Q. I get three to four migraines per month, sometimes with aura, sometimes without. I find that my biggest triggers are my menstrual cycle and stress. Given this, which medication is more effective for migraine prevention: beta blockers or calcium channel blockers? Continue Reading
My constant daily headaches began 36-years ago and they continue. The onset was sudden and I remember the day very well with extreme pain one evening. My head has constant pressure 24/7 from the occipital area to the top of my head. As the day goes on, eye pressure pain builds as the headache tends to worsen. I always feel like I have a vice on my head…squeezing my skull and neck muscles. Sometimes, the intense pain is felt before I even open my eyes in the morning, but typically the pain grows stronger as the day goes on. I AM NEVER WITHOUT PAIN! Continue Reading
Musician Janet Jackson was recently in the news for interrupting her music tour due to attacks of vestibular migraine, a rare form of migraine marked by dizziness as its primary symptom, rather than pain.
Migraine sufferers often experience dizziness, but vestibular migraines are much different than regular migraines. The attacks of dizziness, which can make an individual feel as though he or she is spinning, rocking or moving in some way, can come on suddenly and be accompanied by several other symptoms, including extreme sensitivity to light, sound and motion, nausea, hearing loss and weakness in the extremities. Some people also develop a chronic form of vestibular migraine and experience a constant sense of dizziness. Continue Reading
The calcium channel blockers are a group of medications that have been used for treating a variety of cardiovascular disorders such as high blood pressure. These medications alter the movement of calcium ions into muscle cells of blood vessels. This effect can sometimes prevent blood vessel changes, which are involved in migraine and cluster headache. Continue Reading
Nimodipine (brand – Nimotop®) is a calcium channel blocker which may be helpful in reducing both cluster and migraine headaches. Research studies in Europe have been encouraging. In the United States, the FDA has approved this drug for treating post aneurysm hemorrhage (bleeding). It is very expensive and for this reason is used infrequently. It may be helpful to headache patients resistant to other treatment.
Side effects can include stomach and bowel complaints, irritability, light-headedness, fatigue and menstrual discomfort. Your physician should monitor you while you are taking this medication.