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Chronic Post-Covid Migraine Tips?

Hi all, I'm (26F) looking for some tips for how to manage the daily headaches I've been having for 6 weeks now. They started suddenly about 3 weeks after I had COVID, so I am sure that's related, since I've had some headaches/migraines before, but never to this degree daily.

Basically, at some point in the morning or afternoon I develop a headache for the rest of the day. It often starts with tingling/pressure in my left sinuses and my left eye, sometimes I get sharper eye pain as well. I would say over 90% of my headaches headaches are in my left side, especially forehead/temple. I also sometimes get left cheek/tooth aches (my teeth are fine, according to dentist!) and floaters in my left eye when outside now.

I've seen many doctors, ENT, neuro at this point to confirm I'm having headaches/migraines not caused by anything else, and have taken antibiotics, steroids, OTC pain killers, sumatriptan, all to no avail.

I still take ibuprofen and acetaminophen sometimes (I try not to every day!) to help if a headache gets too pounding, but it never completely goes away. Sumatriptan has helped but with major side effects of head pressure, dizziness, extreme fatigue and weakness for 2-3 hours, so it hardly seems worth it when my headaches come back every day anyway. I was prescribed nortriptyline, but went off it after two days because I saw it was raising my heart rate/lowering heart rate variability.

I was recently prescribed topamax/topiramate, which I plan to start taking soon and hope it works with minimal side effects! I also take B2 and drink a magnesium supplement, and just started using a topical CBD salve.

Does anyone have any other lifestyle/medication/general health tips that have helped them when trying to heal from daily migraines?

  1. Welcome to the community! We are glad you're here. I'm sorry you are experiencing recurring headaches since having Covid. Headaches during and after Covid are not uncommon. Finding the proper medications to manage migraine can be a process as we all process medications differently in our bodies. Using OTC medications works well for some of us and not so well for others. Using NSAIDs too often can also put us into a medication adaptation headache cycle which can cause recurring headaches as those medications wear off in our bodies. The good news is that hundreds of medications can be used, either alone or in combination, to help manage migraine. Topamax is a typical first-line drug for migraine prevention. It can have some adverse side effects like cognitive issues, dehydration, tiredness, numbness/tingling in extremities, loss of appetite/weight loss, and kidney stones. What is important is how the medication works in your body. Other tips to help with migraine are mindfulness/meditation, yoga, exercise, a stable sleep routine, staying hydrated, limiting stress, and taking time for self-care. You can also try some supplements like CoQ10, magnesium, B2, and feverfew. Finding supplements that have good bioavailability is helpful. Magnesium glycinate and L-threonate have the best bioavailability for example and you can find them in health food stores or vitamin shops usually. CDB products, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, and physical therapy are also helpful for some people. There are also neuromodulation devices like Cephaly, Nerivio, and GammaCore that can be helpful tools. Coping at home can be done with small things like using ice or heat on your head, using essential oils, and going to a cool, dark room to escape anything that may bother you during an attack cycle. My husband uses combinations of these things to manage his chronic migraine. Living with headache disorders can be challenging, but we are here to support you whenever you need. You are not alone! I hope you find some of this helpful. Warmly, Cheryl team

    1. Thanks, Holly, that's helpful! Fortunately, my only side effects after just over a week of 25mg of topamax are some tingling in hands and feet, which is definitely tolerable. I'm probably going to increase to 50mg soon, so fingers crossed that goes well!

    2. thanks so much for giving us this update. Glad to hear that so far the side effects seem relatively mild. Of course it is all relative and you must decide on your own what you are willing to handle in the way of side effects.. Keep on evaluating and making that decision for yourself. We are here to support

      So glad you are with us. Please stay in touch! - Holly ( team)

  2. Make sure to try and find other ways of coping, using any drug for 15 days or more a month would be considered medication overuse and could increase the severity of your migraines. I personally use ice for mine and it works well so I dont always have to use drugs.

    1. I think I am extraordinarily lucky in that my migraines are not nearly as debilitating as most of the other people's ones here. It's been about a year since they started. I can only pray that they don't devolve further, I can only pray, only pray...

      I think my worst fear would be that my methods of coping now cease to work in the future.

    2. That's wonderful that you are able to handle your condition primarily through rescue medications because the frequency isn't quite high enough to justify preventatives. That is a blessing and I join you in hoping and praying this remains the case. You can help things along by becoming aware of and avoiding your triggers (do you feel that you are aware of those: in order not to light up potential attacks unnecessarily. As you know, we aren't always in charge of when attacks hit - as sometimes, no matter how carefully we live, we can get a migraine attack. Still, it helps when we do our best to avoid our triggers when we can. We are here for you to support and answer your questions no matter the frequency and intensity of your attacks. Very glad you're with us! Warmly- Holly team.

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