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Medications & Prescription Treatment


  • By Newdancerco

    Does anyone use Buprenorphine (bup) as a pain medication for chronic migraines? If you are a physician, do you use it or have you considered it?

  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi New dancerco,

    Thank you for your question. I’m sorry to say opioid pain medication is not the best or first line treatment for migraines because these medications mask pain, not stop attacks. We have information on this type of medication in these articles;

    I hope that helps,

  • By Newdancerco


    Thank you for responding. However, after 20 years and trying everything from the various triptans (and in combination with NSAID, as well) to magnesium to butterburr to ergotamines to everything else, please believe I am well aware of the limitations of both opiate and non-opiate options. For some of us, nothing else works. And being hit with judgment for asking a question on a support website makes it even harder to make it through.

    I was wondering if anyone has had success with such a treatment, since I’ve heard of it helping with chronic back pain. But I gather I (and others with non-responsive chronic daily migraine) should just suffer in silence rather than speak up looking for options.

  • By aksn1974

    I have used them for 4 months with success and no issues. After 27 years, various treatments, including surgery and after year of Topomax, which eventually came to be in effective, this works. If I have a migraine that comes on suddenly, in about 15 minutes I feel relief ican function. I always find it odd how non-sufferers want to dictate how to manage a level of pain they’ve never experienced. It is NOT just a headache.

  • By Bravesfan

    I personally have not tried this medication but have heard of others that it worked well for.

    Have had migraine for the lat 25 years. Been to Headache specialists, headache clinics, eye specialists, Neuros, MD’s, and the list goes on and on.

    For 15 years I had the same MD that literally tried every single drug we could dig up that had any possibility of working with little success and alot of side effects.

    We finally relented and went to using a long acting opioid with a short acting for breakthru.

    While it isn’t perfect, it allows me to live a semi normal life and that I am extremely greatful for.

    While I realize narcotics shouldn’t be used as a first line medication, when absolutely all else fails, a person has to live.

    My MD retired about 4 years ago and I have been with a Pain Management Doctor ever since.

    Best thing that ever happened to me.

    They tweaked my meds a bit and now instead of almost monthly ER visits, I rarely ever go!

    My last visit was 6 months ago and I only went because my pain was out of control and my bp was 185/105.

    At that point I have to get the bp down.

    I agree with the other poster that it does get irritating to hear people tell you to take Excedrin Migraine or tell you the ER is only for emergencies so you shouldn’t be there, etc.

    I kindly tell these people that until you have had migraines day after day, vomiting, misery, there is just no way to appreciate how bad it can be.

    Understand why they don’t get it.

    But, I refuse to feel badly about taking what works for me so that I can live my life.

    Nothing will work the same for all patients and there will always be those who fall thru the cracks where traditional meds just don’t work for them.

    Just wanted to let you know that I for one understand.

  • By Ami

    I have suffered from migraines over 20 years as well. I also have used the triptans and while they do stop them eventually they also stop me and everything so while I don’t end up in the emergency room after 3 days of hell and so much pain I can not take it any longer and any more aspirin I could die of a papercut I too am still looking for other answers to this curse of a life not lived. I have tried all the herbal things and am currently still on Dope -A – MAX as I call it. I hate that drug and I can not even take my does during the day but must take both at night. I am a complete idiot if I take it during the day. When I was first put on it the doctor who was actually just my gynecologist said why not try it and to stop eating grains and to read that book Grain Brain.That was the only two months of my life in the past 20 years that I went without migraines! I is damn hard going without any grains but let us face it any real migraine sufferer like me who spends 1/3 of her life in bed would eat glass, stick a needle in my eyeball every day………whatever it took really to not have this curse and be able to plan a life. So after two months, I was really wanting to know if it was the not eating grains or the Topamax that was causing this wonderful change, so i ate a coffee roll. Nothing happened that day or the next so I went back to eating normally and slowly I started eventually within I’d say a week or so getting one migraine, then a few days later another and on and on. The thing is that I was starting at a VERY low dose of that Topamax because it made me so sick when I started taking it, so I figured well maybe i need to up my dose now. Well, I have now upped it over the past two years slowly from the 10mg to 75mg and it has never stopped migraines again. I dont know if you take it as needed for the cluster or as a preventative like I do. To make a short story long I just got my first batch of scull injections of the BUPRENORPHINE. The Doctor that recommended them was on the World Migraine Summit thing and runs the Hartford Hospital Headache Center. I actually had a migraine coming on when I went there and the injections did not stop it. They even gave me some shot in the arm of some sort of antianflamitory but I still ended up going home and doing the usual dark room, ice pack, Imatrex routine. I also had one the next day. I am not sure what they will end up doing if anything. I am do to go in for another go round two weeks after the first batch. I am not sure how they are to work long term but they didnt even do anything short term. I hope long term it will be better. I didnt even know they were an opiate drug. You dont feel high like you would if you took a painkiller when they are injected into your skin I guess, not sure. It just all felt numb like when you leave the dentist but only on the outer meat around my skull not on the inside where the migraine pain is.

  • By SanFrancisco

    I have a great pain doctor and I use Suboxone to manage my pain… for the last two years. I’ve had chronic migraines for over 20 years and they are very debilitating. I agree that opioids are not appropriate for everyone but just to flatly say they don’t help is something only an uninformed individual would say. I am not an addict, I have never been an addict (isn’t it sad that I feel it’s necessary to state this?). Anyway after trying everything and seeing every headache clinic in the US, I found a pain dr that said let’s just try the Suboxone and see. It is the ONLY thing that can knock my level 10+ down to a manageable level. I do not take it everyday anymore but while I did I had far less migraines. However as a concession to my headache clinic that has also been raised on the same philosophies that pain medicines are bad, I agreed to limit my intake. Even though I suffer more now, I have the Suboxone for the very worst headaches – the 10’s. I only take it 7-10 days per month and it’s a life saver. No, I do not get rebound from taking the Suboxone nor do I ever get “high”. It’s a widely known fact that people who take pain meds for real pain (and not just bc it’s a Saturday night) don’t get addicted to them. However drs won’t tell you this. Pain medicine is available for the type of pain others and I suffer; chronic daily migraines. So I’m going to use it when I need it. FYI – my pain dr does not agree with my headache clinic but I’d like to keep seeing the headache clinic to get access to the new migraine drugs coming out so I feel the need to appease them. On that note, double strength Aimovig for 4 months did nothing for me either so I’m hoping to try Ajovy after the holidays. Hope this helps!