Category: The Migraine Tree

I have been told there is «nothing else to do»…now what?

Are there people with migraine who just don’t get better despite appropriate treatment?  Every disease has severe forms. In every disease, there are people who do not respond to treatments. People with cancer still die if the treatments do not work. People with refractory migraine…

Natural supplements for migraine

Different nutraceuticals and supplements have been studied for migraine prevention. These products are often perceived as safer and «more natural». Overall, supplements are active substances and should be managed exactly like medications.  A few comments can be made on supplements.  There are multiple brands of…

List of migraine preventives: classes and mechanism of action

«What’s the best preventive for migraine»?  Sadly, there is no answer to this question.  Many different approaches exist, and it is not possible to predict which one will work for one person in particular.  For each option, there are people who do not improve (non-responders),…

How to try a preventive – Top Questions and Answers

Preventive medications are taken daily for several months in order to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. Should you try one? Here are some common questions and answers about migraine preventives!  How do I know if I need a preventive medication?   There is no…

Going to the Emergency Department

Going to the emergency department is usually a difficult experience. This may be the worst place on earth for a person with migraine (apart from a death metal concert). Strong lights, noises, smells. Uncomfortable chairs. Long wait times. A migraine attack might not be a…

The fascinating history of triptans

Did you know that the triptans are the grand-children of a fungus?  That’s right. The story of the triptans starts with a fungus that grows on the rye plant. This fungus, claviceps purpurea, attaches to the rye and forms a shape that resembles the paw…

Top Ten Facts of treating the migraine attack

The migraine attack is a chemical and electrical storm in the brain Many zones of the brain are active during an attack. We now have scientific evidence that the pain of the migraine comes from pain nerves of the meninges. The aura is caused by…

The Combination Principle

Your migraine attacks just won’t break with one medication? Try two! Some migraine attacks are difficult to treat. The migraine attack is a chemical and electrical storm in the brain that leads to pain and a wide variety of accompanying symptoms (See this post).  The…

The Treating Early Principle

My doctor prescribed me medications to treat my migraine attacks…but they don’t work! Sounds familiar? You may be treating too late.   I have been told to wait until my pain is really severe to take my meds. Isn’t that the right thing to do?  No,…

Opioids and migraine: AVOID!

What are opioids? Opioids are painkillers. They act on natural morphine receptors in the brain. Opium, extracted from the poppy plant, is a natural opioid. There are many different synthetic opioids.  Name Brand Equivalent of morphine dose Morphine Statex 1 Codeine Empracet (with acetaminophen) 0.15 Oxycodone…

List of acute treatments

The medications to be discussed here are the symptomatic migraine medications which are used to treat individual migraine attacks (See this post). They can be divided into four broad categories: Analgesics, NSAIDs, Triptans and ergot derivatives, Anti-emetics and Opioids.   ** Cannabinoids are not listed…

How to use acute treatments for migraine attacks

What are acute treatments for migraine? Acute treatments are medications to help you to break a migraine attack, not to prevent one. These medications are taken as needed when a migraine starts. They are different from preventive treatments, taken on a regular basis to decrease…

Vestibular migraine in children

What is vestibular migraine? Vestibular migraine is the second most common cause of vertigo in children occurring between 6 and 12 years of age more frequently in girls .Children with this syndrome complain of attacks of “vestibular” symptoms including false sensation of self-motion, false sensation…

Alternating hemiplegia of childhood

What is alternating hemiplegia of childhood? Alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) is a rare condition with repeated bouts of weakness or paralysis that may affect one side of the body or the other or both sides of the body at once lasting for minutes to…

Benign Paroxysmal Vertigo

What is benign paroxysmal vertigo? Benign paroxysmal vertigo (BPV) typically starts between ages 2 and 5. Children with BPT present with repeated attacks of a spinning sensation (vertigo) or dizziness. Parents may observe unsteadiness as young children are unable to describe how they feel. A…

Light hurts: How to use glasses to help with photophobia

What is photophobia? Photophobia is a very strong sensitivity to light and is common in migraine.  Migraine photophobia can precede (and potentially trigger) a headache. However, it can also occur during a headache or between headaches.  Is photophobia only linked to migraine?  No! many eye…