Migraines and antibiotics

I noticed twice when I was on antibiotics my migraines significantly were better for the duration of the treatment. Is there any correlation between these 2? Could I have an undiagnosed chronic infection and not know it? It has been 16 months with no resolution.


Community Answers
  • rosie.smiles
    12 months ago

    Hi there,

    I suffered for chronic sinusitis, chronic daily headaches, and chronic intractable migraines. I was treated with antibiotics over and over for sinus infections. Usually I felt better on the antibiotics, but my symptoms returned after stopping them. I had multiple problems going on. I definitely had sinus infections some of the time and I did have nasal/sinus surgery because my sinuses were pretty blocked off, but I also had a very bad migraine problem going on at the same time so it was hard to sort it all out. The sinus surgery worked, but only for my sinusitis; not my headaches and migraines. Primary care treated me with a lot of antibiotics for sinus infections, but that may not have been very wise. I went on to develop all kinds of allergies or sensitivities to foods, medications, and environmental things, which I think was at least partly a result of overuse of antibiotics. I talked with my neurologist and surgeon (a plastic surgeon who performed nerve decompression surgery for migraines which worked wonders for me) about sinus vs. migraines. They both said that a lot of headaches that we assume are sinus related are actually migraine as migraines can cause a lot of symptoms that seem like sinusitis, such as pressure and congestion and runny nose. They would not treat me with antibiotics unless I actually had an infection up there. My neurologist said the reason I felt better on antibiotics, even if I didn’t have an actual infection, is that antibiotics have an anti-inflammatory effect so that’s why people do tend to feel better on them, except for what they do to your gut in killing the good bacteria. The other side to that is that Lyme disease can cause headaches, migraines, sinus problems, etc. and so feeling better on antibiotics could indicate Lyme disease going on…at least that’s what some of my doctors said, but I know Lyme disease and treatment for that is highly controversial. I ended up having sinus surgery, allergy shots, diet changes, and migraine surgery (nerve decompression), and Lyme treatment. So yes, I did have relief on antibiotics, but it seems it was a lot more than sinus infections (although I think that was the case some of the time) going on, and although providing some temporary relief, antibiotics did not fix the problem. Sinusitis and migraines can be very tricky to differentiate. It really helps to have a good ENT and neurologist, and ideally they would work together to get to the bottom of this.

    Hope this helps! 🙂
    Rosie

  • rachel20
    1 year ago

    My current doctor kept giving me antibiotics for sinus headaches. I felt better while i was on the antibiotic but as soon as i was done the headaches came back and messed up my digestion. I don’t know if i am the only one to be diagnosed with sinus and then migraines. It is all very confusing since the sinus infection never went away i had to go back to my doctor to see if it was something else because i couldn’t continue being in that much pain.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi pattisolt,

    Thank you for your question. I’m sorry you are having a rough time right now.

    There maybe a correlation, but I don’t have a definitive answer. Have you discussed this with your doctor? If not I would encourage you to do so.

    I can tell you migraine is thought to be a genetic neurological disease, currently without a cure. It’s managed like other chronic conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy etc.

    Nancy

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