caret icon Back to all discussions

Advice on Medication

HI there

My daughter who is 20 and at university has been getting migraines for quite a while vomiting aurea, pins and needles. Doctors here in the UK have given her anti sickness pills, beta blockers - they made her drowsy, Imigran tablets - that dont seem to work. `today they say she is to try topiramate. Im just not sure this is the best answer as it has to be taken every day and you cannot drink alcohol it can make you depressed etc. Ive been told about immigrant tongue wafers and also the there is an inhaler you can get which eliminates headaches very quickly and wondered if anyone had experience of these as not too keen on the sound of the topiramate side effects. Thanks

  1. I'm sorry to hear that your daughter is experiencing migraine attacks. I got them in college as well and it's a really challenging season in life and environment to manage migraine. She's lucky to have an advocate like you to help her figure out the best plan for her.

    Regarding topiramate, we do have several articles on it that you might find helpful. Here's the link if you want to check them out.

    Regarding the Imigran, I'm not sure if it's the same as imitrex/sumatriptan, but if it is, that is a very common medication to manage migraine that has been around for a while. I believe it came out in 1990s. I have taken it over the years and have tried several forms - shots, inhaler, sublingual (under the tongue) as well as the pills. I currently find the pills to be most effective for me, but that can really be a personal experience.

    Has her doctor offered imitrex/sumatriptan as an option for her? He might have some insight on which version might be most appropriate for her as well.

    I'm sure others will join this conversation here with their experience but I hope that you find it helpful in the meantime.
    Alene, moderator

    1. Thank you for your reply. Yes imigran is the sme. They gave her Migraitan which is 50mg sumatriptan it didn't do much. People have told me that the wafers and inhaler are better. The beta blockers made her drowsy. She gets migraine accompanied by pins and needles in her face loss of eyesight aura and vomiting typically 2 or 3 times a month. She is on a continual contraceptive due to the migraine with no break or period. I guess my thoughts would be to try something you take as soon as you feel a migraine coming on rathe that something continuous that has quite a few potential side effects and being a student not being able to go and enjoy a few drinks with friends is a bit of a shame.

    2. it can be common for a doctor to prescribe both a preventative - a medication that's taken daily - as well as a rescue or abortive medicine - medicine that's taken at the onset of a migraine attack. Typically the preventative medication is determined based on how many the person is getting in a typical month. But yes, having a medication to take when you feel a migraine attack coming on is really helpful. Often times doctors will tell patients that the sooner you take the medication at the start of a migraine, the more effective it can be.

      As you're describing though each medicine has it's pros and cons. So it's really a matter of deciding which is going to be most appropriate for your daughter based on the frequency and severity of her migraine attacks, as well as any specific lifestyle factors, like you mentioned her being a student at university.

      Does she have a follow up appointment with a neurologist or a headache specialist?
      Alene, moderator

  2. Hi. I wanted to check in and see how your daughter is doing. Did she get to try the topiramate? The process of trial and error can be frustrating, but there are so many options for treatment and it's all about finding the combination that helps her best. When it comes to side effects, each person is different and she might be pleasantly surprised. It's up to her to decide what side effects she feels like she can live with and what is too much ... the key is to stay determined and not lose hope.

    We are here to support both of you as you navigate this. I hope that she can get to a place of stability soon! Keep us posted, okay? -Melissa, migraine team

    1. My daughter had another migraine at the weekend spoke to another doctor who said her symptoms were severe and was worried about the pain in her neck he sent her to a&e to get checked. She had blood and urine samples taken, then saw a neurologist who said that basically her head was stuck in a migraine. He gave her 90mg does of asprin as he said a lot if people do very well with a higher dose of that and told her to go back to the doctor n Monday if she still wasn't feeling right. The neurologist she a letter to the doctor advising what to do. Her sight was still feeling off so she went to the doctor on Monday and he have given her anti sickness tablets, high does aspirin and sumatriptan. The neurologist said if these are not effective to go back and see him. Fingers crossed this works.

      1. thanks for the update on your daughter. I'm sorry to hear that you're dealing with such pain and nausea. It sounds like she's getting several opinions and getting some clearer direction on a treatment plan. Do you feel good with the care that you're getting from the doctors and the recommendations that they're offering?
        Alene, moderator

      2. Hi. Really relieved to hear you were able to see a neurologist and have some proper testing done. They seem to be taking it seriously, which is good.

        I'm focusing in on those words "her head is stuck in a migraine." There is a medical term for this, called status migrainosus. We have an article that explains more about this if you want to have a look:

        I am crossing my fingers and toes along with you that this new batch of meds helps her. But don't lose hope if it doesn't, as there are many other drugs that can be given to "break the attack," as we say.

        I just feel a lot of sympathy for her managing this in university. I'm not sure how it is outside of the US, but there should be an office or person your daughter can meet with to discuss her medical condition and any accommodations she may need in order to continue with school, like extra time to do assignments or having class notes sent to her when she's too sick to go to class. Even if this is just temporary, it's a good idea for her to talk openly with all of her professors about what's going on. If there are any doubts, a doctor can write a note as well.

        Best of luck to you both! -Melissa, migraine team

    Please read our rules before posting.