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    Old 06-14-2007, 04:02 PM   #1
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    New here - Menstrual Headaches??

    I am new to the headache boards however I am not new to headaches!! I am a 33 year old female who has suffered from Migraines for as long as I can remember. I get them several times during the month, however they ALWAYS come during my menstrual cycle. I have tried everything. I have tried a preventative drug called Topamax but I could not handle the side effects. I have tried Hydrocodone, but this tends to work for just a little while and then the headache comes back even stronger. Currently I am on Frova and Fiorcet with Codene. They tend to slightly lower the pain, but the pain is still there. I have also tried upping my magnesium intake around my menstrual cycle. NOTHING seems to work.
    I had a baby 14 months ago. I had a migraine the ENTIRE time I was pregnant. The pain was so constant and so severe that I have decided to not have any more kids. Now, I am going back on the BCP and I am trying Yasmin. This is my first period since starting Yasmin. I have had a steady migraine for two days. I am getting frustrated. Nothing I have tried has worked at getting these darn migraines to go away. Now that I have a baby - it is very hard to go lay down for two days.
    Does anyone else have "hormonal headaches" and if so, have you found anything that has worked??? HELP!!

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    Old 06-14-2007, 04:51 PM   #2
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    Re: New here - Menstrual Headaches??

    I have been suffering from them for 2 years now.
    I am on my third neurologist....
    I have been told that PMS, Ovulation, and hormones are a trigger.
    I have tried a number of things - Frova, Imitrex, Amitriptyline - Elavil.

    So far, there is no perfect solution...sorry to say.

    I have been advised to take a preventative since my headaches have become very frequent. So, right now I am debating where to go from here. I am scared from a lot of the medications side effects. Today I was recommended to take Cymbalta but read so many negative things about it, that I doubt I will try it.

    So, you are not alone, but it is very frustrating to find out what works!

    Old 06-15-2007, 10:16 AM   #3
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    Re: New here - Menstrual Headaches??

    I too, have menstrual headaches/migraines and am trying to figure out how to eliminate them. I have 4 children (the youngest being 2) so I just KNOW that my hormones are screwy. Before my next cycle I am going to try taking an iron supplement each day, exercising more, avoiding the migraine triggers, and perhaps taking a hormonal natural supplement like Estroven (which seems to have helped me in the past). Here is an article about Menstrual Migraines that is also helpful:

    There are a number of medicinal and non-medicinal treatments for the prevention of menstrual migraine. These treatments often work best if combined.

    Non-medicinal Treatments for Menstrual Migraine Women with migraine are generally more susceptible to dietary, physical, environmental, and other triggers for migraine attacks during the week before and the first few days of their period. Following are some guidelines that can decrease the likelihood of having a migraine from these triggers.

    1. Eat regularly scheduled, well-balanced meals. Avoid missing meals because low blood sugar and hunger are frequent triggers for migraine attacks. On the other hand, avoid eating sweets or meals the contain a lot of carbohydrates because doing so might lead to a rapid drop in blood sugar levels two to three hours after you have these foods (this is sometimes called a “sugar or carbohydrate crash”).

    2. Drink plenty of fluid. Avoid dehydration because this too is a frequent migraine trigger.

    3. Get a good night’s sleep. Follow a regular and consistent schedule of waking and sleeping. Avoid going to bed late, “sleeping in,” becoming sleep deprived, or a haphazard sleep schedule.

    4. Stay away from well-known migraine triggers such as wine, beer, or other alcohol containing drinks; chocolate and other sweets; aged cheeses such as cheddar or Brie; and salty foods, especially during the week before your period.

    5. Participate in a regular aerobic exercise program. If you have not been exercising regularly, discuss exercise plans with your doctor or a personal trainer and set up a physical conditioning plan that matches your needs. Start your exercise program slowly and gradually build up your level of activity as your physical condition improves. This type of treatment works best if you continue the exercise program on a regular basis, not just on weekends or only once in a while.

    6. Learn and regularly practice biofeedback and other relaxation techniques. These types of treatment have demonstrated excellent benefit in clinical studies; and best of all, there are no potential side effects.

    Short-term Prevention of Menstrual Migraine Short-term migraine prevention, often called “mini-prophylaxis,” can be used to preemptively manage predictable migraine attacks such as those related with menstruation or ovulation. Your physician may prescribe a medication that you begin taking a day or two before the expected onset of headache and continue taking on a regular daily schedule for five to seven days. There are several medications that have been used for mini-prophylaxis of migraine.

    1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, in “prescription strength” dosages have been used successfully for the prevention of menstrual migraine. Women with stomach ulcers or certain kidney problems usually cannot use these medications. Consult with your physician before taking any over-the-counter medication.

    2. Migraine-specific drugs such as triptans or ergot derivatives also have been successful for short-term prevention of menstrual migraine. Women with certain heart or circulation problems might not be able to use these medications.

    a. Ergot derivatives, such as ergotamine tartrate, dihydroergotamine, or methylergonovine, have all been used for mini-prophylaxis. Nausea and muscle cramps might occur in some women. Dihydroergotamine is available as a nasal spray while the other two are tablets.

    b. A few triptans have been found effective for mini-prophylaxis of menstrual migraine in clinical drug studies. The medications that have been studied specifically for this purpose are frovatriptan, naratriptan, and sumatriptan. These medications generally are better tolerated than the ergot derivatives.

    3. NSAIDs can be used together triptans or ergot derivatives in cases of menstrual headaches that do not respond to any of these medications alone. Triptans and ergot derivatives should not be used together or within 24 hours of one another. Non-medicinal treatments can certainly be added to any of these medications, and this often is a way to get the best results.

    Long-term Prevention of Menstrual Migraine Long-term prevention, which means taking preventive medication(s) every day of the month, might be required if migraine attacks occur too frequently (ie, averaging more than four headache days in a month), migraine attacks cause too much disability, or medications used for mini-prophylaxis are not effective, too expensive, or unsafe to use because of other medical conditions. There are many different kinds of medications prescribed for long-term migraine prevention. The medications most often used for migraine prevention are blood pressure lowering drugs such as beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers, antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs. Each medication in these classes of medication has its own benefits and side effects. Your physician will determine which medication is best for you. Sometimes you may need more than one medication to control particularly resistant headaches. It is not unusual to try several medications or combinations of medications before the best treatment is found. It might take several weeks for a medication to demonstrate its benefit.

    Old 06-16-2007, 09:57 AM   #4
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    Re: New here - Menstrual Headaches??

    Thank you both for your replys. I will look into everything you both mentioned. It is nice to hear I am not alone, however, I feel for anyone who has to go through this.
    Well my migraine got worse and I ran out of Frova and the fiorcet was not working. I called my doctor to see if there was something else they could give me and they told me no and I should go to the ER. I WAS SO mad . I know there are like 20 different migraine meds out there and since the "two" they gave me was not working I have to go spend a hundred dollars and 4 hours in an ER. But I couldn't take the pain any longer so I got my husband off work and away we went. The doctors office said I would get some demoral and be on my way. HOWEVER, that is not what happened. They gave me adavant (I guess for anxiety), something for nausea, some anti inflammatory and benadryl. I was like...hugh? None of this sounds like it is going to help my migraine. I was so mad. I was about to puke I was in so much pain. HOWEVER, strangely enough, it worked! I felt really tired and went home and slept for six hours. But I feel better today. Who would of guessed it?
    But, I need to work on the foods I eat before my period. I crave sugar and salts and I tend to give in to those. I WILL TRY to work on that. I also think if I can find a pill that stops my periods all together or at least for a few months at a time, it will help. I think the ups and downs for the BCP is what makes my headaches worse. This is my first month back on the pill in two years and I think that is why my migraine got so out of control.

    Anyway...I will look into all the info you guys mentioned. I am going to keep trying until I find an answer!

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