November 1, 2018
Hi, just looking for some feedback, my son gets a severe migraine each time he is exposed to perfume/artificial scents. He has tried triptans, amitryptaline, currently trying Topomax with too much cognitive fog. Can anyone comment directly on the efficacy of botox for strictly perfume induced migraine? Aimovig? Looking for help, neurologist is willing to try but not very aware of migraine strictly with perfume exposure.
Looking for specific results for scent induced migraine and botox or aimovig injections?
Nancy Harris Bonk37
November 3, 2018
Thank you for your question. The easy answer is to avoid scents that trigger a migraine attack, however, that's not very realistic. I use a handheld diffuser filled with an essential oil that helps clear my nose of the offending odor. The trick is to have it with me at all times and use it immediately. Here is a link for this product (I don't receive any compensation for suggesting this, I just really like it): https://www.naturesgift.com/product/deluxe-personal-inhaler-black/.
Others I know use Tiger balm and we have this article how on deal with scent triggers; https://migraine.com/living-migraine/practical-strategies-avoid-scent-triggers/.
I don't believe there are studies on medications specifically for scent triggered migraine attacks. People with migraine disease typically have more than one trigger and depending on how many migraine attacks we get during the month warrants what kind of medication that can be provided.
Botox has a proven track record for helping to prevent chronic migraine which is defined as 15 or more headache or migraine days a month. I've been getting it since August, 2016. It helps my abortive medications work much better, which is no small thing.
Topamax works wonders for some people, not so much for others. I did want to let you know there are many other options to consider (over 100 medications and supplements) to help prevent migraine attacks. You may want to take a look at this article on migraine prevention medications; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-preventives-start/.
I know this isn't exactly what you were looking for, but I hope it helps!
March 7, 2019
Have you tried benadryl as an abortive after the perfume? I have little success with abortives and although I do use Topamax as a preventative I can see how it would not be a medication that would be great for a young person. I’m not sure how old your son is, but Benadryl is very effective and easy to access with such small side effects. It is, after all, what they’ll put in your IV drip at the hospital when your migraine is so severe you end up in the ER. I think this may be a good option to try for perfume and chemical exposure migraine triggers.
Also, its good to remember that triggers are cumulative, so there may be other things building up in his system that you have yet to discover.
Perfumes are easy to control at home. If there are exposures at his school or other places he goes regularly, it’s perfectly acceptable to address the institutions with his health concerns and request a “no perfume” policy. It certainly can’t hurt to ask. I would say avoiding triggers is much more effective at migraine prevention than any pill. I wish you luck.
March 7, 2019
Thanks, taylormarie. We have not tried Benadryl, will do though. In the meantime, his high school (he is 14) is scent free but enforcement of teens loving their Axe spray is a challenge to say the least. We have found nerve blocks with his anesthesiologist every two weeks calms the response. I will add Benadryl to the arsenal and let you know. The cumulative effect of fragrance in public is definitely an ongoing battle. Thanks for your thoughts and well wishes, they are certainly appreciated.