NSAIDs preventing migraines

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NSAIDs preventing migraines

Post  Seaine on Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:19 pm

I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this. When I have a migraine, there's not enough Ibuprofen or Tylenol in the world to make it go away or even to put a dent in it. But if I have a sore throat or something and I've been taking Ibuprofen consistently throughout the day, I don't get a migraine.

I first noticed this years ago, when I had a virus. Basically the virus just made my whole body hurt really badly; I went to the doctor and he told me I could take 4 Ibuprofens and 2 extra strength Tylenol every 6 hours until I felt better. Well I was in so much pain that I took the meds every 4 hours for the first 5 days. I have never been sick with something like that before or since; it was awful. But anyways, after 7 days or so of taking the NSAIDs I realized... no migraines. This was when I was getting a migraine every single day. Of course when I was done taking the meds the migraines came back.

Is this normal? Do other people with migraines find that something as simple as Ibuprofen can prevent them? I know you're not supposed to take Ibuprofen longterm because it will hurt your stomach but I guess if you were going to some event such as a wedding or a vacation maybe you could prevent your migraines just for that short time.
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Re: NSAIDs preventing migraines

Post  tortoisegirl on Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:27 pm

Thats great you've found them so helpful. I would definitely ask your doctor about something you can (relatively) safely take every day. Does Aleve help? I seem to remember that may be a bit safer. Plus you dose it less often. Same with some rx NSAIDs like Mobic.

Not so sure if Ibuprophen every day would be a bad idea if it truly helped you that much, unless you had some underlying problem. The less the better though. I'd guess long term your body may become resistant to it and you'd have some migraines creep in though.

I've trialed a few different NSAIDs on a preventative basis without any help, but I have NDPH not migraine. I know some folks do take these sorts of meds daily, or even Triptans daily. Its all about the risk vs. benefit. I've more so heard of it from folks who would have these meds also help abort the pain though. Interesting that they wouldn't at all help once the pain starts for you, but do seem to prevent it.

I'd imagine even if your doctor wouldn't condone them daily, they would on an as needed basis, giving you a limit of a max number of days in a row or days a week or month. Typically rebound / medication overuse headache is the primary concern though. However, if your pain isn't daily, then it would be obvious if you did get rebound and you'd know to take a break. Best wishes.

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Re: NSAIDs preventing migraines

Post  Migrainegirl on Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:14 pm

My mother was prescribed NSAIDS for her back. She noticed that she never had migraines after that. Unfortunately after 4 years of taking NSAIDS she now has kidney damage. The doctor never told her this could be a problem. He just had her keep taking it. So of course now she is very limited in what she can take for any kind of problem.

NSAIDs can help with migraine because they are an anti-inflammatory. You just have to be careful about staying on them long term.
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Re: NSAIDs preventing migraines

Post  Jewishmother on Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:02 am

I guess I have looked at this issue a little differently......for me I believe that my migraines are one of the symptoms of an autoimmune disorder. My body seems to need to be inflammed somewhere and the migraines are one of the ways it satisfies that need. When I am sick with a sinus infection or other kind of infection my daily migraines ebb because my body is distracted with inflammation elsewhere. The other theory I have is that when I get an infection/inflammation elsewhere in my body that histamine is produced and somehow the histamine helps keep the migraines at bay. Unfortunately histamine is not available in med form for me to test this theory!
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Re: NSAIDs preventing migraines

Post  Mule Kick on Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:41 pm

In 2004 I had a prescription of ibuprofen (400-600 mg three times daily) for neck (cervical spondylosis) and foot pain. It never put a dent in either of those pains.

The only pain that ibuprofen has ever relived, was the rebound headache that it caused.
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Re: NSAIDs preventing migraines

Post  Seaine on Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:02 pm

I had an interesting reaction to taking the Ibuprofen this time. I did not take any triptans for a few days because I didn't get any migraines, but my mood dropped very rapidly! I was extremely depressed for no reason! I stopped taking the Ibuprofen and of course got a headache, took my triptan, and not only did the headache go away but my mood got noticeably better. I know triptans raise serotonin. I had no idea my serotonin would drop even though I wasn't feeling the headache due to the Ibuprofen.
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NSAID risk vs benefits

Post  toryaldridge on Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:25 pm

It makes sense that the NSAIDs are working because the inflammation that brings on a migraine as well as what causes the pain. Like has been mentioned by others, NSAIDs can be damaging if used for a long time. There are some like mobic that are safer than most. Talk with your doctor about which one would be best for you. If the NSAIDs are working, that makes me have lots of hope for you that you will be able to find a great solution soon!
Best wishes!

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NSAIDs - Naproxen

Post  amoobaa on Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:20 am

Hey Smile

I can't take Ibuprofen because I have a sensitive stomach, also taking painkillers regularly can cause rebound headaches so shouldn't be used as a daily preventative.

I have daily migraines for a year now and have recently been put on Naproxen, a NSAID which you can take long term and daily that does not have the "rebound effect" although a side effect can be headaches for some people.

It does f up your stomach though, so I am attempting it along with Omeprazole daily which protects your stomach from GI upset and ulcers. I do have stomach pain though. But am seeing the GP later to check it is just a side effect and nothing more sinister.

You can ask your doctor about this as an option if you found Ibuprofen worked - you dont need to take Naproxen daily either, people who suffer from menstrual migraines take it just for those 7 days a month.

It's not really working for me yet (although helped in the first week) this second week I am coming off topiramate though so pain increasing...

xxx

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Re: NSAIDs preventing migraines

Post  Seaine on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:17 am

amoobaa wrote:also taking painkillers regularly can cause rebound headaches so shouldn't be used as a daily preventative

Neutral I really don't see why that matters if I have to take an Imitrex every single day anyways. The rebound effect is a pretty moot point for someone who has daily migraines.
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Re: NSAIDs preventing migraines

Post  amoobaa on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:25 pm

yeh i guess your right there. I guess If it works for you then I would go for it. I hate taking drugs. I wish I could be cured naturally. Or cured at all.

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