Anyone got any tips for knocking a migraine when medicine doesn’t seem to be enough?

Hey there!

So I’ve had a migraine that has been going for a couple days now. Nothing entirely new, but it’s frustrating. Dark room, low noise, tried sleeping it off, taken multiple medications for it including my Ubrelvy which normally knocks it. It took the edge off, but now I’m going on day 3 with the migraine with no perceivable end in sight.

Anyone got any tips that normally helps them to knock their migraine that’s worth considering? Normally I don’t care too much as I’ve put up with them for years, but this one has me all nauseous which makes it that much more miserable.

Thanks in advance!

Edit: Sorry for not seeing the responses on this sooner. I went back to bed afterward and mostly stayed in bed and holy crap the responses blew up. I also called my neurologist and told them about it much like some of the advise that others have mentioned, and they started me on a round of prednisone to help. Fingers crossed it gets rid of it. Seems to be helping, but only time will tell. If it doesn’t, I’ll see about giving some of these a try. Thank you so much!


Oh no!

If you are not puking:

Water with electrolytes, dried cherries, and also sex with orgasm (or close to it) can help. A hot bath with ice cold cloths for your head.

But “status migraine” like that, for me at least, always involved so much vomiting that it got dangerous, has only happened maybe 6 times in the 40 years I have gotten occasional migraine, and has never stopped without emergency treatment. Heavy doses of opioids and promethazine, by injection, then sleep, is the only thing that really worked (the drugs don’t really break it just put you far enough away that you can stop.) This treatment worked every time for me but is no longer available. Now the protocol is some cocktail of liquid, electrolytes, Reglan, ibuprofen, and Benadryl. Which is slow and doesn’t really work but can stop the vomiting and make it less intense at least, and prevent the serious consequences of dehydration.


Fortunately I haven’t been puking, but got pretty close. I’m mostly recovered now but I’ll have to keep that in mind. The doctor set me up on a round of prednisone and that seems to be knocking it.

I’ve only had these kinds of migraines a handful of times and fortunately they’ve gone away on their own, though I had one that was like 10 days (which I know because it made me break down and download a migraine tracker). That was brutal. Figured after that one, and seeing that this one was taking its time I decided to call the doc, though I might just try the ER next time to see if they can do something even quicker.


Ask your doctor or medical advisor if CBD could be a possible option worth trying

Works for me, light dose before sleeping in a dark cool room


I’ve heard that suggested before, and that should be much easier to get here too. Might be worth at least asking.


Methylation vitamins like B2


I do take a multivitamin that does have some B vitamins in it.

Err…correction. I did take a multivitamin, but apparently I ran out and never picked up more. Checked after I started typing. So maybe I should see about picking up either B vitamins or multivitamins.


My b2 says 100mg daily is used for migraines, maybe read into that


I don’t get migraines but just pretty bad headaches and what helps me is staying in a dark room, putting an ice pack on my forehead and using a peppermint essential oil roller on my forehead and temples and then a muscle balm on my neck because often my neck muscles stiffen and that tends to make the headaches worse.

I hope your migraine lessens soon!

01189998819991197253, avatar

That sounds like migraines to me, based on what my doctor said. She said that headaches don’t really react to light changes, don’t normally react to ice packs, and don’t usually come with neck or back pains. Migraines, on the other hand, almost always do.

Did you know that some migraines are painless? I had no idea!


Wow, I had no idea! I was diagnosed with headaches due to wrong posture and wrong lens prescription as a child and I never had it checked afterwards, even though the headaches remained. I just did the exercises my physical therapist prescribed and had my lenses checked every year.

I just accepted the headaches as something I sometimes get and didn’t think it was anything worse, also because my younger brother has migraines and he has vision-like symptoms, I don’t. Figured that meant I didn’t have migraines.

I have all those things you mention. And no, had no ideas they can be painless! How weird is that! I see a lot of reading in my future and a talk with my doctor.

Thank you so much for your comment, it might help me get the right diagnosis for my life long headaches.

01189998819991197253, avatar

One thing I’ve learned with medical things: never accept a diagnosis years later. Things change in the medical field. Doctors learn new things. What was once diagnosed as forever headaches, can now be diagnosed as treatable or curable (depending on the root cause) migraines. I’m no doctor, but I always recommend to get reevaluated every few years. For me, regularly taking high quality vitamin D (5000 IU) cured my migraines.


Yeah, I hear you. Typically for me my migraines manifest as just really bad headaches and a complete inability to focus, and last for a few hours. Like what the other person said, if it is reacting to light, it’s probably a migraine.

I’ve heard of those peppermint rollers being useful before. Do you happen to have any you recommend? I can see about looking into getting one.


I make them myself! I buy the best peppermint essential oil I can find and I have some aromatherapy rollers on Amazon.

Then I add 5 to 10 drops of the oil to the bottle, top it off with almond oil or something like that and then put on the roller top. Put on the lid, and shake it and then remove the top. Roll it on your hand and check the scent, opening it up if the roller needs more and then I roll it on my forehead and temples when needed.

And I might have migraines then because I can’t stand light when the headaches strike.


Huh, interesting. Not sure why I never thought to try making my own. I might look into that. Appreciate it!


Most welcome! If you need any help, just ask. I make my own rollers a lot so I can help with any question.

feral_hedgehog, avatar

Might sound kinda dumb, but try dumping a bucket of (ice) cold water on your head.
The trick is to dump all the water at once and not gradually to get your body into a “I’m being attacked by lions!” state.
This is for instant relief. For gradual improvement try increasing your daily water intake - set reminders to drink a glass or two during the day and drink right before going to sleep and right after waking up.
Source: inherited migraines from my grandma and started getting them regularly around my teens.
Doing the above has made me nearly migraine-free except for when there’s drastic weather changes (when I get them with auras and everything 😵‍💫).
Good luck!


I’ll have to give that a try. Seems like something that could be easily done. I’m currently on a round of prednisone per my doctor and it seems to be helping, but given it sometimes takes a bit for her to get back to me, this seems like something that can be done a bit faster. Appreciate it!


I put my head under the tap with the coldest water. Inlet it run over my the base of my skull for minutes at a time. Within an hour, it was gone. I was shivering, but didn’t give s shit.

It was a shit-kicker of a migraine too. Day and a half before I tried the cold water thing. Puking. Sight-loss. Bad!

czer0_, avatar

I’m currently on a preventative medication called Vyepti and 5 mg nasal zolmitriptan for those pop-up cases.

Those two medications have literally changed my life, I went from 8 - 10 absolutely crippling migraines to 3 - 4 easily saved off with a dose of zolmitriptan.


Good to hear those are helping you! I’m actually on a couple preventatives currently, Aimovig 70mg and Amitriptyline 30mg, and then Ubrelvy for those pop-up cases as needed. They haven’t been perfect, but pretty awesome. I used to have headaches and/or migraines almost daily. Now I am down to maybe a couple times a month, and typically much less severe. Looking at upping the dose of the Aimovig as that has had the biggest impact. Hopefully doing so will help even further reduce it all.

czer0_, avatar

Yes, much like you I had crippling migraines nearly everyday. I dtried Amitriptyline but it really didn’t help. Switched to topiramate which improved things dramatically but the long term side effects of that were unbearable. Then moved to Vyepti about two months ago.


How has the Vyepti been helping out? Depending on how things go when we up the Aimovig, I might consider switching. Overall it’s been pretty great though, so I don’t want to switch away from it yet. No huge side effects and for the most part it’s been pretty effective.

czer0_, avatar

I’ve only had the one dose of it. Next one is due later this month but tbh it’s been great so far.

No side effects so far which is nice as I have had varying side effects from all the meds I’ve taken so far.

sofa-sogood avatar

I love one of those flexible blue gel ice packs sitting on the top of the head. I have a few, as soon as one starts to melt, I use another. I find the feeling invigorating and almost orgasmic. I don't think freezing the brain is harmful ...


Hey, I imagine freezing the brain would be much more pleasant than the alternatives. I have a couple of those ice packs right now sitting in the freezer. I should give them a try!


Induce vomiting if possible. I find that provides some relief.


I almost didn’t even need to induce vomiting. I try to avoid it because I absolutely HATE it, but I can see where that would likely have made me feel a little better.


See a doctor. My migraines were cured by taking an anti seizure medication for 3 years. That was 45 years ago. Haven’t had one since


I’m glad that worked for you! I tried a dozen different drugs before Aimovig, which is a CGRP inhibitor, biologic drug with only a handful of variants thats fairly recent. Everything else I tried (including beta blockers and an antiseizure medication) did nothing for my migraines and all had bad side effects. It’s a monthly injection I give myself, but it reduced the frequency of my migraines by 62% and severity by almost 80%.

I missed a dose last year (thanks VA), and I had the second worst migraine of my life, so definitely not cured. Fantastic preventative though.


I hope you find a fix. They are brutal to deal with


Thanks man. Aimovig works better than anything I’ve tried, and it’s light-years better than it used to be. As long as I take my shot every month, it’s manageable. I have maybe one bad migraine every six weeks, but even the bad ones are comparable to what I used to have every day, let alone the bad ones I used to get.


I’ve actually been going to a neurologist, so it’s funny you mention that. I used to have seizures as a kid and was prescribed keppra for them. I don’t recall them having an impact on my migraines then, but maybe others could help there. I’m on Aimovig now which has helped immensely, but every now and then a nasty one like this comes through, so they’re looking at upping the dose.

I ended up calling my neurologist and they put me on a round of prednisone which seems to be helping knock this one out.


I was described Dilantin. Apparently my migraines were actual seizures.


Funnily enough, I started to have seizures shortly after I first started having my migraines. That was many years ago, and fortunately they stopped, or at least they appear to have. I did ask about that, which prompted a followup EEG, which showed all clear though.


I have migraines a lot like that too. My doctor won’t help with them so I’ve never tried prescription stuff for it, but otherwise, all the stuff people have suggested has helped me. I also have one other thing that sounds like totalll woo-woo “The Secret” style nonsense, but helps for some reason. I imagine my migraine as a jumble of tangled knots, and imagine very gently untangling them. It’s tricky because focusing too hard on it (or on anything really) just makes the migraine worse. I have to kind of do it in the lowest effort way possible. But when it works, it really really works! Almost immediately. My hypothesis is that what I’m actually doing is untensing a bunch of tense muscles in my face/neck/temples/etc that I don’t seem to have much conscious control over.


Hmm…this almost makes me think it is acting like a sort of meditation. Given migraines can be triggered by stress, and in particular (after doing a little googling on my own) these long, persistent headaches seem to be linked to stress, I could see that being useful. I’ll have to give it a try. Thank you!


Microwaved damp towel. Hot as I can take it. Meds don’t do jack all once it’s started. (Edit: cluster headache.)


Ouch. I’ve never had cluster headaches (that I’m aware of) but I know a guy that gets them. Sounds absolutely awful. You have my sympathies.


Appreciate it;)


I’ve had good results from taking baths. My migraines are a bit weird but a bath often helps me quickly.


Sounds simple but yeah same here


My chemistry teacher taught me a trick that knocks the pain back for a little bit - cold head and hot hands. Basically, cool my head down with ice wrapped in a small wet towel, while heating my hands up somehow. It’s supposed to pull the blood away from your head which lessens the pain.


I could at the very least see it being relaxing, which would help reduce stress which in theory could help. Do you just run a bath and get in, or do you put any special bath stuff in it? I’m more of a shower person, myself, so as silly as this sounds I don’t know how to prepare the “optimal” bath lol.


I’ve had intractable migraine pain, and yes I’ve seen the docs, have meds (that usually knock it out) but sometimes a head massage is needed, especially if you’ve been stressed for a while.

The temple areas, as well as big muscles in your neck on either side of the spine. I’m lucky my wife seems to know the exact pressure points to hit.

That’s more of a tension headache fix, but sometimes its part of it.

Being a long term patient of neurologists (migraines, seizures) and having a wife who works in neurology I tend to believe the doctor she worked with who stated that once you have migraines, all headaches are a migraine clinically. They’re just more or lwwa debilitating based on severity.


Being a long term patient of neurologists (migraines, seizures) and having a wife who works in neurology I tend to believe the doctor she worked with who stated that once you have migraines, all headaches are a migraine clinically. They’re just more or lwwa debilitating based on severity.

Interesting, I’ve always categorized them by whether they go away from standard painkillers or if I need to use rizatriptan. Migraines are much more frequent for me than normal headaches but I still do have ones that go away when I take some tylenol or ibuprofen. I’ve been lucky so far that my migraines almost always go away after 1 rizatriptan, and I’ve never had one make it past a second one.


That’s my diagnostic tool as well. My GO told me to use the rizatriptan as my first medicine, so if that doesn’t kill it then I know it’s not a migraine.


If you think that’s ingesting, look into silent migraines.

Essentially, you get all the physiological issues with migraines except the pain.

So being sensitive to light and sound, loud noises, nausea, the whole shebang, just no pain.

Also, interesting bit of theory, in Alice in Wonderland, the growing/shrinking and dilation of space is thought to be a side effect of migraines and its thought the author suffered from them.

Its actually called Alice in Wonderland syndrome.

I’ve experiened it myself, if your heads been fucky and seems like that hallway got longer, or that road got shorter, it could be a side effect of a migraine.


Might have to ask my SO to try giving a head massage to see if that would help me. I’m not normally a massage person, but hey if it can help then I’m all for giving it a shot.

And yeah…I’ve been putting up with migraines and headaches for…maybe 20 years now? Typically I can knock them with some combination of excedrin migraine and Ubrelvy, and have a couple different preventatives, but sometimes I get nasty, persistent ones that just wanna hang around for a while. My neurology basically said to treat them all as migraines, even the headaches that can be wildly different in their manifestation.

Mothra, avatar

Hormones sometimes trigger migraines. I don’t know your sex and age, but you happen to be going through menopause this could be related.

I know this isn’t helpful but if ot keeps happening it’s something I would ask my doctor- to check my hormones are okay. And yes you can have hormones out of whack if you are male too.


Fortunately/unfortunately I can confirm that it would be bizarre if I had menopause as I am both too male and a tad too young for that. 😆 Probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to get hormone levels checked though, if for no other reason than to help identify a potential root cause.


My wife has a few things she tries - success varies from migraine to migraine…

  • She has flexible ice pack hats she keeps in the freezer.
  • She chugs water.
  • She chugs caffeine.
  • She smokes/eats weed.
  • She takes a caffeine pill, l-theanine (for caffeine jitters), acetaminophen, and ibuprofen and tries to nap before they kick in.
  • She does the usual dark room, no screens thing.

Good luck! I hope you find some relief soon :)


This is pretty much my list as well, sans the weed because my sense of smell is too sensitive during a migraine. The ice packs are the thing that pushes me over into recovery territory.

You don’t need anything fancy, get 2 gallon baggies, fill one about halfway with ice, add a little water, and then seal it up inside the 2nd baggie. I rest my head on it like a pillow but i have a lot of hair that acts a buffer. If it’s too cold, wrap it in a thin kitchen towel.

Then I let time and rest do its thing. If the ice has melted and the migraine isn’t gone, I make another bag.


Someone else mentioned the ice packs, which besides the weed is the main thing from that list I haven’t really tried already. I’ll have to give that a try since I do have some ice packs in the freezer…not sure why I haven’t thought to try it. I’ll probably pass on the weed though. Between legal issues with it where I live and just overall poor experiences in the past with it, just doesn’t sound appealing. Glad it helps your wife though!

And fortunately I was able to get in touch with my neurologist, who set me up with a round of prednisone. That seems to be helping, which is a huge relief.


So happy to hear that you’re getting some relief :) and I hope the ice packs help! Good luck to you, friend.

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