Persons with migraines that suffer with these severe headaches each week and for years and years are at the point they will try anything to rid themselves of the pain.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a few medications for the treatment of migraines. However, a lot of these simply do not work, so both health care practitioners and patients resort to the off label medications in attempts to provide some relief.
Dr. Joel Saper, neurologist with Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute states that persons who endure migraines will try just about anything that will work.
One of those off label treatments is Botox. It has worked for some but many others still receive no relief.
Dr. Kaniecki, assistant professor of neurology and director of The Headache Center at the University of Pittsburgh states botox can aide some persons when other treatments have failed, however it is last resort treatment since many insurance companies do not provide coverage for it unless the patient can provide proof that all other medications have not worked.
Botox gets injected into various places, dependent upon where the pain is located. According to Dr. Allan Rapoport a clinical professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, states injections can be given above the bridge of nose, over eyebrows, back of neck or shoulders. He states it does work and will hold for at least three or four months. Most of the times side effects are minimal.
Just lately $600 million dollars had been paid out by Allergan, the company that produces Botox, in order to settle criminal along with civil complaints over the U.S. Government statements that illegal promotions of the product for purposes in which was not intended such as headaches.
It is approved in the United Kingdom as a treatment for headaches but not in the United States, however it will come up for approval to the FDA in December for headaches.
One person who suffers from migraines admits she never sought medical treatments for her migraines instead she opted for Tylenol at a large dose of eight which she states dulled her pain.
Health practitioners state that the amount of eight could be too much and holds the possibility of being toxic if continued to be taken weekly for a long time span. They do agree that taking off label medications such as Tylenol is common when nothing else is providing relief. A lot of times these medications and treatments are at times effective when everything else that is available has failed. Tylenol is just one of the off label medications in which suffers turn to.
NSAIDs (non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications) like ibuprofen and naproxen if prescribed and do not have approval to be used for migraines. Over the counter medications like Motrin and Excedrin Migraine are approved.
Calcium channel blockers that are usually prescribed to treat conditions such as high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats, are also used for migraines. These medications include procardia, cardene and calan. Anti-depressants, anti-seizure medications and beta- blockers have also been used to treat migraines.
Vitamins, minerals and supplements are also used to treat migraines. Health practitioners have advocated certain types like vitamin B12, butterbur and melatonin. Also, recommended has been behavioral techniques like biofeedback and relaxation techniques.
Dr. Saper states that when they treat hard to manage headaches they need to rely on both off and on label medications due to the fact there are not enough on label medications. This comes to no great surprise to health practitioners. Dr. Rapoport states it is costly to get medications approved and the FDA has strict guidelines.
Migraines which are a genetic disorder defined by a severe and usually throbbing headache usually associated with other symptoms which includes light sensitivity, nausea and vomiting.
Migraines most of the time begin with a pro-dome, a per-headache phase which can begin from several hours to several days before the onset of the headache. During this a lot of persons have a vast assortment of sensations that can include yawning, fatigue and depression. Persons usually have migraines most of their lives and can vary in how often and how severe they are.
Currently there are seven approved FDA medications for severe migraine treatments. Healthcare practitioners state there are thirty or more medications which are usually prescribed or off label suggested but they sometimes are more effective than those medications approved by the FDA.
Among the medications which are approved for severe migraine treatments are Imitrex, Maxalt and Zomig. Excedrin Migraine also has approval however, practitioners state it contains the same ingredients as aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine just the same as Extra Strength Excedrin.
The only four FDA approved medications are Inderal, Blocadren, Depakote and Topamax.
Opiates such as Demerol is also used for migraine treatments. These are off label and practitioners state they may not be the best choice. Opiates are approved for chronic pain but not for migraines and Dr. Rapoport states they just do not work very good.
Dr. Saper states they can become very habit forming posing a danger as those who suffer with migraines will continue to use them but will not get any relief.
According to practitioners medication overuse even when narcotics are not used still is an issue among persons who endure migraines.
Dr. Kaniecki states most migraine suffers realize it does take a lot to be able to have migraine under control. Also, there are two dangers involved of over treating. The first the headaches can return and too much of certain medications can be toxic. Example too much ibuprofen can cause kidney damage.
Even those medications which are prescribed can be dangerous if over used.
According to Dr. Saper, if you take any of the medications for stopping headaches greater than three days each week, week after week and month after month it actually will make the headache worse. That is one reason why the headaches go from occasionally to frequently.
For most persons who endure these headaches that thought is further from their minds all they want is relief even if all it provides is twenty-four hours.
There are alternative treatments that have been proven effective in the treatment of migraines.
Chiropractic care has demonstrated relief in at least 80% of patients who suffer with migraine headaches.
When the spine becomes misaligned, nerves become pinched and therefore causes a reduction in blood flood causing swelling. Chiropractic adjustments are used, low amplitude thrusts to sites of vertebral subluxations. No adverse effects have been reported. The pain intensity and frequency of attacks become reduced. Massage, trigger point therapy, increase water intake and sleeping posture changes may also be advised.
Herbal product like MigreLief which contains the combination of magnesium, riboflavin and fever-few. These three ingredients have been proven in scientific trails to prevent migraines. MigreLeif can be found at some local pharmacies or online.
For the type that feels if someone is driving an object into your skull. Usually triggered by emotions, grief and anxiety. Is safe for adults and children.
Butterbur Root Extract
Butterbur has in clinical trails has been shown to aide in the prevention of migraines. Since butterbur contains chemicals which are toxic to liver, its been prepared through a patent process now is sold under the name Petadolex.
In double blind studies it has been shown to be an effective treatment. However, it can cause the blood to take longer to clot and if you take Warfin it could cause a reaction.
Even though there are no current studies to prove acupuncture being effective with the treatment of migraines, some patients have had relief from the treatments. It is also totally safe treatment for migraines.
Switching off between short hot shower followed by a longer cold shower has been known to stop migraines.Sources: