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No urgent care option

  • By Robbie

    I am seeing a neurologist for my migraines, which I have had for decades. As I near menopause, the migraines have been up and down in severity and more frequent. I have discussed this with my doctor. I have various preventatives, abortives, and rescue options. However, as the migraines are more frequent, I don’t always get releif after a treatment.

    I asked my neuro when/if I should head to the ER after failed treatments. He told me never to go into the ER or urgent care because they only give narcotics and he doesn’t believe that is a good option. He wants me to “wait it out” at home instead.

    Has anyone else been told this? What options are available if a migraine does’t respond to my prescribed meds? I feel like he doesn’t understand and need to know if it’s time to search for another doctor, or not. Thanks for any advice out there.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Robbie,

    As much as I hate to disagree with doctors, “wait it out” is NOT a good answer. There are options available to help break a nasty migraine cycle. I’ve had occasional luck breaking a migraine cycle taking a steroid dose pack; other options include IV infusion’s. Also, while the ER is not the best option for migraine, sometimes it may be a necessity. This article has tips on making an ER visit better; https://migraine.com/blog/tips-and-tricks-for-a-successful-emergency-department-visit/.

    and it sounds like its time to seek out the expertise of a migraine/headache disorder specialist. I’d like to share a bit of information with you on why these doctors are special. Migraine/headache disorders specialists have extra board certification in headache medicine, which is different than being certified in neurology. Don’t get me wrong, neurologists may be fine doctors, but have a hard time being experts in one area because they treat so many conditions such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson’s’ and others. Take a look at these links about these doctors when you get a chance; https://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/.

    The thing is when migraine pain lasts longer than 72 hours it can increase our risk of stroke and a condition called status migrainous. We have information on status migrainous in this article that may help; https://migraine.com/blog/what-is-status-migrainosus/.

    I hope this helps,
    Nancy

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