Are You on the Right Migraine Medication?
I’m 43 years old and have been getting migraines since childhood. Over the years, I've worked closely with my neurologist and made significant changes to my diet and lifestyle, all of which have helped to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. However, with the world of migraine treatments constantly evolving – and sometimes overwhelming – I can’t help but to have a touch of FOMO (fear of missing out). Am I on the best medications for me? Is there something better out there that I’m missing out on?
Am I experiencing medication FOMO?
Every other day, there seems to be a new medication advertised, another success story from a fellow migraineur, another podcast singing the praises of a miracle drug. It's like being at a buffet with all of these choices but not being able to sample anything. How can you “window shop” medications?
Am I alone in this strange sense of FOMO? How do we find that perfect fit - the most relief with the fewest side effects?
Should I doubt my doctor's recommendations?
How do we understand which medications are in our best interest, especially when we're wondering if our doctor's recommendation could be influenced by the latest pharmaceutical rep's visit? I hate to even call this out because I trust my neurologist, and I need her because I don’t have a medical degree – she does. But if I’m being honest, you hear so much about the influence that they get from the pharmaceutical industry and insurance companies, it plants a seed of doubt.
If you’ve experienced any of this doubt and overwhelm, then I want to share how I’m working through this in hopes that I might help you as well. And as always, I want to hear your experience too in the comments below. We are strongest when we bring our collective experience and knowledge together!
How can we leverage our expertise of migraine?
The first thing I need to remind myself of is that I know my body best, I’m the one living it in all day every day. It’s my job to advocate for my body. I also remind myself that I have zero clinical education. My neurologist is the expert when it comes to reading my MRIs and understanding the nuances of medications. So, this is a collaborative approach. It can’t be me against her. We are both working towards the same outcome – bring me the maximum relief from migraines with the fewest side effects.
How do I collaborate with my neurologist?
Here are some tips that I’ve used to have a collaborative discussion with my neurologist.
- Be Informed: To start this discussion, I track my symptoms in advance of my appointment and do my best to educate myself of medication options available. Having a basic understanding is helpful prior to the appointment.
- Ask Questions: Don't hesitate to ask your doctor about the benefits and side effects of the medication they're prescribing. Ask why they believe this is the best option for you.
- Trust Your Instincts: If something doesn't feel right or if you have doubts, now is the time to speak up. Again, you’re advocating for your body and your health. And if you don’t feel like you’re getting the support you need, it's okay to seek a second opinion.
Remember even with your best efforts and the best care team, finding the right treatment plan for your migraines may take some time and patience.
Now I want to hear from you. Please share below what has worked for you in identifying the best medication plan for you?
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