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Medications & Prescription Treatment

Beta Blockers and tension headaches

  • By paulamcl

    My daughter (24) has been suffering with migraines for quite some time now. Relief has always come from Relpax but it got to the point where she was getting too many migraines and taking too much Relpax. Her neuro put her on propranolol and she was thrilled to find that the migraines diminished pretty quickly but she has been faced with what she describes as
    tension headaches with pain in the back of her neck. She does not want to take anything for these headaches because she is trying to alleviate the rebound effect. Yesterday, her tension headache turned in to a migraine and she was forced to take a relpax which did its job as usual. This morning, however, she woke up with another migraine. Does anyone else experience relief from their migraines with beta blockers with additional tension headaches? How to deal?

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi paulamcl,

    I’m sorry to hear your daughter is having a rough time. I can tell you it’s not uncommon for tension-type headache to trigger a migraine attack. And many of us have more than one type of headache disorder.

    Seeing as they are two different beasts, it’s a good idea to stop a tension-type headache before it can trigger a migraine attack. If they are only occasional, over-the-counter medications may be helpful. If they become persistent and interfere with daily living, it’s time to get help from a doctor. Here is information on tension-type headaches; https://migraine.com/headache-types/tension-headaches/.

    People with migraine disease seem to have overly sensitive brains and the slightest changes in our routine can trigger a migraine attack. This means its important to keep a regular sleep schedule (even on weekends) staying hydrated, and not skipping meals is very important.

    Waking with migraine pain may be an indication of a sleep issue, and not just sleep apnea. She may want to discuss having a sleep study done with the doctor to see if there are other underlying sleep issues. Once those are identified and treated, she may be able to reduce morning migraine attacks.

    I hope this helps!
    Nancy

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