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Has anyone had experience as a caregiver where the individual has awful migraine headaches from time to time. That coupled with the mid-stage dementia makes it almost unbearable at times. Our doc doesn't seem to think there is any type of medication that can be taken on a regular basis to give migraine relief. Currently just making occasional trips to the ER for treatment when the migraines get so unbearable they can't be tolerated. Any suggestions out there?

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I've suffered with dibilitating migraines all my life (I'm 57) and I don't have dementia. I take gapbapentin (900 mg) before bed. This is to keep the frequency down. At onset of a headache I take 10 mg of rizatripten and it works wonderfully in about 30 min. I started 20 years ago with Imitrex injections, graduated to tabs, Relpax and not rizatripten (generic). This takes away the pain, I'm able to be alert, functional and resume all normal activities without ill side affects. You will have to work with a skilled neurologist who specializes in headache therapy.

Speak with your doctor. The trick will be to recognize symptoms of the onset of the migraine (by dementia patient) so he/she can take the medication right away. Once you get the migraine and it takes hold, it is much harder to gain any relief from the migraine med.

I've tried everything from ice packs, steam, caffeine, cold drinks, ice cream, etc. -- but I couldn't function without the triptens. Migraines are the most painful and dibilitating headaches that are not treatable by common aspirin, etc. and they can last for days.

Find a good headache specialist in your area -- most regular doctors do not understand the condition nor are current on the best treatments and meds available to help the patient. Yes, diet, triggers are important but some are unavoidable triggers like hormone fluctuations, barometric changes, etc.
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My heart goes out to the elderly person suffering from migraines. I have chronic migraines and they are so debilitating. And in an elderly person with dementia it must be quite distressful. Is the person seeing a neurologist? They are the specialists who treat migraines. And they could also rule out some other cause for the headache as mentioned above (stroke,, etc). I found that primary care doctors just are not as knowledgeable in this area.

There are preventive medications, abortive prescriptions and over the counter meds as well that work; but, again, being elderly, different rules would apply and a neurologist would know best. Meanwhile, what I do to get some relief without medication is to get a hot water bottle and fill it with hot water to a temperature that is comfortable for the person. This is soothing. Depending on where the migraine is located (mine are in the back of my head or on the right side of my head) - I lay down on the hot water bottle. It's always good to be in a darkened room, away from sunlight as this exacerbates the migraine.

Also, if it is in the back of the head, my doctor has me put a cold can of soda at the base of my skull or a cold pack and this gives some relief. Some people do not like to apply anything cold (especially the eldery) but it does help.

I do hope you can get some help - and a good neurologist should be able to. Migraines are miserable. Take care.
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pstegman...please explain the use of an Epsom salt compress, are they commercially available or do you buy the salt and make your own? If so what is the best manner in which to make the compress that is most effective to relieve the headache?
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Wow headaches can be migraine and they can be stroke. If you are totally certain this is migraine, ask the MD about precautions in diet and what medications or supplements are good or bad. I have found magnesium is helpful, either Epsom Salt compress or Rolaids in a pinch.
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