Rebound headaches

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I have been a migraine sufferer for over 40 years and for the last few years I have been on Pizotifen which did proof helpful until last year when I started to get more frequent attacks so I was referred back to the neurologist and had an MRI scan which was all clear.

The last few weeks the attacks have become more and more frequent so I have been taking more sumatriptan and paracetamol with aspirin. This week I have come to the conclusion that I am probably getting rebound headaches so have decided to go cold turkey. I am presently suffering with a migraine which I have had for nearly 24 hours for which I have taken no pain relief. My question is, has anyone else managed to do this? If so, how long does it take before you break the cycle and what do you do to relieve the pain? Tia

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    You poor thing. I am just recovering from a week of continuous migraines in which I took about 3  rizatriptan with naproxen - they gave be short term relief but came back within 12 hours. I think you do have to try and go cold turkey but it’s hard when the pain is unbearable.  Warm baths, hot and cold compresses and sleep (if you can ) in a dark room is the only way I know. 
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, I have come out of the other side now, 26 hours of excruciating pain without any pain relief. Just got to wait and see how long before my next attack. :-(
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    • Posted

      So pleased you have recovered. I am in the middle of yet another migraine and trying to go without painkillers but it’s so painful , not sure how long I can bear it . Seeing a neurologist next week so I’ll be interested in what he has to say.
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    • Posted

      Oh dear, I can sympathize, I nearly gave in last night because the pain was so bad.

      I've seen a neurologists and had an MRI scan but there doesn't seem to be much more they can do. They just keep saying try this, try that, I don't really think they know what works, it's just trial and error. My GP leaves all decisions to me because he said that I'm the expert as I know what it is actually like to experience a migraine.

      Best wishes and hope you get through yours quickly. X

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  • Posted

    Hi kath,I really feel for you.Has your Dr suggested that it may be fluctuating hormones instead of rebound headaches caused by drugs? I also have had migraines for 40 years and mine have got a lot worse in the past 3 years and after taking a lot of different drugs with horrendous side effects,my Dr has suggested it maybe menopause and "to ride it out!" I take Naramig and cyclizine at least twice a week and paracetamol to just dull the pain but like you,I tried the cold turkey route.It didn't work for me as my migraines are so frequent.Let us know how you get on.Hope you feel better soon x

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    • Posted

      Hi Jeannette, thanks for your reply. I am in my 60's and hormones have never been mentioned. One neurologist I saw was pleased that I wasn't on HRT. I am over my recent attack now after 26 hours, I thought it was never going to end. I shall just have to wait and see how long I go before my next one.

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  • Posted

    Hi Kath - I'm so pleased you have come out the other side. 

    I stopped taking sumatriptan in January this year (as concerned over rebound) - I was getting daily migraine and now see a huge improvement and avoid sumatriptan where i can. 

    I took a week off work and just went to bed till they went - i found ice packs really helpful. After a week i did take some nurofen, but i think you need to avoid painkillers as much as possible.

    My neurologist prescribed me CANDESARTAN (blood pressure pills) which have also made a big difference.

    Good luck x

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. I have only come out of the side of my first untreated migraine, was just wondering how long I need to do this to break the cycle.

      I also have become concerned with the amount of sumatriptan and paracetamol I have been taking. I am currently on Pizotifen as a preventative which was working but not so much now. I am slightly reluctant to try other preventatives because this is the only one that I have tried which doesn't cause me side effects. I haven't tried candesarten though.

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  • Posted

    i think everyone is different, and i understand it depends how long you have been taking too much medication for - mine took me a few months to really see any benefit but I'm so glad i did it now.

    I too had tried many preventatives without any luck (including Pizotifen) - and its so hard when you have to try each one for so long without getting any positive results.

    For me, Candesartan has been brilliant and without side effects.

    Keep at it and i wish you every success x

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  • Posted

    Tia,

    I have lots of rebound headaches but am not willing to go cold turkey. What helps me is to take a long acting triptan ahead of the time of my likely rebound headache and that usually gets rid of the rebound migraine until next time. The 2 long acting ones are Naratriptan and frovatriptan. I’m in the US and Frova triptan isn’t generic here so I order from Canada. It is very expensive but works better than Naratriptan to prevent. Ask your doctor about this. It was a neurologist who suggested  it many years ago.

    Gaye

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