Journal of Migraine Sufferers

My 35 year old sister suffers from cluster headaches. the headaches come on instantly and the 45-60 minutes they last are completely debilitating and scary. She gets 3 to 4 a day. Imitrex (sp?) helps her immediately but, she can't afford the cost and was told she could only use one injection in a 24 hour period. The tablets take too long to work so is not a feasible solution. Anyone suffering these type of headaches?

Desperate..please e-mail

I am looking for help for a coworker's husband who suffers from cluster migraine in a non-ending attack for the last year and one half. He started on demerol injections and now graduated to morphine. Lynda just told me that her husband now gets 3 shots a night alone to alliviate pain. They both are a the end of their tether and I am trying to find some answers for them. It seems that they are convinced that nothing more can be done.

Do you have any suggestion? Any help would be much appreciated.

---Annelise Bork

I am a 35 yr. old male and have been plagued with headaches since early childhood.Through the years they have increased in frequency and duration; at this present time, I am experiencing 2-3 intense migraines per week with some degree of head pain almost daily. Medications I have tried include daily doses of beta blockers, Depakote,Elavil,and Sansert with no real results (decrease in intensity with Sansert, however I experienced side effects that required discontinuing it's use). At present, I use Imitrex and Stadol NS to treat each migraine.In the near future, I will going to a headache clinic and hopefully get some control over this problem.

I would like to add that the neurologists that I have been seeing the past couple of years have been very willing to prescribe what ever medications are needed to provide me with relief. Thanks for the opportunity to share this information with you.

---Gary Poletti

I'm new to this migraine thing and am probably suffering a bit more today because I've been sitting at my computer screen checking out the topic on the internet! Thanks for all your info & support Ronda.

I am currently in day-5 of a headache--which my Dr. tells me is a migraine. I have never been diagnosed with migraines before and do not know of any family history. I believe the onset was missed meals (low blood sugar) but have never had one that lasted so long or changed so frequently in its severity. My Dr. prescribed Naproxen but I have had to supplement with Tylenol to dull the pain. I am concerned about this, having read info. on how over-the-counter drugs can actually contribute to this problem.

From what I've learned so far, migraines seem to last 72 hours max. Is it also common to have migraines that last 5 or more days?

I would appreciate whatever help I can get.


Four years ago, I had a spontaneous dissection of the right carotid. Since then, I have suffered with headaches every day. My old neurologist prescribed Fiorset, which I took for two years.They made me drowsy and did not have a lasting effect. He did not know how to correct this and I recommended that I see a headache specialist. I went to N.Y. Montifiore Hospital. First, he weaned me off of fiorset because he thought that they were causing rebound headaches. Since I have been seeing this doctor, I have been on calcium channel blockers. Most recently, I have been on the beta blocker Inderal 120. There still is no relief. The headaches vary from mild to severe, especially when I concentrate. I've been living with them since the stroke. Needless to say, I am depressed, lack energy, and lose weight when the nausea is present. Can anyone suggest something else for my relief?


I have been suffering with Migraine headaches for the last six or seven years. At first I was able to control them with pills. I started with Midrin and Tylenol with codeine and then phrenilin and gradually with Darvocet and Fiorocet. They continually got worse and more frequent, lasting for three or four days. I started going to the ER or Urgent care at Kaiser and they would give me shots of demerol and composine and send me home to sleep it off. I heard about Imitrex injections and asked my neurologist about them, and he approved my taking Imitrex. I learned how to give myself the shots by auto-injection and when it works my head- ache is gone anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes. I've had the headache come back and taken another shot an hour or a day later. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 shots to rid myself of the headache. Its not fun and I never know when its coming on.

I've also tried behavior modification classes, lidocaine, and Imitrex in pill form and none of them worked. Only Imitrex gives me some relief. I would love to hear from others with similar problems. By the way, the migraines are usually on one side, causing pain above the eye and back.

I also take a beta blocker every night called Nadolol, which is a generic name, and I take 75 miligrams of Elavil every night, which is supposed to make the pain less intense. I believe it has, as I no longer get violently ill and vomit, which I did quite a few times. After reading some of the other case histories, I guess I've fared better than some and worse than many.

I hope I can help my sharing my story. I would be interested to hear about any other solutions.


Dear Ronda: So happy to find you. It is hard to believe I am not alone. Like yourself, I am a daily sufferer. Imitrex has helped a great deal. I can function better because, even though they do not eliminate all of the pain, they do lessen it (usually). I then use firoinol to get through the remainder. They had previously lasted for 2 - 4 days, and were constant. They are still recurring daily, but I know that within a few hours I can find some relief. They are at least lessened to a liveable degree. I also must use fiorinol to retard the onset (hopefully) and also to lessen the pain while I wait the two hour period it takes for imitrex to work (tablets). I only use the injection in cases where the pill does not work.

Congratulations on finding some relief...I think much is caused by rebounding, but it doesn't matter....they are still unbearable. They always seem to come in the a.m....great way to start the day. And then, of course, the cycle continues, since the pain is unbearable and we must resume medication, even knowing we will rebound. I will not get lengthly because I am new on the internet and have been having trouble transmitting (of course, user error.)

Good luck with your headaches, let's hope your relief is lasting (or at least lessening).