Posted by: Lesley | 2009-08-13

Headaches and Medication

In your replies to people with Migraine or bad headaches you say the pills make them worse. How does one cope during a migraine without the pills. Going to the Headache Clinic is not a quick fix and I am ready to just die with the pain. How can we wean ourselves off the pills?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Lesley,
I am not sure what you mean when you write that ‘going to The Headache Clinic is not a quick fix’. If we find the cause of the pain, then we can usually treat it so that you don’t get the migraines any more, and you don’t need ‘quick fixes’ any longer.
If you mean that going to the clinic will not give you immediate relief when you have a migraine, this is not necessarily correct, as we also have excellent methods of treating migraine attacks, and are usually able to stop an attack in its tracks. The problem with this is that we don’t operate a 24 hour facility, and can only help people during working hours.
Of course if one has pain, one must take something, but in the long term it makes the headache worse, that is why the best course of action is to get the cause treated. The other ways to wean yourself off the pills are either to stop ‘cold turkey’, which can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, or to be hospitalised and receive medication while you come off the pills – this may make the process easier, but it unfortunately doesn’t address the original problem, and one is still left with the original headache.
Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on
This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic on 0861 678 911 (Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban).

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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