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What to do about auras?

I’ve been a migraineur for the last 10 years. I’ve typically had on average, 10 migraines per month, all fairly well managed. I have yet to find a preventative that works for more than a month or two, and I have low tolerance for side effects. The only taking that consistently works is relpax. I would love to try Botox. With a $4,000 out of network deductible, and my headache specialist being out if network, I cannot afford it.

My current issue, though, is auras. I’ve been getting them more frequently. They last about half an hour, and the pain afterwards is not like my typical migraine. It’s on the other side of my head, and feels like I’ve been hit in the head. It responds less to my relpax than a regular migraine. I’ve had some auras at the worst times.

Most recently, as I was sitting in a therapy session with a client. Isn’t there anything out there that can abort an aura? It is scary to have one. A major feeling of loss of control, as well as dread, since I know what comes next. In all my reading, I haven’t learned anything about treatment for aura. Any advice?

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  • roberta
    5 years ago

    Here in Italy a doctor from a migraine center gave me Auradol to stop aura when it starts. I tried it once and it works. But after one hr I took Difmetrè (my usual medicament) and I had a panic attack. I’m also always terrified by auras and pins and needles in my arm and mouth and by the greater frequency (from 2/year to 1/3 months)…I’ve done all the exams and everything is ok. Do I have to worry … aura can be a syntom of brain cancer?

  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    5 years ago

    Don’t panic. While having pins and needles is far from a pleasant experience, it does not mean you have cancer. Auras can change over time and this could be the way your body is adapting to the Migraines. However, talking to your doctor any time your symptoms change is the most prudent thing to do to help ease your mind.

    You said you’ve done all the exams. Have you had an MRI or CT scan and blood work since your symptoms have changed? This would rule out any tumor or cancer.

    It’s easy for our mind to assume the worst, but you also need to listen to your gut. If you feel the change is significant than ask for these tests.

  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    5 years ago

    Unfortunately there is no medication that can supress the auras you are now getting. It is not uncommon for Migraine symptoms to change over time, but you should always talk to your doctor when things change (like your new auras) just to rule out any other potential causes. Taking a daily preventative could help, but overall managing your triggers is the best way to prevent recurring Migraines.

    Keeping a food diary and a pain diary could help you to identify why these Migraines are more severe now. Auras can be pretty scary because of the disturbance to your vision. So please take caution and don’t drive when you have one.

    Botox might be a good option for you, but I understand the cost issues. The company who makes Botox offers a financial assistance program that may help.

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