Chronic migraine & Raynaud's disease

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/5/2012 2:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all, I'm completely new. Nice to meet you all.

I'm a 21 year old female, and I've had chronic/recurrent migraine for about 6 years, and Raynaud's (circulation problem in the extremities) for at least as long as that as well, but I can't remember exactly.

I am on migraine preventative medication: a beta-blocker (metoprolol, 200mg) as well as a triptan (frovatriptan, 2.5mg) for migraine attacks. The annoying thing about the migraine + Raynaud's combination is that they're caused by essentially opposite things (blood vessel contractions = Raynaud's attack, but great for migraine, dilations = migraine attack but great for Raynaud's), so pretty much it's either one or the other. Both beta-blockers and triptans aren't exactly a great idea for anyone with Raynaud's.

Usually, if I'm choosing between migraine and Raynaud's, I'd rather not have a migraine. But recently, I'm not sure exactly what triggered it, but after taking a triptan during a migraine attack, my Raynaud's has really taken a turn for the worse. This was probably a couple of weeks ago. Previously, it was characterised mainly by cold hands and feet, but more and more often, it is accompanied by pain, which makes daily activities like holding or picking up things, writing, typing etc very difficult. The writing thing bothers me particularly, as I'm a student.

Question time! Is there anyone on this forum with co-occurring migraine and Raynaud's? (I hear it happens often, there has to be somebody.) Is there any migraine preventative medication that doesn't have an adverse effect on Raynaud's? Or possibly something that I can take for Raynaud's alongside migraine preventatives that would compromise? I don't want to waste mine and my doctor's time if there isn't anything, but I'm really hoping there is.

I'd appreciate personal stories and the like. :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 4/6/2012 8:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Fyi metoprolol is an odd choice of a beta blocker... they gave that to me in ICU to lower my heart rate, as I was at risk for cardiac failure and to regulate my blood pressure. In all honesty I would be checking my pulse if I were you as it does lower heart rate. Normal range is 60 to 100 beats per minute. It is very rare that you use it as a migraine preventive. It can be, but I'd be careful. If were me I'd take topamax or amatriptlyine (sp) instead.
Make a list of everything you eat, drink, when a migraine comes, what it is like and see if there is a common factor..
"The Walking Medical Mystery"

Too many Allergies / Too many RXs & DXs

A Rare Gem for Doctors and Guinee Pig
~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/7/2012 7:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you SmurfyShadow.

He tried me on a different beta-blocker before, I can't remember which one, but I've a feeling it may have been propranolol (cannot remember dose), but it was changed because it didn't do much. I can't say my pulse is lowered that much, a little, yes, but it doesn't interfere. I'll keep an eye on it though, thanks for pointing it out.
In the literature, I have come across metoprolol mentioned readily as a choice for migraine preventatives, so I didn't think it was an odd choice.

I've tried keeping migraine diaries, but one of the problems with chronic migraine in that regard is that when it's occurring every single day anyway, there's not much you can do in the way of identifying triggers. It would be easier if it were a twice-weekly thing or something. I have excluded some foods that I have managed to identify as triggers though, namely apple juice (I don't know what's up with that, I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere as a migraine trigger), mature cheeses and chocolate.

You mention topamax or amitriptlyine: do you know, would they be okay for Raynaud's? Do they work by constricting your blood vessels? That's my main question.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/9/2012 3:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I started getting migraines in my early 20s, and for a while they were very disabling. I went through all the usual pain meds, ergots and beta blockers (this was before the triptans) and nothing really worked.

Finally, during a visit to a rheumatology specialist for my lupus, she remarked that people who have severe Raynaud's can have severe vascular migraines that are caused by constriction of blood vessels, and that they were treated differently. She put me on a calcium-channel blocker called Procardia, and I have rarely had a migraine since as long as I am on it. It also controls my Raynaud's.

I did try a triptan when they came out, by the way, and the doctor didn't take into account the fact that I had Raynaud's...I turned blue all over. Luckily I was in a hospital at the time, so they could reverse it, but it scared me to pieces lol.


Have you tried asking in the lupus forum? A lot of people with lupus also have Raynaud's, and they might have other advice for you.

I hope you feel better soon. ~ Lisa
-Dx SLE & Crohn's w/Pyoderma Gangrenosum and uveitis
-Symptoms: Name an organ and I have had problems there ;)
-I have an indwelling IV port in my chest, and I love it
-Meds: Methotrexate 50mgs IM 1xweekly, Imuran 200 mg, Prednisone 120mg, Dilaudid 4mg 4xday, Humira, Plaquenil etc.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/24/2013 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, I too suffer from both chronic migraines and raynauds. However, I've been dealing with raynauds since I was 6, or at least that is the earliest I remember. I started getting severe migraines in 2008. Unfortunately there is no medication treatment for raynauds. Trust me I've been looking. The only way to get medication to treat it is if you have an underlying auto immune disease like lupus or Rheumatoid arthritis. My hands hurt whenever it gets below 40 degrees out. I have to wear multiple layers (including multiple layers of gloves and socks) all year round. It's highly annoying and slightly embarrassing. I would consult your PCP about your condition getting worse. They most likely wont be able to do anything but it always good to double check. Right now Im struggling with getting my migraines under control. My OBGYN this year was the first to make a connection between my raynauds and migraines. Unfortunately I'm not finding any good research on it and my PCP had no idea. I wish I had better news for you. Good luck! Hopefully science will figure out something for people like us soon!


New Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/1/2013 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I also have Raynauds since I was 12 and cronic headaches/migranes for years. I have been looking for something to help with the headaches, raynauds I seem to have under control most of the time. I have tried all sorts of things, but can't take a beta blocker cause of my low BP. I take the pill to regulate the hormones, that was a huge trigger for migranes for me. I have also tried topomax for the headaces, but that made me feel really wierd (slow/moody) so didn't take that long. Right now trying Welbutrin (antidepressants have been said to help) just started though so for no change headaches but I need to take it for a few months to kick in. No side affects with this for me.

I was happy to see someone put Raynauds and migranes/headaches together....been searching if anyone eles thought their was a relation and what they did.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/28/2013 7:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Have they found out what is causing the Raynaud's, as Raynaud's is USUALLY co-morbid (caused by another disease). As far as treatments for the migraines that will not bother the Raynaud's , my best guess would be Anti-seizure meds, such as: Topamax and Depakote, for acute attacks probably NSAIDS and/or opioids. The triptans MAY have an effect on the Raynaud's, because they work on the blood vessels.
I haven't had Raynaud's, but I've suffered with migraines since I hit puberty, at age 13. When my migraines hit I have nausea, vomiting, I'm SEVERELY SENSITIVE to light and sound. And.... mine always occur at the ABSOLUTE WORST TIMES, for example in grad school during my thesis defense and in vet school, while I was performing my first surgery.
But triptans (Zomig or Relpax), nausea meds (Zofran or Compazine), an opioid (Vicodin or Petcocet), and an NSAID (Ibuprofen or Naproxen) usually do the trick for an acute attack for me, but EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT in what helps them!!
I wish you the BEST OF LUCK in finding something to help you!! :)
My medical problems: Fibromyalgia, Bipolar Disorder Type 2, Panic Disorder, Chronic Migraines, and Hypertension.
My meds: Celexa, Seroquel XR, Lamictal XR, Tranxene, Ambien CR, Intermezzo (for middle of the night waking episodes), Lyrica, Kadian, Vicodin (for breakthrough pain), Hydrochlorothiazide, Zanaflex, Zomig-ZMT and Zofran (for migraines).
And.... I also speak German and Spanish!! :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 12/2/2013 6:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I am new to Migraine forum.  I was just diagnosed with Intractable Migraines, I have had pressure @ base of left side head 3yrs.  I was in the worst pain ever admitted to hospital changed meds. I tolerate pain @ 7.  Raynaud's just dx last yr., I hate ice on any injury.  I have low BP so I take my BP daily @ least 100/60 I take 5mg amlodipine 1xdly.  I have hot flashes and sweat from meds so any breeze my arms & legs get cold.  My RA dx Raynaud's Vasculitis said it was primary which I don't know how since they don't know the cause of either.  I live where summer temps can be  for days 100++ winter low 40's day can have mid 20's no snow or ice still too cold for me.  My husband is hot blooded so summer ac @ 76 I have my thermal blanket on.   

Dottie Cerv & Lumbar spondylosis, femoral nerve damaged numb, fatigued, Raynaud's vasculitis, Chronic left side pain, Factor II genetic disorder, Fibromyalgia, HSV II, intractable migraine

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/10/2013 2:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Friends,

Let me introduce my case :
I have been with Migraine for last 10 years. I usually get it due to food gaps.(what I observed)
and it will be too severe until I take my medicine. usuall ache will at rear top of head and rear back of ear side.
If I dont take medicine, I feel like vomiting but in recent 5 years I puked only once. As I take tablet to restrict the pain. Tablet I take is - naxdom 500mg tablet. (combination of Domperidone 10 mg, Naproxen sodium 500 mg)
within 20 minutes head ache is gone. and I will be normal. So without this tablet I would have committed suicide. that intolerable pain I get.

This tablet was prescribed to my by a neurologist 10 years back.

1 year back I consulted another neurologist and he advised not to take naxdom as it is pain killer and not good for health. he prescribed two other tablets as preventive to migraine. Which did not show goood impact on me. so I stopped using them.

about other things in me:
I have been with high Blood pressure ( ~ 150/100) for 5 years now.
Never used medicine.
For last 8 years I had Raynods. once in a year kind I used get symptoms. But in last one year it increased a lot.
and now almost every day I have raynods symptoms . fingers get cold and turn white. sometime forefinger aches badly.
no medicine taken yet.

Recently consulted a general physician, and he prescribed Beta Blocker - Ciplar 40mg . half tablet daily after dinner. He said it helps for my blood pressure and Migraine.

Not yet started as I am scared to use it. as it may worse my Raynods.

Waiting to consult a vasscular surgeon to take his opinion on Migraine and Raynods. Then will decide on medicine to use.

My habits:
no exercise.
software engineer
take 1 coffee per day
take 1 tea per day
no diabetes
medium bulit personality.
occasionaly non-vegeterian
5feet 11 inches height
72 kgs weight

I live in Bangalore, India

Any recommendations on consultation of doctors ?

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/17/2015 5:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had chronic migraines for the last 14 years and have recently developed Raynaud's Syndrome in October of last year in all of my fingers. It started out in the 2 middle fingers for a couple of years but in October it was full blown Raynaud's in all of my fingers. I'm good during the summer time when it's nice and hot but as soon as it starts to get cold, I start looking for the gloves, the hand warmers and the heaters because it's going to be miserable. I take 200 mg of topirimate or Topamax for migraines and they get really bad sometimes with blackouts if I don't find some where to sit and brown outs if I do then comes the sweating like a stuck hog and then the throwing up. Luckily that only happens every once in a while as do the 2 month long migraines that are on the 8-9/10 scale then they go away for long periods. The topirimate works for the migraine maintenance compared to what they used to be and it's the only thing that I'm willing to take that doesn't make you gain weight but it definitely does not help with the Raynaud's. My doctor gave me amlodipine and I read the side effects and didn't like them so I put them some where and I have no clue where they are but they are which is usually what happens to everything else that I read the side effects on
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