Back to all discussions

Will anti-depressants trigger migraine attacks?

Hi All! Has anyone started taking anti-depressants and suffers migraines? I wonder if they will trigger them. I feel I really need them. Pretty depressed at the moment and for this reason I have been putting off taking them for years. I did try 5HTTP in 2016 and the first day I felt fine but then the next day, bam, massive headache. Let me know anyway, Thanks!

  1. Anti-depressants come in many kinds working on different chemical pathways in the brain.

    Migraine can also be caused/triggered by different things.

    Each person is unique in thier response to,medications or suceptibilty to side effects.

    There is no way to know in advance if any one person will have a migraine in response to taking a medication.

    Having said that, I encourage you to discuss your concerns and share your experience with 5http with the provider(s) who may write your prescription for anti-depressants.

    There is research linking migraine and the serotonin system, but some people have migraine for other reasons (injury, hormones, chemical sensitivity to name but three of very very many) and some (but not all) anti-depressants work on the serotonin system. Some medications used to treat migraine also effect the serotonin system (for example both imetrx and zofran that I have for migraine come with a warning of side effects related to Serotoninergic syndrome).

    When I saw the warnings on these and that they were similar to other medications I already had (and said "check with your doctor if you are also taking) I did just that. I asked my doctor and my pharmacist as I had, like you, had previous negative reactions.

    We worked out a tiered dosage plan that minimizes the potential for piggy-backing negative effects while still getting theraputic benefit.

    Your doctor and pharmacist are there to make sure you get the greatest theraputic benefit with minimum side effects. But there is really no way to know until you try.

    Again, I encourage you to just share the very same thing you did with us, but with your healthcare team.

    They can work to find the best fit for you.

    (Tanget: last time I was at the e.r. for nerve pain and muscle spasm I waited an additional 30 min for treatment as the dr tried to find a medication they had that I could take. I have many med allergies and adverse reactions and three daily prescriptions. I also have conditions that some medications are warned against. I keep a list on my phone to show any new doctor. It was worth the delay to have all concerns, comorbities, and contraindications considered before injecting me.)

    1. Personally, I experienced depression repeatedly many years before I ever had a migraine.

      I tried many different anti-depressants and never had a migraine as a side effect (plenty of other negative reactions though)

      After I started getting migraines, the doctor actually recommended some anti-depressants for migraine treatment, but I refused due to previous negative effects.

      For me migraines themselves sometimes have depressed mood or suicideation as a symptom. I am usually elated the day after I migraine breaks (and not just happy it is gone, but actually abnormally elated)

      And I also experience depression if I get more than one migraine a week. And I can get depressed generally because I have multiple chronic conditions.

      And I still have the mood disorder I've had for decades.

      Depression and migraine are so very complicated.

      Do see your doctor. Do share all your concerns.

      I wish you the best in finding @n effective and safe treatment for your depression. It may even be something other than a prescription that your doctor deems best for you (light therapy, nutritiinal therapies, etc.)

      Good luck!

      1. Just like the above comments stated, migraine triggers are so individualized to each specific person and unfortunately there is no easy answer. There have been links between chronic migraines and depression though, and depression has been known to sometimes make a migraine attack worse. I wanted to share this post that you might find interesting:

        I hope you find some answers and get the help you are seeking and I'm so glad you found this community of people who are going through very similar things!

        or create an account to reply.