Forums


Medications & Prescription Treatment

When triptans and preventatives aren't working

  • By raleigh8

    I wonder if anyone is in the same boat as me? I suffer from menstrual related migraines. Over the years these have become more frequent. Beta blockers worked for a while, then stopped working. As the frequency of my migraines increased so did my use of my trusted triptan and before long I had medication overuse headache (MOH). Neurologist has told me I cannot take triptans any more due to MOH as they will no longer help me. No preventative is working. I am now getting a migraine each week, without fail lasting 4-5 days. I will be having Botox soon. My concern is if that doesn’t work, then what? I will be seeking a second neurologist opinion as I don’t feel I’m being taken seriously and have been put in the too hard basket. I work full time and can’t keep taking so much time off work. I’d hoped seeking specialist treatment would set me on the right path but I just keep hearing how hard menstrual migraine is to treat and that I just have to live with it. Surely that can’t be right.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By a1sweetd

    I had tried a few different preventive pills and they didn’t work for me and I was taking the Imitrex too often, it was less effective each time I took it and I swear the migraines were getting worse. I had heard about daith piercing for migraines several months ago and had looked into some. Then over the course of the months people were telling me they knew someone that had it done and it worked for them, they haven’t had a migraine since the piercing. I finally went and had it done a week ago and I swear it stop a migraine from coming on earlier this week but it’s too soon for me to tell how well it will work for me. Might be something to consider if the Botox doesn’t work.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By a1sweetd

    Was only going to do the left side since that was the side I would get them on but the guy that was doing my piercing said most people that do one side end up coming back in to get the other side done cause the migraine moved to that side. So I had both done.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi raleigh8,

    It’s frustrating when medications fail us. Don’t lose hope however, there are over 100 medications and supplements that can be used for migraine prevention. There are many, many options and the future is bright for us!!

    I would encourage you to seek out a second opinion from a doctor who is educated in migraine disease. There are doctors, true experts board certified in headache medicine, which is different than being certified in neurology, you may want to check out. Here is information on how these doctors are different and how to find one; https://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and
    https://migraine.com/blog/really-find-headache-specialist/.

    It’s not true if one triptan stops or doesn’t work, the others won’t either
    There are seven triptans to choose from, and Frova has been shown to work well for menstrual related migraine. When you get a chance take a look at this information; https://migraine.com/blog/short-term-option-for-migraine-prevention-frova/.

    I hope this helps, please keep me posted.
    Nancy

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By AngelaAnthony

    Hi there! My name is Angela, I am a nurse, and I’m new here. I’ve been suffering with migraines since I was a teenager. I am now 49. I, like you, have tried just about everything for prevention, some would work for awhile then stop, others, didn’t do anything. The ONLY thing that I have ever found to arrest a migraine in progress, is a medication called Midrin. It was prescribed for me years ago, then, it wasn’t available anymore. My physician, who is also a pharmacist, wrote me a prescription for Midrin, just on a whim that it might be available again. Alas! I did find it! It’s not cheap, insurance doesn’t cover it, but Good Rx is a money saver! I still have to use FMLA for work, which if you haven’t done so, you should look into it, it will protect your job.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi AngelaAnthony,

    Welcome to the Migraine.com discussion forum and thank you for sharing your journey with us. I used Midrin years ago and it worked like a charm. Once my insurance stopped covering it, it became cost prohibitive for me. Thankfully sumatriptan nasal spray works some of the time.

    We look forward to hearing more from you,
    Nancy

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By GardensatNight

    Unfortunately, triptans stopped working for me after about ten years of use. Which was a shame, because when they were working, they were really nice and convenient!

    Now I don’t currently have a great solution. My migraines are chronic and intractable. I do get infusions through an infusion center (which can be much cheaper than the ER) which help. For bad ones I get DHE, which can be given through infusion, and I know some people here get it through home injections (I don’t personally have any experience with that.) You said you were going to try botox, which helps some people. There are lots of preventatives. Aimovig, a migraine-designed preventative, was just released as well. So, there are lots of options to try.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By absentminded

    Hey raleigh,

    I’m so sorry you’re having such monstrous menstral migraines. They’re so damn persistent and can be super intense. Before I had my hysterectomy, I had menstral migraines from hell that were so horrible noooothing touched them.

    Maybe consider switching birth control? LoLoestrin Fe is an amazing BC pill. It helped decreased my pelvic pain, decreased heavy bleeding and made my menstral migraines manageable. Midrin also helped a TON but I couldn’t afford it.

    You could try Magnesium during your period to help with the migraine. Although it can cause diarrhea.. Maybe try a low dose and work up to a working dose? I’ve heard B12, Butterbur, and Riboflavin all help reduce migraines and make em more managable.

    Someone suggest infusions; and they are super useful when you can’t control your migraine and can’t afford an ER visit. You said Triptans don’t work but have you tried Imitrex auto-injector? Those are a God send and work extremely well.

    So sorry you’re dealing with this. As if periods weren’t awful enough, throwing a migraine into the mix is just like pouring gasoline onto an already raging fire.

    Hope you feel better. 🙂

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By emi346

    Hi raleigh8,
    While I don’t have menstrual migraines, I do have chronic migraines, so I am indeed in a very similar/in the same boat as you. Every medication I’ve taken has either failed to work or caused horrific side effects that far outweighed the benefits. I’ve tried Botox, acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractors, massage therapy, strain-counterstrain therapy, hypnosis (I know how that sounds, but it was at a hospital from a pain psychologist), physical therapy, regular talk therapy, migravent, magnesium, medical marijuana (which has helped lessen my pain a bit), countless medications, both preventative and acute. But I’ve had no relief. And unfortunately my doctors have started saying what yours have: I might have to “live with it”. I don’t think they truly understand the gravity of what they’re saying, because its impossible to really “live” when you’re constantly in pain. But I don’t have to expain any of that here, I’m preaching to the choir.
    I realize that was probably the last thing you wanted to hear, and its hopefully a worst case scenario, but if it helps, you are 100% doing the right thing. Just because they’re doctors doesn’t mean they’re always right, it sounds like a second opinion is the way to go.
    And as for what if Botox doesn’t work? It usually takes 1-3 months to see results, and even then a lot of people only see changes after the second round, so during that time, you can still try new medication(s). And if you find that Botox only helps a little, or not at all, your doctos can see if you’re a candidate for nerve blocks, or a Cefaly machine or you can try complementary therapies such as acupuncture or psychical therapy if you have any accompanying neck or back pain. I’d also recommend seeing a migraine or headache specialist if possible, they usually have a pretty long wait list, but they are more likely to know specifics about procedures and have access to a wider range of treatments than a general neurologist.
    Its so hard to look forward and see an endless line of possible treatments that might work, just like the ones that failed. And I wish I had better news for you, and for me. But just know that you’re not alone.
    Hope you feel better soon,
    Emi

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By epa3030

    I’ve also had migraines since my period started at 13 and now I’m 42! The only time I was migraine free was when I was pregnant! It was awesome! I think I’m having some peri menopause symptoms. My periods have changed a bit and my migraines have intensified. I’ve always taken tripitans. I take imitrex and maxalt and I go back and forth between them because they lose their effectiveness. My last two periods my tripitans didn’t work and I was stuck in bed all day. I did pull out my Frova and I took that and it worked. It scares me to death that my tripitans are failing me. They are the only meds that have worked over these years and keep me functioning! I’m seeing a new neurologist who specializes in migraines. I’m hoping he has suggestions. There are numerous tripitans so I’m trying to stay positive.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply