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Don't let a migraine keep you from riding!

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  • Don't let a migraine keep you from riding!

    DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or pharmacist, and I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn last night. I'm just a middle-aged mom that wants to help spare others of the misery of migraine headaches!

    I've had migraines at least half my life. They usually render me sick to my stomach, useless, tired, and cranky, making me unable to enjoy being outside riding or working at the barn. I've been taking generic imitrex. It works but I can only get so many tablets per month due to my insurance and it has some massive side effects that make me feel just... YUCK.

    In the past few months, DH has developed more regular migraines that weren't responding to OTC excedrine migraine medication, so I took her to the doctor to see if there was something else she could use. The doctor suggested the following "cocktail":

    600 mg Advil (ibuprofen) at the very first sign of a migraine, taken with lots of water

    If this didn't help (and it never helped me anyway) then an hour later, take:

    25-50 mg benadryl
    650 mg Tylenol (acetaminofin)
    caffeine (she didn't give a specific dose for the caffeine, so maybe wash your cocktail down with a cup of coffee or some other caffeinated drink)

    I felt a migraine creeping up on me today so I decided I'd give the cocktail a whirl. It worked.

    Maybe I won't have to take any more imitrex!
    Last edited by bluemooncowgirl; Jul. 13, 2012, 05:04 PM. Reason: spelling
    Alis volat propriis.

  • #2
    I wish it was that easy for everyone. Congrats for finding something that works for you. Yesterday I ended up getting IV fluids and the trigger points at the base of my neck where it meets my shoulders injected so I could get out of bed for the first time since Monday.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • #3
      Yeah, thank goodness I suffer from migraines only very occasionally (like once every two years) but when one hits – there is no way in heck I would be able to ride a horse! I can’t drive, think straight, or even see correctly (I get auras) when one comes on. If I am not at home when one hits, I need to have hubby come get me, and then lock myself in a dark room until it passes (again, luckily for me, is usually within a few hours).

      Poor Laurie - that sounds miserable
      APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


      • #4
        I've used variations of that with mixed results. Usually 800 mg ibuprofen to start.

        Sometimes caffeine helps, sometimes not.

        I've also had luck taking large doses of B vitamins (but not every time or I'd market that as a cure...)

        Seems to depend on the day what helps and what doesn't...
        "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

        My CANTER blog.


        • #5
          I get to go meet the head of neurology at JHH this Friday, so I'll let you know if he has any suggestions other than the ones all the other neurologists gave. I will say, my last stay at Hopkins was full of caffeine - coffee, pills and caffeine via IV. You would have thought that would have done it, but no. My body has to be weird and not respond to normal pain relief.

          Migraines suck.
          Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
          W. C. Fields


          • #6
            I agree. I had to cancel a show id been waiting weeks for due to a migraine. Wish i knew what worked for me...


            • #7
              My cocktail:

              800mg motrin (or advil liquid caps)
              sinus pills (the ones you now have to buy behind the counter)
              some nasal spray

              and if this doesn't work it is followed by an imitrex. Some days it works and some days it doesn't. And some days the imitrex doesn't even work and thats when I go get a shot of toradol and zofran.
              Derby Lyn Farms Website

              Derby Lyn Farms on Facebook!


              • #8
                Ha, we have Maryland covered. I get to see the migraine guru at University of Maryland in early Sept, after waiting many months. We will have to compare notes. I have minimal expectations.
                There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.


                • #9
                  They totally suck.Try treating them when you have a heart condition...very limiting,ugh...percocet is the only thing that at least allows me to be upright.


                  • #10
                    Just wanted to say hi...and say I, too, deal with migraines.

                    I can't even recall the number of meds I have tried for them, at least a dozen....not including the "triptans".

                    Immitrex used to work for me, but quit....I then tried preventatives like Depakote and Topamax.... now I just live with them.

                    Just wanted to say....I know how y'all feel. Sleeping with an ice pack sometimes helps me, although hubby, when he gets a headache, likes to sleep with a heating pad under his head.

                    My physical therapist recently had me try pressure my hand, between my thumb and first finger, just squeezing it with your other hand int hat spot and holding it. At times, that actually has helped, but only for a short time. Must be one of those trigger points....
                    Angie from Verona, Wisconsin www.glacierridge.com

                    Owned by a grulla QH, 2 Fjords, and two mini geldings. RIP Kissy. Friend for 26 years...


                    • #11
                      My standby is extra strength Anacin washed down with Eno or fizzy water if I have no Eno. Usually works if I take that mix fast enough. The odd time, if I feel one coming on, salty food sometimes helps.
                      Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                      Member: Incredible Invisbles


                      • #12
                        I'm off Topomax and on a beta blocker. It works okay, but doesn't prevent them as well as Topomax did.

                        However, I'm not a homicidal, suicidal, panic stricken, depressed, witch, that can't eat food because it taste's like shit, and I can see again. So, there's some really good points to being off Topomax.


                        • #13
                          Isn't that the truth! I would rather have my head amputated than be on topomax again.
                          McDowell Racing Stables

                          Home Away From Home


                          • #14
                            Well, I am back to pituitary tumor land with my headaches. I guess an MRI and a consult are now 20 YEARS LATER in order. I just thought this stuff ended at some point...Headaches still rule my world.


                            • #15
                              Had botox for mine and havent had one since.
                              Mitkowski Equine Services
                              Love my Fjord Magni "Tigger" and my HanoxTb Frescoe "Wenny" --- My boys


                              • #16
                                Mine reduced in frequency when I switched blood pressure medications. (BP didn't change, it was under control, but I had annoying side effects from the first one so switched and suddenly way fewer migraines. MAGIC DRUG.) So that's something to ask about.

                                I hate the way I feel with Imitrex so currently I mostly just suffer through them if the standard Excedrin Migraine/OTC meds and caffeine approach doesn't work.

                                Supposedly there's been a study just recently where accupuncture was shown to cause a clinically significant improvement in several things, including migraines. Anyone tried that?


                                • #17
                                  I was on beta blockers with limited success and went on Topamax. I love it - the only thing that tastes bad is soda, and not drinking soda anymore is hardly a bad thing. For the occassional breakthrough migraine, I now have the at-home injectable Imitrex (because none of those OTC "cocktails" puts the tiniest dent in mine) and that does a great job.


                                  • #18
                                    Imitrex made me throw-up and gave me muscle cramps.

                                    600mg of Advil + 1 caffeine pill really helps me. Rinse and repeat with the caffeine pills when necessary. It took me 10 years to figure out how much caffeine would really notch down the migraines.


                                    • #19
                                      I used to have migraines, no clue what made them stop, but I don't care what it was!

                                      I was on imitrex which was great. I was on Topomax for a short time, which was HORRID. I was angry as hell and got fat quick, which ain't good for a teenager. Thank god my mom had the good sense to meet with my neurologist ASAP. I've been off it for over 10 years. New meds (for epilepsy) aren't better but aren't as bad.

                                      Caffeine seemed to help migraines, as well as staying very hydrated. Lots and lots of water, and no fluorescent lights.
                                      Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                                      White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                                      Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                                      • #20
                                        I am on 100 mg of topomax a day. Didn't realize the side effects of it as far as mood goes. But I am also on trazadone to help me sleep at night because of my legs and arms hurting. So maybe the trazadone evens out the topomax.

                                        The imitrex will make me throw up. I can't take it first thing in the morning. It is kind of a battle if I wake up with a bad headache. My head hurts and that already makes me feel yucky. I have to force some food down so I can take the imitrex. I can never take it on an empty stomach. I get the side effects of imitrex, but it feels better then a headache.

                                        I have been battling this headache for over a week now. I took the benedryl, 800mg liquid gel advil and an imitrex. Still was there so I took extra strenght tylenol and imitrex a few hrs later. Still doesn't help.
                                        Derby Lyn Farms Website

                                        Derby Lyn Farms on Facebook!