Posted by: Cindy | 2009/01/27

Chemical inbalance - 24/7 migraine

I am diagnosed with a chemical inbalance in my brain 15 years ago. I am 30 years old now. I suffer from migraines 24/7. I just came out of hospital yesterday - was in for acute Migraine (3 weeks) and depression. was in for 5 days. My long term medication that I use is Deparoc 40mg per day. Now the doctor gave me Epilim SR 300mg per day to drink with the Deparoc. And if I do get a headache I must drink Myprodol for the pain. Since I left the hospital I still sit with the migraine and am taking the medication. Is this the right medication to use? Is there someone I can talk to in this field?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Cindy,

If you suffer from migraine, then medication is only a last resort – my first question to you is ‘Is the medication helping you?’ If it is not, then there is no point in continuing. Although there were theories about chemical imbalances in the brain causing migraine, they have till this day never been proven.

If you need someone to talk to, please call me on 0825555763 after 4pm any day, and I will be more than happy to discuss your problem.

With regard to depression, it is often a result of the constant pain, and when the pain is successfully treated, the depression lifts. Migraine can be successfully treated, but only if one can diagnose what is causing it.

To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

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 (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

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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