In terms of treatment, I started with preventatives that were all antidepressants in small doses. I also tried Inderal (propranolol), which was the worst in terms of side effects. None of them seemed to make much difference.
My neurologist referred me to a headache clinic in Melbourne (where I’m originally from). They suggested that seeing as there were often long gaps between my migraine attacks, it would be better to forget about preventatives and focus on staving off a migraine attack as it’s coming on.
Since then, I’ve focused on listening to my body to identify prodrome symptoms, putting together a cocktail of drugs and other things to hit a migraine attack with as early as possible and making some health and lifestyle changes.
Most importantly I try to get a good night’s sleep every night, eat healthy fresh foods, avoid processed foods and sugar, exercise regularly and resist stressing about things generally, sometimes using meditation to bring myself down a notch.
When I think I’m getting an attack, I use Migraine Buddy to record what medications I take and how I feel. It reminds me what to do when I’m feeling foggy and creates a record of what I took and did and how I felt that I can learn from. I also initially used it to get my sleep on track.
At the onset of an attack, I take a triptan (Rizatriptan – I used to have Relpax but it didn’t work for long), a large dose of anti-inflammatory (Naproxen) and an anti-nausea tablet (Metoclopramide). Since adding Metoclopramide into the mix about 2 years ago, I haven’t had an attack that’s lasted more than 36 hours. It’s been a game-changer for me.
At onset, I also take 3 grams of finely chopped fresh ginger (a natural anti-inflammatory) mixed with honey or peanut butter to make it palatable, and I’ll often drink a Coca-Cola or eat something sweet. It seems to help.
I also see an osteopath every 3 months to keep my neck and back in good shape, and a naturopath from time to time to explore other options. She got me onto the ginger. I tried acupuncture but it didn’t work.