If it doesn't work - what could be the problem?

If you have read the above information thoroughly, it may occur to you that you have been on this or that medication for a long time - which your doctor has strongly recommended - and yet you still suffer from severe migraine attacks. There are a variety of mishaps that can occur in the treatment of headaches - both on the part of the doctor and the patient.

Below you will find a list of possible sources of error. Please view these as honestly and without prejudice as possible. If you find that you have made mistakes yourself, you should discuss this with your doctor. If you notice that the difficulties lie with your doctor, you should discuss this with him or her or have another doctor who is experienced in specific pain therapy recommended. Please always keep in mind: There is almost no such thing as a migraine that cannot be improved at all. And here are the most common sources of error:

  • It is another type of headache. This can be due to a lack of analysis, but also due to misinformation that you have given your doctor.
  • The patient is inadequately informed about possible triggers or the patient has provided too little information from his or her self-observation (migraine calendar).
  • Unrealistic goals have not been corrected: Unfortunately, a “miracle drug” or “miracle methods” that solve all migraine problems are not yet known. Simply lying down passively for acupuncture does not work. The “it didn’t help” points to a flawed migraine concept: it’s not “it” that can help, the patient himself has to make a comprehensive contribution to the improvement. The patient must take responsibility for his illness and not leave the treatment to the doctor alone. This also includes consciously organizing everyday life in such a way that the likelihood of migraines occurring is reduced as much as possible.
  • Unexploited options for migraine prophylaxis: Migraine prophylaxis serves to reduce the number of medications used to stop attacks. If these options are not exhausted, the risk of persistent headaches due to medication overuse and other side effects increases.
  • Lack of stimulus isolation: Patients should put themselves in a stimulus-shielded situation (dark, noise-protected room) and they should relax instead of continuing to work. Failure to do so will result in an increased need for medication. In addition, the medication cannot fully develop its effectiveness.
  • Taking medication too late.
  • Incorrect dosage form: Administration of acetylsalicylic acid in tablet form, for example, leads to uncertain absorption, especially if the tablets are not taken with sufficient liquid (at least 250 ml). Therefore, using it as an effervescent solution is definitely preferable. If the migraine is accompanied by vomiting, substances administered through the stomach cannot be adequately absorbed.
  • Underdose: Taking 500 mg of paracetamol or 500 mg of acetylsalicylic acid is usually not enough to stop migraine attacks.
  • Acute Overdose: Taking excessive amounts of medication can itself lead to vomiting and nausea.
  • Chronic overdose: The long-term use of medication to stop migraines can lead to persistent headaches due to medication overuse.
  • Administration of combination preparations or taking several medications: The combined intake of different substances increases the risk of permanent headaches due to medication overuse.
  • Failure to inform about the method of administration: Patients must be informed about the administration of an antiemetic at the beginning and about the administration of painkillers a quarter of an hour later.
  • Taking sumatriptan via Glaxopen during the aura phase: This cannot prevent the resulting headache phase.
  • Ineffective medications: Substances that are still not sufficiently effective are not being used to treat migraines. This applies in particular to the administration of opioids and other psychotropic substances.