Migraines are a type of headache that tend to cause more than just head pain. The symptoms include nausea and vision problems.
A migraine headache can last for a few hours a day to several hours. But a migraine attack that lasts for more than 72 hours is called status migrainosus. This may require hospital treatment to relieve the pain and treat dehydration from vomiting.
Hemicrania continua, or continuous headache, is a rare type of headache that doesn't stop.
The pain is felt on one side of the face or head. It varies in severity.
Patients with hemicrania continua describe a dull ache or throb that is interrupted by periods of pain that is:
These attacks usually happen three to five times a day.
Some patients will have these headaches steadily for months or years. In others, the pain will go away for weeks or months. But then...
A commonly used medicine for halting status migrainosus is dihydroergotamine (DHE-45, Migranal). This is a migraine treatment that dates back to the 1940s. The drug may be taken as a nasal spray or through an injection.
Another drug that can halt status migrainosus is sumatriptan. It is given as an injection, nasal spray, pill, or skin patch.
However, people with blood vessel disease should avoid these drugs.
If you have frequent migraines you may want to take medicines to prevent them. These may not completely prevent migraines. But they may reduce the number or severity of attacks that can turn into status migrainosus.