Rebound migraines (Please help)

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For my wife
New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 12/2/2010 9:14 PM (GMT -6)   
My wife has had migraine headaches since she was a teenager.  In January of 2010, she had her first complex migraine.  Symptoms included almost "seizure like" symptoms where she gets a hic up sound and is unresponsive.  These episodes last between 30 sec to 10 minutes.  She has seen a neurologist who confirmed they were complex migraine headaches but continued to have migraines.  The Dr prescribed several medications including Fioracet and beta blockers to take when she has a migraine and topamax to try to prevent them.  Using the fioracet and over using dilauded from the ER visits (about three times a week) most likely started the rebound migraines.  The neurologist referred her to a pain management specialist who stopped her on all pain relieving meds for 8 weeks.  She still had the migraines.  Recently she was allowed to start taking Imatrex on a limited basis (no more than twice a week).  Nothing seems to be working.  In fact her migraines have gotten worse to where she is having the "seizure like" episodes 2-3 times a day.  She has had a constant headache since January of 2010 ranging in severity from 7-10 on the pain scale.  Has ANYONE experienced anything like this?  How long can these rebound headaches last for?   If you have experienced this, what worked for you? 
Any feedback would be appreciated. 

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/3/2010 12:02 PM (GMT -6)   
It can take quite a while to stop medication overuse headache (MOH). Depending on what caused it and how long she had been taking it, she may need to be hospitalized to break the cycle. Medications such as Fioricet can produce especially difficult MOH.

The best suggestion I can offer is to get her to an actual Migraine specialist. Neurologists aren't necessarily Migraine specialists, by the way. It looks as if she's not even been properly diagnosed yet. "Complex Migraine" is used differently by different doctors. It's best to find a doctor who follows the International Headache Society's diagnostic and classification criteria, and there is no such recognized type of Migraine as "complex. A correct diagnosis and a doctor who truly understands Migraines and headaches is her best option.

Good luck,

For my wife
New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 12/3/2010 6:46 PM (GMT -6)   
She was using Fioricet for about three months, maybe four.  She was pretty much using the max allowed from the prescription each time.  Part of the problem is that I'm not sure if there is a headache specialist in our area (other than a chiropractor that calls themselves one).  We may need to travel to find one. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 12/3/2010 9:16 PM (GMT -6)   
She needs an expert and should probably be treated as in-patient; check MHNI in A2 or Cleveland Clinic. Teri has given you excellent advice in that regard; what part of the country do you live? Another excellent location is Geisinger in PA. I have had to travel long distances to get what I needed; I fortunate that MHNI is only 1 1/2 hours away.
There are many who say they're migraine specialists, but there are really only a handful that can treat the really tough patients.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/3/2010 9:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear New Member, My heart goes out to you and your wife while you seek a solution to MOH. A migraine specialist is a must, even if you have to travel, and even if the first try isn't a good match. I travel 500+ miles to see the headache specialist who has finally put the pieces of the puzzle together and found an end to my chronic debilitating migraine. The keys to the doc being able to help is record keeping and note taking and honesty and luck. Best wishes for you and your wife.

For my wife
New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 12/5/2010 12:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for your support and advice.  We live in Omaha, Nebraska.  There are several really good clinics and hospitals here but I'm not sure about migraine specialists.  We are seeing a Doctor now who I know works in pain management and I thought was also a headache specialist but I'm not sure.  I'll have to check.  If not, then we are willing to travel if needed.  One possibly good bit of information is that we were talking to some extended family members and found one that worked with someone with alot of the same symptoms my wife has.  She was diagnosed with Miniere's Disease which is a disease of the inner ear.  It causes vertigo, aggrivates migraines and causes what they call "Drop attack" periods.  My wife has all of these and we will be seeing an ear, nose and throat doctor again soon to ask.  The bad news is there isn't a cure for it and it could cause hearing loss over time.  The good news is we may finally get an answer (IF that's what it is) and like diabetes, it can be managed.   Keep your fingers crossed.   Does anyone know of any home remidies that can help with the pain? 
Thanks again for all your support and advice. 

Post Edited (For my wife) : 12/4/2010 10:42:50 PM (GMT-7)

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