Migraines are a type of headache that tend to cause other symptoms, too, such as nausea and vision problems. They can last for a few hours to a few days. But a migraine that lasts for more than 72 hours is called status migrainosus. To treat it, you may need to go to the hospital to get help relieving the pain and dehydration from vomiting.
A typical migraine can sometimes turn into status migrainosus if:
When a tension headache strikes, most people head for their medicine cabinet or drugstore, looking for an over-the-counter painkiller such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
But if you get them often, that plan can backfire.
“Frequent use of these drugs can cause rebound headaches,” says Priyanka Chaudhry, MD of the Baylor Neuroscience Center Headache Center.
There can also be side effects, as with any medicine. Taking too much acetaminophen is bad for your liver, and overdoing ibuprofen can upset...
A common medicine for halting status migrainosus is dihydroergotamine (DHE-45, Migranal). You can take it as a nasal spray or through a shot. Another drug, sumatriptan, comes as a shot, nasal spray, pill, or skin patch.
People with blood vessel problems should avoid these drugs, though.
If you get migraines often, you may want to take medicines to prevent them. The drugs may not completely keep your headaches away, but they may help you have fewer attacks that can turn into status migrainosus.