The Migraine Treatment Plan

I think we’ve got a winning treatment plan for Grace’s migraines! Her neurologist started her on Topamax prophylactically, and she is to receive a Toradol injection at the onset of a migraine cycle.  Grace is only on 25 mg of Topamax currently, but the goal is 100 mg.

Grace’s migraines have never responded to OTC medications; they have been intractable.  So, when we were at the hospital awaiting the injection, we were both a little dubious.  Lo, the Toradol was effective within 20 minutes.  It was an intramuscular injection, and it did sting quite a bit.  Grace has, however, not experienced a return of any migraine symptoms in a week.  I would say that the use of Toradol is akin to a steroid burst used to treat migraines in adults.  Toradol is an NSAID used to treat moderate to severe pain often in place of opioids.  I have used it post-surgery in pill form, and it was a very effective analgesic.  I can’t tell you how relieved I am to see Grace pain-free.

Speaking of migraines, I had to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, where my own migraines were concerned and make a decision.  Coffee or no coffee.  I was getting severe migraines every 48 hours, and I figured coffee was exacerbating them.  I don’t drink that much coffee–maybe 2 cups a day.  Three if I’m really jonesin’.  But, for the Migraine Brain, caffeine is either friend or foe.  In my case, I think it became Enemy #1.  I cut myself off last Sunday.  I didn’t anticipate that it was going to be as horrible as it was.  Why do we do this to ourselves? It was agony! Oh the pain!! I wanted to die.

I thought Monday was going to be better, but it was worse than Sunday.  Yesterday I got a cluster headache.  I kept wondering if coffee could cause all this pain and suffering.  Today, I feel better.  I feel more alert than I have in a long time, and my head doesn’t hurt.  Seriously…I love coffee, but I may never drink another caffeinated cup of coffee again after what I’ve just been through.  I’m very hopeful that some of the rebound headaches and various kinds of migraines I’ve been getting will stop now.  Apparently, caffeine makes medication more bioavailable.  That’s why it’s often partnered with pain relieving drugs.  It has nothing to do with our vascular system.  It acts as another drug.  It enhances the analgesic effect.  This is why acetaminophen is used with certain narcotics.  It enhances their effect.  No wonder caffeine can cause rebound headaches! That and the fact that caffeine sits perfectly in our adenosine receptors, thus, becoming an adenosine-receptor antagonist as well as causing increases in dopamine.  I wish someone had some real answers about caffeine and headaches, but the more I read the more I see that everyone is postulating.

In the end, I do see that I have to give up the coffee if I want to be free of the headaches.  I guess its tisanes and rooibos now.  Sheesh…

I like rooibos.  I like tisanes.  I wonder if I should get into flavored oxygen….

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8 thoughts on “The Migraine Treatment Plan

  1. Coffee was my migraine friend for a decade…but then all the vasovagal crap happened and it was the first thing that the naturopath told me to cut. Glad you got through the tough part – I know it’s hell.
    Also glad that Grace has a solution 🙂

    • Oh, you had to cut it out, too? Ugh…it IS hell, and I don’t say that lightly. Do you feel better now? You know, green tea seems to be entirely different. I can drink green tea and feel absolutely fine. I know that the polyphenols interfere with the caffeine absorption. I did use green tea to help me wean from the coffee although I don’t know if it did a damn thing. Alas, I made it. And, yes, Gracie is doing better. But, the Toradol can interfere with the Lithium. She’s a little low now. Gnnnnn……

      • I’m sorry to hear – but better low than having a head throbbing in agony…

        I don’t love the taste of green tea (or tea, in general) so, I just went cold turkey and was fine after about 2 weeks. It’s been over a year, now, and it’s nice not needing that ‘wake-up’, every day…sometimes, I’ll have a cup of decaf coffee (ie. chemicals) at work, in the morning, but it’s 1/3 milk.

      • Yes, the decaf isn’t very good for the body, is it? I’ll probably always drink decaf…good or bad. A girl has to have something!

  2. You’re scaring me with the Topamax. I hope you still get to hang at the Caribou. Check out Green Moroccan Mint tea. I love that stuff.

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