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Migraines, and self-treatment thereof

HandgimpHandgimp Registered User regular
edited December 2006 in Help / Advice Forum
So I'm in the aura phase of yet another migraine, and I'm curious how other folks cope. I popped an Excedrin Migraine, and am about to take a shower and grab a cold compress. Any suggestions on further steps?

At least this time I'm at home and can actually do these things. It sucks to have one when you're standing watch on a sub's electric plant.

Handgimp on

Posts

  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Lie down in a dark room for a long time. The darker the better - light's usually a pretty big trigger.

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  • HandgimpHandgimp Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Hmm, the otc meds seem to actually help a bit - with the amplitude, anyway. Unfortunately lying down is not tenable right now, but at least I'm mostly functional.

  • AndorienAndorien Registered User
    edited December 2006
    In the same vein as the dark room thing, remove any glasses or contacts.

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    A friend of mine takes 4 ibuprofin. If they don't do anything, he moves on to excedrin.

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  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I've always gone with curling into a ball and screaming for a while, vomiting, and then popping enough painkillers to knock me out until its' over.

    None of the migraine-specifc meds I was ever given really helped :(

  • GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    My wife uses Excederin Migraine, with an ibuprofen chaser about two hours later if necessary. Also, as others have stated, dark and quiet.

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  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I've heard that letting the water from a shower hit the small of your back can help a lot.

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  • tony_importanttony_important Registered User
    edited December 2006
    I'm a big fan of the cold compress lie down in the dark for an hour + Tylonal Ultra dosing.

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Two Excedrin Migraine (which are actually identical to Extra-Strength Excedrin), then curling up into a ball in a dark, quiet room with the door closed is usually how I deal with it.

    However, I only get one about every three months or so; it's just not worth the time/money for a doctor. How often are you getting these?

  • LondonBridgeLondonBridge __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2006
    Excedrin Migraine helps a lot. On another note, how is your diet? I noticed when I started dieting & excersise last Summer that I had only 1 migraine, this was a big improvement as I would get them almost weekly.

    In my diet I cut out carbs, junk food, processed foods, and unnecessary sweets. Making sure you're hydrated helps prevents headaches & migraines too.

  • DynamiteKidDynamiteKid Registered User
    edited December 2006
    EggyToast wrote:
    A friend of mine takes 4 ibuprofin. If they don't do anything, he moves on to excedrin.

    Er, isn't that a terrible idea? Those things are meant to be two at a time tops.

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  • zhen_roguezhen_rogue Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    My wife has suffered from migraines for years, and tried almost every rememdy/medication in the book.

    She finally found a prescription medication called Imitrex that works.
    Not only does it work, it works 100% of the time and resolves the pain very quickly.

    I'm not sure if you've investigated this option, but speaking from experience it has worked miracles on my wife.

    If I remember right, her doctor was able to give her some samples.
    I'm not sure if Imitrex is still engaged in a free sample program, but I would investigate this as well if you go to visit a doc.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    OTC medicatiions (including Tylenol, Excedrin, ibuprofen, etc.) can cause rebound headaches. (So can Imitrex, by the way.) The question of how often you get migraines is really important - if you're getting them more than once a month or so you really should go see a doctor. Actually, you should see a doctor anyway but it's doubly important if you're getting them frequently.

    Also, you might benefit from keeping a journal of possible triggers. These could include noise, light, stress, exercise, lack of sleep, any chemicals or drugs (recreational or medicinal, including caffeine) or many different foods. Basically, any time you get a migraine, after it wears off think back to the last 24 hours and write down everything you ate or drank as well as what you did and how much sleep you got. If you do this every time you have a migraine you might be able to determine a pattern. There may be something you're doing or ingesting that could be triggering the migraine. If you can prevent them in the future that's a lot better than taking medication.

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  • AndorienAndorien Registered User
    edited December 2006
    EggyToast wrote:
    A friend of mine takes 4 ibuprofin. If they don't do anything, he moves on to excedrin.

    Er, isn't that a terrible idea? Those things are meant to be two at a time tops.

    I recall being told by a navy doctor (well, not directly. From him, to dad, to me) to take 3 ibuprofen to kill the pain for kidney stones, so I suppose it's not that bad.

    Of course, the pills did jack shit, so I moved on to Sherry :wink:

  • zhen_roguezhen_rogue Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Just make sure you never take ibuprofen on an empty stomach - it can be very harmful to your stomach lining.

    Especially if you're taking 2 or 3 at a time.

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I've always gone with curling into a ball and screaming for a while, vomiting, and then popping enough painkillers to knock me out until its' over.
    That's my method too. Only I just got pain killers recently. I try to go to sleep before the vomiting and whenever I wake up I feel generally better.

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I used ot get chronic headahces. Not migranes exactly. I treated them with massive amounts of cafdiene and nicotine

  • twmjrtwmjr Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    EggyToast wrote:
    A friend of mine takes 4 ibuprofin. If they don't do anything, he moves on to excedrin.

    Er, isn't that a terrible idea? Those things are meant to be two at a time tops.

    My mother (who's a nurse) always told me that 4 is a prescription level dosage. So, it is safe to take, but if you can get by with less you definitely should.

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  • grungeboxgrungebox Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    4 ibuprofens is cool, though don't make a habit of it. My doctor said that's fine since it's a prescription strength level (in fact, instead of writing me a script for prescription ibuprofen, he told me to buy it OTC). I take at least 2 when I feel a headache coming. I get chronic "low-level migraines" but I have an Rx for imitrex. I never take that unless I feel a big one coming; it makes my chest burn almost as bad as heartburn, and trading a migraine for heartburn is like trading a kick in the groin for a punch in the gut.

    Other than that, dark places work. I generally just try to sleep it off.

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  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    If you are in the states I like Aleve (Naproxin). Or maybe mixing it up from day to day between ibuprofin and naproxin.

    It also helps immensely to keep yourself hydrated. Many migrane pills have a lot of caffine (eg: excedrine) which contributes to dehydration. Drink a lot of water (not soda, juice, snapple etc...). It certainly can't hurt and it helps me a lot when I get bad headaches.

  • The NazariteThe Nazarite Registered User
    edited December 2006
    I know this isn't always practical, but taking a nap always worked for me. It also gave me an opportunity to catch up on sleep.

  • DynamiteKidDynamiteKid Registered User
    edited December 2006
    twmjr wrote:
    EggyToast wrote:
    A friend of mine takes 4 ibuprofin. If they don't do anything, he moves on to excedrin.

    Er, isn't that a terrible idea? Those things are meant to be two at a time tops.

    My mother (who's a nurse) always told me that 4 is a prescription level dosage. So, it is safe to take, but if you can get by with less you definitely should.

    I'm sure the boxes say that it's 8 maximum in a day, though.

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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    twmjr wrote:
    EggyToast wrote:
    A friend of mine takes 4 ibuprofin. If they don't do anything, he moves on to excedrin.

    Er, isn't that a terrible idea? Those things are meant to be two at a time tops.

    My mother (who's a nurse) always told me that 4 is a prescription level dosage. So, it is safe to take, but if you can get by with less you definitely should.

    I'm sure the boxes say that it's 8 maximum in a day, though.

    And? If you're taking prescription-level Ibuprofen, you are taking the equivalent of 12-16 over the counter tablets a day. Usually, one prescription tablet is 800 mg, and the instructions say to take one pill every 6 or 8 hours (meaning 3 or 4 pills a day, which is either 2400 or 3200 mg of Ibuprofen a day. Advil and most over-the-counter Ibuprofen tablets are 200 mg, so prescription strength Ibuprofen is equal to 12 to 16 tablets a day.

    Which is why it is prescription strength and they suggest you see a doctor if using it for more than three consecutive days and say you shouldn't exceed 6 tablets a day. Ibuprofen can, research suggests, deteriorate your stomach lining, so excessive continual usage can be bad.

    But if you have a migraine or something you can't/don't want to go to the doctor for, taking four Ibuprofens now and then isn't horrible. I've done it. Lots of people do.

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