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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 11/2/2008 7:29 PM (GMT -6)   
What can an IBDer take for headache relief? My 17 year old son is laying in bed holding his head in pain. He has taken two ibuprofen (I know...) and that is not even helping. He said the pain is at a 7 (1-10 scale) and he has a pretty high pain tolerance.

Is there an IBD safe headache medicine out there? Tylenol doesn't do anything for him. Usually ibuprofen helps, but not this time. What is available prescription wise?

Mom of Son 17 UC dx 07/02, Sulfasalazine, Imuran, Cortafoam, folic acid, L. Reuteri, Culturelle, Zyrtec, Iron, Vit/Min

Daughter 9 UC dx 08/07 Colazal, 6MP, Iron, Vit/Min., Culturelle

Post Edited (keylime) : 11/2/2008 5:41:16 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 11/2/2008 7:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Julie, I sure wish I could help you here, but I can't other than a heating pad helps me when I have a headache. I'm just sorry your baby is hurting.

Diagnosised 8/25/08 GRRR
Started flare mid-May/feeling better but still flaring
Canasa 2x a day
Multi Enzyme
Mega Probiotic
Fiber Wafer
Nictotine Patch
Fish Oil Pill
Multi Vitamin

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 11/2/2008 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Julie, if he's having a migraine, I think some of the migraine medications are safe for UC. Of course the trick with some of the newer ones is that you have to take them at/near headache onset.

I wish I had an answer for you. I get bad headaches, too, and have found no replacement for Advil/Aleve.
40, female
Dx ulcerative proctitis, 3-5 cm, June 2008 (after 5 weeks of blood and mucous) and still flaring
Canasa 1000 mg suppositories and 2 tsp smooth texture Metamucil nightly
25 mg hydrocortisone suppositories and 1 Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra in a.m.
Effexor 37.5, Remeron 30 mg, Clonazepam .5 mg (or more) and Trazodone 75 mg for sleep/anxiety
2.5 mg methimazole for thyroid
Trying acupuncture
Osteopenia and other assorted ailments

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 11/3/2008 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I hope your son is doing better today? I get frequent headaches and sometimes migraines. I found that Excederin Migraine works very well but it has acetaminophen as well as aspirin and caffeine. I don't take it too often because the aspirin can cause me to bleed but sometimes you have to make the choice of having your head falling off or intestinal bleeding - truthfully I would take the intestinal bleed over my head falling off any day!
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Year-round allergies-Singulair, Zyrtec~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Spinal Stenosis(?)~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections~bulging and herniated discs C5/C6 & C6/C7~3rd epidural injection 9/4, Neurontin and Skelaxin
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1366
   Posted 11/3/2008 4:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I get frequent terrible headaches and migraines and Tylenol doesn't even faze them. For the headaches I usually try something like Excedrine first but for the migraines I have to take something like Ibuprofen or, if it's really bad I have a prescription for Imitrex. As far as I know it's safe for someone with IBD to take but when I'm feeling like that, I honestly couldn't care less about my UC, I'm just trying to get the pain to stop!

Female, 23, Ulcerative colitis (pancolitis) since 1999; GERD; gastritis; osteopenia in femur head & lumbar spine from long term prednisone use...

Current Meds:
Lexapro 10mg, Sulfasalizine 3000mg/day, Azasan 100mg


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 11/3/2008 4:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I suggest massage. Usually my headaches are caused by tension - too much of which will trigger a migraine :(

If he's still having problems, best to call the GP. Sudden, severe headaches can be worrisome.
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Osteopenia (hip and spine) diagnosed Feb 2006
Status:  Mild Flare
Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 100mg, Aciphex, Forvia, and a probiotic
Remicade: 1st infusion 06/17/08:  Next infusion: 12/02/08
Last Prednisone dose:  7/15/08
Co-Moderator UC forum:  Keep HealingWell running smoothly:

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 133
   Posted 11/3/2008 10:54 PM (GMT -6)   


  Is he taking any meds like Canasa or anything? Those can cause headaches and usually MD's/pharmacists don't tell you that until you say "you know I've been having headaches..."  Anyways, this is probably not great advice but I take Excedrin Migraine and on occasion I will take Advil.  Sometimes I have such headaches that taking the Advil once won't kill me but will alleviate the headache.  Make sure to take it with milk (if he can handle that) or with some food in his stomach.  I've had plenty of bad flares but none that I feel was caused nor worsened by taking Advil.


30 years old; diagnosed since 1997 (but I've had it forever)
Current meds:
-Prednisone 5 mg!
-Re-trying Imuran; I'm at 125 mg now...but it's making me so tired!
-Asacol 12/day
-Failed Remicade (8/06-8/07)
-Calcium + Vitamin D (for my steroid-affected bones)
-Prenatal vitamins (for the extra stuff, not for pregnancy)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 163
   Posted 11/3/2008 11:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I was and am able to tolerate prescription migraine meds without a problem, currently Relpax works for me. Definitely call his internist and see what they recommend. You do need to take the meds right at onset of the headache for them to work most effectively. In a pinch, Tylenol with Codeine works well too, and this is actually good for UC, as codeine slows things down a bit, poop-wise.

I find that ice helps until the meds kick in -- alternate an ice-pack wrapped in a cloth on the forehead and at the base of the skull at the back of the neck.

Migraines are the worst, hope he gets relief soon!
Dx Mild Proctitis 7/06 at age 33, Dx Severe Pan Colitis 5/07, Dx Crohn's Colitis 10/07
Failed Asacol, Lialda, 6-MP, Canasa, Rowasa, Proctofoam, Entocort, Remicade, Humira
10/10/08 colon removed, temporary ileostomy
Prednisone dependent, now down to 10 mg
2nd of 3 surgeries planned for Jan '09 to form j-pouch

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 11/4/2008 6:58 AM (GMT -6)   
AFAIK the advice is avoid Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) which include ibuprofen (brufen etc) and aspirin but paracetomol should be fine.

Currently in no mans land between flare and remission

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4412
   Posted 11/4/2008 9:30 PM (GMT -6)   
The only thing that works for me is taking 2 Aleve (naproxen NSAID). It's generally not recommended that we take NSAIDs, but they don't seem to cause me problems and my GIs have okayed occasional use for my headaches. Sorry to hear your son has a bad headache.

Diagnosed with UC March 2007; Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day; Rowasa; Canasa; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin; sublingual allergy drops

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