Chronic Migraine – what you can do to prevent its development

As with a variety of health issues, chronic migraine is best treated by preventing its occurrence in the first place. Once chronic migraine has developed, its successful treatment, with remission back to the episodic form, will require the expertise of a migraine specialist to achieve.

What are the risk factors for chronic migraine development?

  • Increase in headache attack frequency
  • Overuse of acute headache medications
  • Obesity
  • Disorders of mood (anxiety or depression)
  • Insomnia, disrupted sleep

 What can you do to prevent chronic migraine?

  • Patients with episodic migraine need to avoid completely the use of strong opioids such as Endone, Oxycontin, and or Pethidine.
  • Many patients are also not aware that common over the counter medications such as Nurofen Plus, Panadeine, and Mersyndol, contain codeine, which is a weak, but potentially addictive opioid.
  • If your headache frequency is increasing, seek review with a migraine specialist, do not wait until your headaches occur daily before you get help
  • Treat headaches early and aggressively, your migraine specialist will be able to provide you with a plan for acute headache treatment
  • The addition of a medication to prevent migraines may be required, and your migraine specialist can advise you of your available options.
  • Begin and stick with a regular exercise plan
  • If you are overweight/obese, commence a weight loss program
  • Seek treatment for any co-existing disorder of mood or sleep

Information: Information on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

 References: Migraine ‘Chronification’: What you can do, Headache 2009, American Headache Society, Rothrock MD
Over the counter sale of codeine pain killers such as Nurofen Plus and Panadeine may end, April 2015, Sydney Morning Herald, Aisha Dow, Julia Medew