Attacks With No Pain or Quicker Resolution: How Migraine Patterns Are Changing With the CGRPs
Last updated: January 2023
I know I'm not the only one who is experiencing an evolving pattern in both frequency, resolution, and type of migraine with the introduction of the CGRPs.
I’ve seen many of our community members reporting a similar experience. Even though many of the changes are positive, it can take time to adjust due to being accustomed to having migraine attacks in the same way for a lifetime.
Quicker resolution with less medication
Previously, for me, it might’ve taken between 4 hours to perhaps 3 days for a migraine attack to resolve. Now, the attacks seem to respond much faster – sometimes as quickly as an hour. And, the pain is stopping in its tracks with the introduction of far less medication.
I used to work down my list of medications
I used to start with one of the triptans as the first line of defense, and then when that didn't work, I would try the next medication in my arsenal. I would repeat this process on and on until I would be drowsy with side effects, hopefully sleeping off the pain.
The battle against migraine has changed
Now, I no longer need to pummel myself with one medication after another. More frequently than not, the attack responds to the first medication and then just stops. I'm able to get along with my day without bothersome and heavy side effects (not to mention the benefit of avoiding introducing additional chemicals into my body).
I'm not used to being functional
For someone who has been battling stubborn migraine attacks for years, this experience is nothing short of incredible and bizarre. To be able to continue on with my day and be functional within the same day that a migraine starts, is not something I’ve experienced before.
I'm also noticing a decrease in the amount of medication I'm taking, which is really worth celebrating.
A different type of attack
Another change worth noting is that not all of my migraine attacks are alike. Previously, every migraine started exactly the same way: with the sensation of a burning hot poker in the right side of the back of my neck. This feeling would spread over my head before landing behind my right eye.
I still experience all of the symptoms except pain
It still happens sometimes, but other times, I notice that I'm experiencing what I can only describe as a migraine with no head pain. I experience the neurological symptoms that accompany migraine (aphasia, nausea, vomiting, brain fog, and light and sound sensitivity), but I have no actual pain in my head.
It is a very odd experience and has left me confused about how and when to treat the migraine.
From chronic to episodic
I’ve written about this dynamic previously, but it’s interesting to go from experiencing pain daily to getting hit with migraine attacks randomly. There's a strange thing that happens when you know you are going to have migraine pain every day. You learn to plan around it- and for me, I learned to accept it.
It feels harder to manage sometimes
When it stops occurring all day every day and starts appearing randomly, it can almost feel harder to manage because you never know when it's coming. I'm not complaining - it has simply required some time for me to grow accustomed to having well moments and to adjust to all the other changes that have occurred as a result of this new treatment.
Are you experiencing changes in your migraine attack pattern in terms of frequency, resolution, or type of pain from a CGRP treatment? If so, what are they, and how are you adjusting to the changes? Please share your experiences below so that we can learn from and support one another.
In the past year, has insurance made it difficult to get your migraine treatment?