and 1/8 of a wafer so my prescription actually lasts me a very very long time.

    I found that the frequency and severity of my migraines eased a lot when I took up jogging - just 1/2 mile a day - so if you aren't doing anything like that then it might be worth giving that a whirl - for me it does seem to have to be jogging - other forms of exercise don't make a difference - I cycle a lot.

    I am very sensitive to smells - particularly during in migraines - and find that aromatherapy can also help - mint, lavendar, citrus and ylang ylang seem to help

    I have problems with B12 absorption and my migraines got a lot worse just before I was diagnosed as being deficient ... so it may also be worth looking into other possible causes for the headaches. Very easy to focus on one thing and miss the fact that something else is going on underneath.

  • Vitamin B12, CQ10, and magnesium citrate. My migraines were much worse before taking these supplements and I'm sure I suffered with Triptans rebound

  • The only thing I can think of is taking 3 disperable aspirins with a cup of coke which my consultant told me about. You have to take just as you think something is happening. It is still taking tablets I know, but less dependable ones (I'm guessing). This sometimes works for me, sometimes not.

  • I take excen, but that won't stop the rebound. It is a very difficult situation. Wish I had the answers.

  • Thanks all for your comments. It helps to know that you're not suffering alone.

    Gambit 62 - thanks so much for the tip about splitting the rizatriptan wafers! I didn't know that wish the GPs would advise. My migraines sound very similar - very sensitive to smells too and tracking those hormone changes. It's all a hit of jigsaw puzzle

    Babs1234 - am now taking those supplements. Though I have b2 riboflavin rather than b12.

    The Triptan rebound thing has been whole revelation to me. I had no idea they could actually be making it worse.

    Have had big improvement in cutting out the Triptan - last attack got through on aspirin alone and seemed to recover much more quickly. Also changed painkiller was using ibuprofen and paracetamol but now aspirin only which seem to respond better to.

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