Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

The Medication Experiments

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to reliably figure out why this happens, but sometimes my tried-and-true medications just don’t work right.

Take, for instance, the migraine I had this past Sunday. I thought at first it would be an easily treatable attack, so I had a cup of coffee and waited. No effect—I felt as murky and blah as I had before. I took one of my naratriptan pills and hoped it would kick in as quickly as it usually does.

I should throw in the fact that I had gone to bed after 2 AM not because I was out drinking or at a rock show, but because the newest Harry Potter book was released at midnight and we had a huge party at Avid Bookshop and I didn’t get home until a quarter to two. Don’t mess with book nerds, y’all: we can party.

Jim and I wanted to make some cash while offloading some household items, clothes, books, etc. we no longer needed. We had thought about a Sunday morning yard sale, but Jim had mercy on me and my late bedtime and we pushed it to a Sunday evening porch sale/get-together. This made for a very relaxing morning of sleeping in, but the rest of the day was tiring as we prepared for the sale.

I didn’t feel bad enough that I couldn’t help out, but my productivity was pretty low and I couldn’t retain information very well.  Jim would come in to ask what I was doing, and when I explained, he would say, “Um, do you remember talking about this with me an hour ago? You’re doing exactly what we agreed not to do.” I had zero recollection of the conversation and the plan. Oops. Had I been a bad listener/conversationalist, or was it the migraine? Was it the migraine medication? Was it a combination of all of the above?

So Sunday was rough, and over two hours after my naratriptan dose I realized I didn’t feel any better. Thankfully, I didn’t feel worse, either.

I decided to take another dose of the medication, though it wasn’t an easy decision to come by. Sometimes, based on what you’ve eaten or how bad the migraine is or (if you’re a woman) where you are in your cycle or how stressed you are or what triggered the migraine, the medications just don’t work as well. Should I take a second triptan and hope that, this time, it would work? Or should I skip it and not waste meds and not risk becoming loopy and out of it, which sometimes happens with my naratriptan? If this had been my Zomig, the battle would’ve been even more confusing, as it’s cost prohibitive for me to refill and I only have a few doses left in this already-paid-for-by-my-supernice-dad prescription.

After talking with a lot of you here on, I know I am not alone when it comes to trying to parcel out medication either because you’re not sure if it’ll work or you can’t afford to waste a dose. How do you decide when to give up and let the migraine take hold versus take a chance on a second dose (assuming your prescription says you can take a second dose)? How do you make these difficult decisions? 

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Crystal
    3 years ago

    I have to say it is always an experiment. One migraine is always different from another which means what works this time may not work next time. I never know what to take!!

  • Tamara
    3 years ago

    I’ve never had a second dose ever work on a migraine …. It’s a one shot or I’m in my dark cave praying for death and then urgent care ….

    For that reason I started to use 20mg imitrex nasal sprays, work fast and on most of my migraines so far. They recently weren’t available from the manufacture and I had to go back to the tablets and it was horrible!! I ended up taking 2 50mg for most migraines … If i waited and took the second dose it wouldn’t work but the larger dose at the beginning would.

  • Maureen
    3 years ago

    I blame August. I have been having an otherwise spectacular summer and, BAM, along came August. Break out every med. Come up against every dosage limit. Hit the steroids. Finally, the infusion. Ahhhh. Maureen is back… and August is over. Let’s hope that is the end of that.
    And to answer your question… sometimes this and sometimes that. Lick your finger and see which way the wind blows? It’s a little bit of an art form isn’t it? and sometimes a temper tantrum, too, at least in my case.

  • Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel moderator
    3 years ago

    I just want to say, I too was at a Harry Potter midnight release party that night! I’d love to visit your bookstore sometime (I’m a bit far away unfortunately). And whether to take a second triptan dose is one of my least favorite decisions to try to make. I usually do if I have plans I don’t want to change. If I don’t have plans, I try going to bed. Often I have to take the second dose anyway.

  • Poll