Best pain killers for migraine - National Migraine...

National Migraine Centre

8,028 members2,354 posts

Best pain killers for migraine



What is best pain killers for migraine had two different trips to doctors this week as had a headache since weekend. They think migraine related as no other neurological issues. I find has day goes on especially tjia time of day the pain is worse. Gave me tripans to take which eased it off earlier but horrible headache later today. I have ended up taking two doses of 400mg of ibuprofen to take edge off. What does everybody else take as in pain relief? I didnt find doctor very sympathetic even though I was crying my eyes out today as worried with how bad pain has been.

17 Replies

You'll find tears and crying, no matter how bad it hurts, have very little diagnostic value to a Dr. You might as well be crying in front of a stone statue. Go in to your appointment as dry eyed and ready as your pain will allow. Start keeping a migraine journal, write everything down....time it came on, and visual or auditory disturbances, when the actual pain hit, if ever, the intensity, how long it lasted, if anything helped, etc. I seriously think doctors are trained to ignore, and possibly be annoyed by crying. They seem to see it as drug seeking behavior. So, fo your best no matter how much pain you're in to not cry in front of your pain team, and it actually helps me get my point across better, and I know I am taken more seriously. My migraine journal REALLY helps as well.

Good luck. I know sometimes you can't help but cry. If you are in that bad a shape, take someone to help speak up on your behalf so you don't get bullied by the doctor or staff. You can't go in expecting sympathy. They need to know what your specific issues are.


I agree with funnelcakeagogo, keeping a journal is helping your doctor and you.

Try the triptans when you feel the headache starting, don't wait until it's all developed.

I personally find that painkillers don't help me unless it's a mild migraine. I would then take 1000mg paracetamol and 400mg ibuprofen, followed by another 400 mg ibuprofen 2 hours later. This combination may not be for everyone. See if you can find anything that triggers the migraine (foods etc) for me it was mainly stress but also dehydration and coffee in the morning. Good luck with the doctors xx

No one knows! It depends on the migraine. What works for a lot of us is a full dose (three tablets) of aspirin as soon as you get the first symptoms. (not in an empty stomach if possible.) Repeat after four hours. Aspirin is a hugely underrated treatment for migraine still as there’s no way for anyone to monetise it. But give it a go. I use beta blockers as a prophylactic, and they work really well.


Remember that too many pain killers, of any kind, overexcite the pain pathways and cause rebound migraines. My neurologists only allows me 8 days a month, with 6 of those being triptan days. I know others who are allowed 10 days a month but opinions differ. If you are having more migraines than 8 - 10 days a month you will have to go through several migraines with no painkillers at all regardless of how bad they are. This is partly why you need to keep a diary so you can keep track of your painkiller use.

I am not sure they are migraines starts off as a normal headache. Take painkillers through the day then by tea timw tge horrendous headache starts and feeling sick. By then I have taken normally my maximun dose of painkillers so suffer all night till I can go to sleep. I have been awake since four with a mikd headache. I am waiting to take the tripans till later when the pain is really bad. This has been going on four 7 days. I was crying at doctors yesterday as I am worried it could be something more serious and I was just nade to feel like I was overacting as I have no other neurological symptoms 😢

My tension headaches turn into migraines if I don't stop them quickly. You might try Excedrin Migraine. I take aspirin-free Excedrin (called "tension headache relief" at Walgreens) and it works just as well.

This is exactly what I start with an it often stops them. I worry I take to much.

I also go to my doctors office for shots of Torrid. This is after I have used all.of my Impitrix and or hydrocodone (which I rarely use)

Have you tried injections of Imitrix or something like it. It has really changes my life. I can have an injection and go to bed and when I wake it is gone.

I haven't tried any of those. Amerge (triptan) takes care of most when Excedrin fails. Didn't touch the menstrual migraine though. I had my first injection of Aimovig Sept 19. Second injection Oct 19. I've taken a total of 5 Amerge since Sept 19. I usually take 18 a month. Its absolutely amazing. If I feel a migraine starting I can even get rid of it with Excedrin or ibuprofen and my topical ibuprofen gel (on my neck). The two injections were a free trial but my insurance company has approved it for me. I will be sticking with it for sure.

And I hear you. I've taken 3-10 pain killers a day for 30 years. But blood tests have never shown any issues from it. My doc isn't worried about it. He is glad I won't need as much Amerge though.

I take a sumatriptan and an Amiprazole together. Half an hour later I take a Naproxen. One hour later pain gone! If I’m lucky it won’t come back for another two weeks. I get three a month on average I hope it works for you! Good luck

Can I ask if you were advised by Doc to take Amiprazole when taking other meds, or have you decided this to help yourself? I have Lansaprozole on prescription but Doc told me not to take long term and maybe it would work if I take it with headache meds but not daily?

Yes doc was most insistent that I take it if I’m taking Naproxen as Naproxen can burn a hole in your stomach and give you ulcers which can be even more dangerous than taking Naproxen! I take a maximum of three a month. I try to take less if I can cope with the pain using paracetamol or aspirin instead! It’s a juggling game! Good luck to you

Hi. I have Naproxen too which I tend to take at night to get me through 8 hours without taking more tablets. BUT my Doc has never told me to take a Lansoprozole with a Naproxen, although always guided me to take with food. This is interesting as my mum and I have been prescribed Lansoprozole for different things and on the box it says to take 1 every day, not intermittently with meds.

Essential to keep a diary: monitor pain and identify likely triggers: weather, screen time, diet. Migraine doesn't respond much to pain killers: most of us take too many and they become the problem, alongside the migraine. Rebound headache is even worse than the original pain. Triptans are the worst drugs ever invented: they take the pain away for a spell then it comes back twice as bad. There's no easy solution. Aspirin is the least likely to cause a rebound headache but isn't promoted because it's cheap and can cause stomach problems. The ONLY thing which has helped me has ben Amlodipine used as a prophylactic. It took me 70 years to discover that! Every other prophylactic I've tried (dozens!) has had horrible side-effects. Amlodipine has no side effects that I'm aware of. Worth trying.

Moon_Struck in reply to woodlog

Woodlog, does the Amlodipine stop the migraine developing at all? I have low BP though, assume it would not be suitable ... so desperate as they're getting worse.

I use hydrocodone only. I start off with one and wait an hour. If I don't have enough relief, I take the second one. Usually helps enough. If not, I take the third one which hasn't happened very often. I also make sure I get 2 to 3 cups of coffee every morning to get the amount of caffeine I feel like I need. We in the migraine world feel your pain. Good luck with finding something that works for you.

Some people swear by hormone therapy. I recently came across a supplement called 7 keto dhea which is a form of dhea that doesn't raise estrogen or testosterone, and I looked into that for migraine help and found an interesting hormone protocol that makes sense. It involves getting hormones tested, like dhea-s, pregnenolone, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. The doctor also recommends magnesium, melatonin in small doses to help balance the pineal gland, and kava kava. I don't know about all of it, but I have been researching hormones in relation to my migraines for a long time because they are so bad around my time of the month. I have also started to see my triggers from keeping a journal, so I know that when there is a high dust and dander level in the weather forecast I will probably get a migraine unless I really stay on top of the cleaning in my house and take a lot of antihistamines. Triptans work with ibuprofen for me when they are unavoidable and already happening. I'm also going to see a chiropractor as my migraines have a real tendency to start with intense shoulder and neck pain that ends up at the top of my neck and feels like I'm getting tortured. Now with reviews online it's easier to not waste your time going to a chiropractor who is insensitive to migraine pain. Massages can even end up being painful and triggering a migraine, and some masseuses really don't understand that.

Well have a full week of no headache then had one Saturday and started again today. Just been taking painkillers as the triptans made me feel awful the other week. I just hope this is not another week long bad head.

You may also like...