Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Migraines and Steroids

My Migraine Cycle and Steroids

Migraine and chronic pain are part of my life. While I may not have migraine pain every day, I do have some sort of head and neck pain to contend with on a daily basis. It is what it is, and some days are easier to deal with than others.

When I get a migraine attack there is a very specific protocol I follow that together with my doctor we have developed. This protocol starts by taking a Midrin equivalent (my abortive) to stop the migraine process. Some of my attacks require multiple doses, others do not. Keeping my fingers crossed, the migraine will have been aborted. If the attack lingers for another day, I repeat the  Midrin. However, if I have taken two days of migraine abortive medication and the migraine persists, it's time for rescue medication, dilaudid. It's important that I follow this plan because I am very susceptible to medication overuse headache. Three treatment days and if my protocol doesn't work, I'm to contact the doctor.  

Recently, that's just what happened; my three day protocol didn't work and I knew this migraine wasn't going aware without some additional help. I contacted my doctor's office (who have always been very accommodating) to try and schedule an infusion to break this  cycle. A staff member took my message and said she would talk to the doctor and get right back to me. She did as promised, but the answer wasn't one I expected. The doctor wanted me to try a three day Medrol dose pack. WHAT? In the past steroids have not worked to break a migraine for me and in fact have made other conditions I have, idiopathic intracranial hypertension worse. I calmly said that wasn't going to work and what about that infusion? Again, she would contact me right after she spoke with the doctor.

Time was ticking, my head was hurting and I'd been sick to my stomach for days. And now I was starting to get a feeling that there wasn't going to be an infusion that day. As I was waiting for my phone call, I glanced at the clock I saw it was 1:30 p.m. and immediately knew there was an issue. From previous experience at my doctor's office I remembered they like to have their infusions completely set up by 1p.m. It takes a few hours to complete an infusion and I had missed their "deadline" by a half hour!

When the woman called me back, who by the way was very pleasant, the new plan was to try Decadron, a steroid for three days. As I groaned, she went on to explain the doctor wanted to make sure I took two pills that day and then follow the prescription as written. Plus if I didn't feel any better in the morning, I was to call first thing and schedule an infusion. Even though I was less than pleased, I decided to give it a try, besides I just didn't have it in me to be a power patient at that point. I believe it's been well over 10 years since I've tried this steroid so I had my son get the prescription, and I followed the doctors orders.     

Imagine my surprise when I woke up the next morning with less migraine pain! It wasn't completely gone, but was definitely on its way out. Needless to say I was shocked and pleasantly pleased by this. This would be the first time I'd been able to break a migraine cycle with steroids. I still felt crappy I continued to finish the prescription and the migraine did go away. Yes, I can say Decadron was a success and will try it again.

Have you ever tried something to no avail then tried it again and it worked? Let me know and we can compare notes!

Thanks for reading,


                                      Follow me on  or 

© Nancy Harris Bonk, 2013.
Last updated July 6,  2013. 


  1. So glad a second try was the trick for you! I've done this in the past. Sometimes it worked, other times not. It's tough to roll with the changes when our doctors spring them on us though. I am definitely one to plan them out in advance. Lessens the stress when I'm Migraining, which is really important :)

    1. Hi Ellen,

      Thanks for reading! You know as happy as I was that it worked, it really was short lived. I've been struggling, like you for a bit now. I'm wondering if it may be the gluten I've been "sneaking" into be food plan....... :(

  2. What is your Midrin alternative? That use to help me when it was available but sadly it's no longer on the market. I'm glad the steroids helped you. I agree with Ellen, changes are hard but sometimes they prove out to be worthwhile, in your case :)

  3. Hi Julie,

    The Midrin alternative I take is isometheptene/dichloralphenazone/acetaminophen. Sadly, the steroid success was short lived.....

  4. Thanks Nancy for such a great and valuable post related to health issue.
    Buy winstrol online

    1. Hi Suzane.
      Thanks for reading, and please accept my apologies for responding so late to your comment! I really do appreciate your kind remarks.

      Have a good day,

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Dealing with migraine setbacks I think anyone with migraine disease or other chronic illness can identify with setbacks. As frustra...