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What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Medicines Given In The Er To Treat Migraines
Researchers found that the side effects from these medicines are usually minor and temporary. Some of the medicines can cause drowsiness, so you may not be able to drive right away. More information is listed below for each type of medicine when it is taken a single time in the ER for a severe migraine.
- Neuroleptics/Antiemetics: Restlessness in the legs or body is a common side effect. A possible serious side effect is uncontrollable muscle movements, such as tics and tremors.
- Sumatriptan: The most common side effect is pain or swelling at the place where the shot was given. Other side effects can include redness in the face and neck, a burning feeling, feelings of tightness , and drowsiness.
- NSAIDs: Side effects are not common with these medicines.
- Opioids: Tiredness and drowsiness are common side effects.
- Dihydroergotamine: The most common side effects include pain or swelling at the place where the shot was given or where the IV needle was put in, drowsiness, stomach problems, nausea and vomiting, and an irregular heartbeat.
- Dexamethasone: Side effects were not common with this medicine in the research studies. But, possible side effects can include nausea, headache, dizziness, and trouble sleeping.
Note: There are other possible side effects of these medicines. The side effects listed here are the most common side effects when the medicines are taken a single time in the ER for a severe migraine.
Preventive Medications And Treatments
A wide range of drugs may be prescribed to prevent migraine attacks from forming, and some medical treatments can help. Such approaches are considered especially in cases of chronic migraine, in which you have 15 or more headache episodes a month.
Several types of preventative migraine medications may be prescribed. The most common of these are:
- Tricyclic antidepressants: Elavil and Pamelor
- Beta-blockers: Tenormin and Inderal
- Antiepileptic drugs: Depakote and Topamax
- Calcium channel blockers: Calan
- Calcitonin gene-related monoclonal antibodies: Vyepti and Ajovy
Additionally, in cases in which medications arent yielding results, Botox injections can be considered. In this therapy, doctors target specific areas in your forehead, temples, the sides and back of the head, and the neck. Though the frequency and intensity of migraines are reduced, the effect is temporary, and appointments are needed every three months.
When the condition is associated with the menstrual cycle, hormone replacement therapy may be attempted.
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Spotting The Signs Of Serious Illness
Headaches are extremely common and most of them arent a cause for anxiety.
Occasionally, though, a headache is a symptom of a serious illness, such asmeningitis or a brain haemorrhage, and requires urgent medical attention.
Tension headaches are the most common type.
What are the causes?
About three out of four headaches are caused by tension in the scalp or neck muscles due to stress. Tension headaches tend to occur frequently and cause moderate pain, particularly at the back and front of the head. Its often described as a tight band encircling the head.
Other common causes of headaches include hangovers, having irregular meals, long journeys, noise, a stuffy atmosphere, thundery weather, too much sleep, too much excitement, a fever, sinusitis and suffering toothache.
Migraine are one-sided severe headaches with eye symptoms and possibly vomiting. MIgraines can run in families.
Some headaches require urgent medical attention
A severe headache with fever, a stiff neck and rash may be a sign of meningitis, a condition in which the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord become inflamed.
A sudden headache that feels like a blow to the back of the head could be a subarachnoid haemorrhage, in which bleeding occurs between the membranes covering the brain.
In elderly people, a headache with tenderness of the scalp or temple may be due to temporal arteritis, in which blood vessels in the head become inflamed.
What might be done?
Whats the treatment?
Try Switching To Green Light
Exposure to light has long been known to trigger or exacerbate migraines, but researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered that green light is far less disturbing than other colors. Using a lamp designed to emit the most soothing light possible can help you get through your migraine without sitting in the dark for hours.
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How Prevalent Are Migraines
Migraines are about three times more common in women than men, and may affect more than 12 percent of the U.S. adult population. Migraines often run in families, and can start as early as elementary school but most often in early adulthood. They often fade away later in life, but can strike at any time. The most common cause of recurring, disabling headache pain, migraines are also the most common underlying cause of disabling chronic, daily headache pain. While migraines are the No. 1 reason that patients see a neurologist, most cases are handled by primary care physicians.
Things that can make the headaches more likely to occur include:
What Are Migraine Headaches
Migraine headaches are severe headaches that cause intense pain. They can start suddenly and get worse quickly. A migraine headache typically lasts from 4 hours to 3 days if not treated. Migraines are thought to run in families.
Symptoms of a migraine headache can include:
- A severe headache, often with throbbing on one side of the head
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty doing physical activities like walking or climbing stairs
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Stages Of A Migraine Attack
It is often difficult to know when a migraine attack is going to happen. However, you can often tell the pattern of each attack as there are well defined stages.
It is these stages and their symptoms that distinguish a migraine from a headache.
However, not everyone will experience all of the symptoms of each stage and the stages can overlap. In adults, we can divide a migraine attack into four or five stages that lead on from each other.
Learning to recognise the different stages of a migraine attack can be useful. You might get one, all, or a combination of these stages, and the combination of stages may vary from attack to attack. Each stage can vary in how long and how bad it is. Recognising different symptoms at different times during your attack can give your doctor information which may help them make a diagnosis. Taking medication as soon as you notice the pain may stop or shorten an attack.
Migraine attacks in children are often much shorter than in an adult. It may be easier to tell the different headache stages in a child.
Natural Ways To Prevent And Treat Headaches
Anyone whos ever had a headache knows that they can range from nagging to debilitating. The most common type is a tension headache, a mild, constricting feeling around your head thats often caused by holding your neck in a tight position. Migraines, on the other hand, tend to be both intense and recurring. Medication is one way to treat your discomfort. Or, you can don a high-tech headband device, approved this week by the FDA. But there are also plenty of natural wayslike the 21 tricks listed herethat can help you head off the ache.
Headaches are often a sign that your body needs a break, says Elizabeth Loder, MD, chief of the headache and pain division at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston and President of the American Headache Society. Many people are very busy and are reluctant to take the time, but if you consider the tradeoff of spending 10 minutes to close the blinds, lie down, and relax when you feel a headache forming, that might be better use of your time than being incapacitated later on after it gets worse, she says.
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Eat small, frequent meals
If you havent eaten anything in a while, that aching or fuzzy feeling may be a result of low blood sugar. In this case, eating something right away could nip the nagging sensation in the bud. Some research suggests that foods rich in magnesium, such as spinach, tofu, olive oil, or sunflower or pumpkin seeds, may be especially helpful.
Ice your forehead
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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- Will my child grow out of their migraines?
- What medications do you recommend for me?
- What should I change about my lifestyle to prevent my migraine headaches?
- Should I get tested?
- What type of migraine do I have?
- What can my friends and family do to help?
- Are my migraines considered chronic?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Migraine headaches can be devastating and make it impossible to go to work, school or experience other daily activities. Fortunately, there are some ways to possibly prevent a migraine and other ways to help you manage and endure the symptoms. Work with your healthcare provider to keep migraines from ruling your life.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/03/2021.
A Prolonged Migraine Attack
Unfortunately, all of this good advice doesnt help you stop a prolonged attack in progress. If youve already exhausted all of your home treatments, and the attack is still going strong after 72 hours, you do need to call your doctor. In most cases he or she will recommend you go to the emergency room for evaluation and treatment. Most likely, the problem is status migrainosus which can be stopped in the ER or with a brief inpatient stay.
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Increased Body Temperature With Pain
Now Ive not actually taken time to record my temperature, but the sensation I feel is definitely one of heat. Its hard to wrap my head around sometimes, but even though my skin is like ice Im like a furnace on the inside. In the articles, I read that body temperatures increased with the pain intensity of a migraine attack. The increases noted were about at the level of a low-grade fever. I found this quite interesting.
Increase Your Turkey Intake
You’ve heard that eating turkey on Thanksgiving can make you sleepy thanks to its tryptophan. Did you know that it can also help you to find relief from migraine pain faster?
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that stimulates dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the “happy” chemical, one that helps us to feel great, and it is also a key component in the release of serotonin within the body. Serotonin works to relax the body, alleviating anxiety, worry, and negativity. Even more importantly, as tryptophan helps to produce dopamine and, in turn, serotonin, it relaxes the muscles surrounding the brain, soothing the capillaries of the scalp.
Image via Shutterstock
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Avoiding The Emergency Room
If you do not have a rescue treatment available for home use when abortives fail, then please talk to your doctor. This is an essential part of migraine management that is often overlooked. For decades, I would ask my doctor what to do if my triptan failed. His only response was to visit the ER. It wasnt until I pushed back, insisting that a visit to the ER for a cocktail shot of Toradol, Benadryl, and Phenergan was unnecessarily expensive and wasteful did he agree to prescribe these medicines to me for home use.
Starting in 2013, I began using IM injections of Toradol with a Phenergan suppository as my rescue treatment. Thanks to this, I have been able to avoid the ER ever since. Instead, a few times each year, I am able to treat unresponsive attacks at home, saving me thousands of dollars and avoiding the unnecessary use of the ER.
Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Rest
Getting enough rest is more than just going to lie down when you feel a headache coming on . Stress can make headaches a doozy as well, which means that you need to make sure that you’re doing your best to keep that in check as well.
“Many people find themselves with a headache because they didn’t get enough sleep the night before or they slept too much,” Darian Carrow, a consumer wellness investigator at ConsumerSafety.org, told INSIDER. “Change and commit to a sleep schedule that allows for the right amount of sleep. This could mean no more head pain the day after. The recommended amount of sleep adults should get every night is seven to nine hours. Getting more or less than this could result in a headache.”
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What To Do When You Have A Headache That Won’t Go Away And How To Tell If It’s A Migraine
When one of her bad migraines hits, Jacqueline G. can’t do anything but lie down in a dark room and wait for the waves of pain to recede. “It’s completely debilitating,” says the 73-yearold, who has been plagued by severe migraines since her 20s. “The nausea comes on right away, and then I can’t keep anything downeven crackers or ice. And it can last from early morning to 12 at night.”
Migraines are a particularly disabling form of headache because they launch a four-tiered attack:
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Find A Quiet Dark Place To Relax
Sensitivity to light and sound is one of the most common migraine symptoms. Get away from these things if you can. This can help you find relief from your pain and can alleviate stress.
Lie down and pay attention to your breathing. Try taking slow, deep breaths from your diaphragm. Feel your stomach rise with the inhale and fall with the exhale. This can help you relax.
Dehydration can cause headaches and even migraine, but new research shows hydration can reduce and possibly even prevent headache pain. In the study, people who drank their recommended daily water intake had headaches that were:
- less frequent
- less severe
- shorter in duration
If you dont regularly drink enough water, increasing your intake may both help reduce your migraine pain and prevent repeat attacks.
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Immediate Action Required: Phone 999 If:
- your headache occurs suddenly and is very severe it may feel like a blinding pain
- your headache occurs after a severe head injury
You have an extremely painful headache and:
- slurred speech or memory loss
- a very high temperature, feel hot and shivery, and have a stiff neck or a rash
- drowsiness or confusion
- severe pain and redness in one of your eyes
Massage The Pain Away
A regular massage may seem like a luxury, but when a migraine strikes, it can be the best way to relive all that’s built up in your head.
Learn how to give yourself a calming and pain relieving massage, and you can prevent your migraines from growing worse, quickly. As you stretch and massage both the neck and the base of the scalp, you will stimulate blood flow and relaxation, sending the pain away from your head.
Check out Theory & Practice of Therapeutic Massage for more on how to relieve the pain of headaches and migraines through massage.
Image via Shutterstock
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How To Treat Rebound Headaches
Frequent use of any acute headache medication, including OTC drugs, can cause what are known as rebound, or medication-overuse, headaches, says Rozental. By definition, a medication-overuse headache occurs on 15 or more days of the month as a consequence of regular overuse of acute or symptomatic headache medication.
The only way to stop medication-overuse headaches is to stop using the drug thats causing them. However, this process can be uncomfortable and can causing worsening of the headache, among other symptoms, according to The Migraine Trust. If you think you may have medication-overuse headache, speak to your doctor or a neurologist trained in chronic headache management.
Quick Ways To Get Rid Of Migraine Without Medication
Dealing with a migraine is very tricky and it can lead into all kinds of issues. Thats why you need to find a way to eliminate any type of headache as fast as you can. While most of us will rely on medication to get rid of a migraine, you dont have to do that unless you really have to. With the right natural remedies you can do this in no time, and you will be very happy with the results. Here are some of the best natural ways to eliminate migraines naturally.
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