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HeadWay, Issue #114 -- Migraine Prevention, The Best of 2013
December 21, 2013

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In this issue:

More Questions: BPA, Migraine Prevention, and Deseril

Don't Miss These 2013 Posts

Say what?!  Ergot alkaloid

More Questions: BPA, Migraine Prevention, and Deseril

We're going to end 2013 by answering a few more of your excellent questions...

BPA and Migraine

Judie from the USA was asking about BPA and migraine - read more here:  Does BPA Trigger Migraine?

Migraine Prevention?

Mary from Ireland wanted us to talk about migraine prevention.  Of course, this is a very big topic, and it will vary to some extent from person to person.

One of the first things you need to think about is lifestyle changes.  This means exercise, a proper diet, good posture, and avoiding those "bad habits" that everyone knows we should avoid. :) This is the area that's ripe for New Year's Resolutions.

Many people have found that they could almost eliminate migraine attacks through identifying and eliminating certain triggers.  Avoiding certain foods is the most common here, but there are many triggers.

Next we get into supplements and non-drug treatments.  There are some excellent treatments here which may be more benefit than drugs.  Chiropractic treatment, biofeedback, trigger point therapy, magnesium supplements, and much more.

There are many reasons to avoid drug therapy, but it may be necessary, even if it's temporary while you try some of the above options.  Preventative medication has helped many many people stop migraine in its tracks.

For more, with links to more information, read about migraine prevention here.


Stephanie from Australia is looking for alternatives after methysergide (Sansert / Deseril) was discontinued.

Methysergide is an ergot alkaloid (see below) that was used in migraine and cluster headache treatment.  Concerns that it sometimes causes retroperitoneal fibrosis, a disorder that can cause kidney damage or failure.

There are other related medications which are available, but of course they will work a little differently.  Some examples:  Methergine (methylergonovine maleate), Ergotrate (ergonovine maleate), Ergomar (ergotamine).  You'll need to do your research and talk to your doctor about these options.  Do not assume you can just take the same dose or take it in the same way as you took Deseril.

This also may be a good time to look at other possibilities for migraine prevention.  If you've been on methysergide for a long time (or even if you haven't), you'll probably find that there's a wide variety of treatment available to you that didn't exist before, both drugs and drug-free treatments.

More information:  Methergine for Migraine Prevention and Migraine Medications: So many choices

Don't Miss These 2013 Posts

I can't believe it's almost 2014!  I'll probably feature some of the most popular posts of the year at Headache and Migraine News, but here are my 12 favourites, posts that I think you shouldn't miss...
  1. How many headaches are too many in a week?
  2. Magnesium for Migraine (graphic)
  3. What is behind the dreaded Cluster Headache?
  4. 10 Triptan Facts You Need to Know Now
  5. Help! I have a Headache!
  6. Sinus Headache – Probably Migraine.
  7. About Your "I Cured my Migraines, You can too!" Website. (an open letter)
  8. Migraine: Why Genetic Studies haven't Solved all our Problems.
  9. 10 Things to Tell Your Doctor
  10. Why do you say that Migraine isn’t Headache?!
  11. Should I Lose Weight to Fight Migraine?
  12. Migraine Triggers: Don’t Believe the Headlines (and the myths)
Don't forget to visit Headache and Migraine News for more year-end posts!

Say what?!  Ergot alkaloid

Ok, so what actually is an ergot alkaloid?  An "ergot" is actually a certain kind of fungus.  It has a very specific need - it lives as a parasite on various types of grasses.  They can be dangerous because of the toxic substances they produce.

Alkaloids refer to a variety of bases that are mostly made from nitrogen.  They are found naturally in plants.  And so an ergot alkaloid is derived from a certain type of fungus, and is used for a variety of medicinal purposes.

Thanks for reading!  Remember, if you have feedback or ideas for future issues, visit the HeadWay MailRoom.  Your password is nomoache.
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