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OT- DD's Migraines

justmakingthebest's picture

DD12 has had migraines since she was probably 8. They weren't frequent, maybe 1-2 a month. Then all of a sudden they have been almost daily since mid-August. She has been on all the standard rx's (Imitrex, Zomig, Maxalt) they don't even touch them. We were told to go to the ER last week because she had one that was still going strong after 24 hrs. She freaked and we waited a whole other day (started thurs and went in Sat). 

Whatever the cocktail that they give you in the IV worked! Well she was good until Monday when another hit her hard. She called me from the nurse begging to go back to the ER. So we did. Then yesterday she got another one, we tried the last RX that she was given and then took the 2nd dose, nothing. I took her back to the ER today. I feel so bad for her!!! I am waiting on her neurologist to call me back but it is just crazy to me that the only relief that this child can get is through an IV!! Also, the neurologist doesn't keep the meds in office, no urgent care - only the ER. 

Has anyone else dealt with migraines like this? I had them when I was younger but Imitrex always worked for me. 


susanm's picture

One word - Topamax.  It is not a rescue med.  Imitrex did not work for me.  I got all of the side-effects that were almost worse than the migraine.  They likely gave her Demerol in the ER but who can function on that on a regular basis???

Topamax is a daily med that prevents rather than relieves the migraine.  I used to live and die with my migraines.  They were awful but I had no choice but to suffer through them or spend my life laying down in a dark room.  I honestly have no idea how but I went through undergrad and grad-school and then years of work with migraines complete with auras that would last for days.  I would just excuse myself and vomit as needed.  (Sorry, that is gross but migraine sufferers will get it.)  Topamax changed my life.  I have been on it for about 10 years and get a migraine about half the previous strength maybe twice a month.  Everyone is different but it is worth a discussion with your doctor.

justmakingthebest's picture

The side effects of imitrex were hard on her, she said I think this is what being drunk must fee like- she was stumbling around. Zomig made her break out in a horrible rash. Maxalt didn't do anything, but it also didn't help anything!

susanm's picture

Not familiar with the other 2 but it is not uncommon at all to have bad reactions to Imitrex.  

ESMOD's picture

My YSD suffers from them.. but she also has a siezure disorder that developed when she was about 12.  I always thought that the onset of hormones played a part in that.

She actually had severe issues when she was on the pill as a teen.. she would end up puking headached.. she got an IUD and a lot of that went away.  I believe she does have some migraine meds she has on hand.. might be worth looking for another neurologist that may be able to think of other options if her current one isn't working

justmakingthebest's picture

Thank you, both of you! We have only had one appointment with the neurologist so far, so I don't want to give up on him yet, but he has to come up with a plan for her and we aren't waiting until her next follow up in December for that! 

ESMOD's picture

You may want to reconsider the Imitrex if it was at all helpful.  A lot of these neuro drugs take some getting used to.  I know that my YSD had to adjust and was a bit clumsy etc.. at first on some of her meds.

They can also adjust doses.  and.. even if imitrex makes her feel a bit loopy.. it still may be preferable to the headaches... but.. I'm sure her neurologist will work to get a solution with minimal side effects but has the best effect.

susanm's picture

If you have a bad reaction to Imitrex it is more than that.  It starts with shooting pains in your scalp and face and a general feeing of heaviness like your body weighs 500 pounds along with intense nausea.  Plus the same migraine that you had when you started.  Basically you take feeling horrible and add a healthy dose of aweful to it.  It works like a charm for some people.  My friend swears by it and it you tried to take it away from her she would run you down with her car.  Others of us would rather fight a wild boar than take itl  LOL

justmakingthebest's picture

The Imitrex didn't help her and gave her side effects. The doctor is going to have to try something else...

susanm's picture

I actually got the Topamax through my PCP once my head CT came back and they were satisfied that I did not have any structural abnormalities or bleeds to worry about.  Given the ER admission I am surprised that the neurologist would wait for a scheduled follow up to see her again.  That to me would be cause to bring her in pronto or refer her to someone who can fit her in.

justmakingthebest's picture

I am hoping that when he calls me back we will get her scanned and have another appointment soon. This is all just so crazy to me and I feel so bad for her!!

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Migraines run in my family. By some miracle I have yet to personally have more than the occasional one.

Best ways my family has managed to control it...

My aunt and cousin both got Daith Peircings. They insist they've done wonders, reduced the migraine frequency and intensity. The science behind it is it's supposed to replicate acupuncture.

My mom all growing up would rotate 2 excedrin and 4 200mg ibuprofen, as well as caffeine pills, she insists the caffeine is the real trick, pain killers barely take an edge, but the caffeine does some help

These days my mom gets medical botox injected into the back of her head.  It doesn't affect her face at all since it's on the scalp,  She says that can be hit and miss though.  It either works amazing and she goes MONTHS without a migraine, or it does nothing and it's business as usual so she reverts to the excedrin, ibuprofen, and caffeine pills

justmakingthebest's picture

She used to be ok with OTC pills like you are saying, she would be uncomforable for a while but it would work, now- NOTHING. They don't even phase the pain.

ITB2012's picture

They think part of my migraine/pain is an pinched occipital nerve. After three rounds of lydocaine shots (when things flared and each about a year apart) after this last round it seemed to help reduce the number of migraines since that trigger was gone.

ITB2012's picture

I just had a week-long one last month and it did not respond to my regular migraine meds (Ketorolac/Torodol) at all. It was HORRIBLE. I also have a girlfriend who gets ones that land her in the ER. But the IV version of ketorolac worked great for me for a surgery.

Have you worked out her migraine triggers? I have triggers but the migraines also ramped up when I hit puberty and now in menopause. My triggers are dehydration, sometimes weather changes, and dairy (if I have a single serving three days in a row, day four is a migraine).

They just gave me Imitrex last week and it worked great! I'm sorry it's not working for her. I took half of what the doctor prescribed since I am a med wimp (side effects) and it worked just fine. If she's on the 25mg, I think that's smallest, it may work to cut that in half with a pill cutter. The nice thing is I can still take the ketorolac with the imitrex.

My biggest recommendation is to keep a diary of temperature/precipitation, sleep/wake times, and food. It may be some odd combination. A PT I worked with finally figured out her daughter got a migraine 24 hours after her trigger.

advice.only2's picture

What about CBD oil? Have you looked into that?
I get silent migraines and nothing I have ever been given helps with them so I feel for your poor DD.