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Medications & Prescription Treatment

Ativan for migraine?

  • By jones123

    Hi,

    I live with almost 24/7 migraines. I have tried several medications for it: Amitryptiline, Topamax, Propranolol, etc. but none of them seem to work properly. The other day my migraine was so bad I started overbreathing and got anxious. My mother decided to give me 0.5 of lorazepam (Ativan) to calm me down. Suprisingly, my depressed, anxious feelings, as well as my migraines, were completely gone. So far, this has been the only pill that could relieve me from my migraines. I talked my doctor about it and said it was possible due to its anticonvulsant effects and the possibily that my depression/anxiety could trigger migraines. However, my doctor struggles to prescribe them for me, as they can be habit forming and addictive. Has anyone else experience with Ativan for migraines and/or what do you think about it?

    Thanks!

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Jones123,

    Thank you for your question. I’ve not had any personal experience with Ativan and don’t think it’s commonly used for migraine prevention due to its addictive qualities and that it won’t stop the migraine process. But can be used for acute migraine treatment.

    The thing about depression/anxiety and migraine are they can be co morbid meaning, they can occur at the same time but are not caused by one another. Also depression and anxiety can be symptoms of a migraine attack. I know my anxiety shows up as irritability before a migraine attack and my mood is depressed afterwards. You can read more about this here; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-comorbidities-anxiety/.

    This article may also be helpful on how to deal with anxiety/depression; https://migraine.com/blog/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-overcome-stress-anxiety-cognitive-distortions/.

    Try not to lose hope, there are over 100 medications that can be used to treat migraine and it’s important to keep in mind that it can take up to 90 days before we see a reduction in our migraine frequency and severity when we start new medications. Also during this time potential side effects may lessen. When you get a chance take a look at this article about migraine prevention; https://migraine.com/migraine-treatment/prevention-medications/.

    I’ve found mediation and yoga to be helpful for anxiety and stress reduction!

    Let me know how you are doing,
    Nancy

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  • By bigsisthre

    i was just perscribed ativan for migraines today. i have terrible migraines where nothing works to get rid of them. i have not tried it yet, however my doctor used to get migraines when he was a teenager and his mother used to give him half an ativan and it would instantly go away. i have heard of other people using it, however if you do, be careful because it can be very addictive.

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  • By klgm

    My headache specialist prescribes it for me (1mg) as a rescue med. It is a controlled substance, so I get 20 pills per prescription and usually only every 3 months (per visit). I rarely use all 20 during that time period and often forget to refill. But it’s the only thing that actually knocks out the pain.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi klgm,

    Thank you for sharing that with us. Good to hear you’ve found something to help relieve the pain.

    Nancy

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  • By awyles

    Hello, I just joined today after I saw your post. I was just in the E.R. today with the worst migraine I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve had them sporadically since I was 16, and can usually shut them down after the initial aura and numbness have been felt. Anyway, my point is, to make the pain of my headache stop, they gave me Ativan in an I.V. cocktail. I had never heard of treating migraines with Ativan before this.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi awyles,

    Welcome to the Migraine.com discussion forum – we’re glad you’re here!

    I’m sorry you had such an awful migraine attack, but good to hear they were able to break it.

    Yes, I’ve heard of Ativan being used for acute migraine attack treatment and I found this information that may be helpful; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407222/.

    I hope you are feeling better,
    Nancy

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  • By glassmind

    I take Clonozapam by prescription off-label for migraine. It does nothing for the migraine itself. It just lets me sleep through it.

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