If Only There Were A Magic Pill

I have seen countless patients suffering from migraines who attempt to manage their long-term pain by taking Excedrin Migraine on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. This doesn’t work.  Medication might temporarily relieve pain in some instances, but it always fails to treat the underlying causes.

What’s in Those Tablets?

Excedrin Migraine is a combination of three different active ingredients. These ingredients are:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Aspirin
  • Caffeine

Acetaminophen works by interacting with the central nervous system to raise the threshold of tolerable pain in the body. Aspirin works by decreasing inflammation and pain and can also help with swelling. The caffeine causes the blood vessels in the head to narrow, which can in turn help with the pain. These three drugs work together to help relieve migraine pain symptoms.

All drugs have side effects, and Excedrin is no different. Most of these unwanted additional conditions stem from the acetaminophen and aspirin, and include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rashes
  • Stomach bleeding
  • Difficulty sleeping

As if these weren’t reason enough to seek alternative treatments. Not every approach works for everyone, which is why I encourage patients to seek a more holistic approach to migraine treatment.

There’s a Better Way to Find Relief

One of my main concerns about migraine medications is that they work by treating migraine symptoms, not underlying causes. Often, migraines are caused by underlying health problems, ranging from issues with hormone production to unknown infections. In fact, some migraines can be stopped with a few changes to a patient’s daily routine.

In these cases, it isn’t enough to simply take a pill. The only way to stop the pain associated with migraines is to treat the underlying causes. Excedrin Migraine, for example, won’t fix your hormone imbalances, and even if it works to relieve your migraine symptoms temporarily, symptoms will get worse the longer the primary problem is ignored.

So, what do you do? Stop looking for a magic pill. Instead, take a preventative approach. Regular migraine sufferers should begin by working with their doctor to create a proactive plan to reduce migraine frequency. Migraines should be tracked in a journal, and the plan should be adjusted based on the effectiveness of the current treatment. This helps your doctor see the patterns, which will make it easier to home-in on making the invisible, visible.

Also, the patient should seek out information on the do’s and don’ts of migraines to better understand their situation and things to include and avoid. By learning what to pay attention to, you can better communicate with your doctor to come up with a unique and effective plan.

Where to Go from Here

If you have been taking Excedrin Migraine to no effect, or you are just tired of sweeping your symptoms under the preverbal rug, it’s time to take a more natural approach to your migraine treatment. Spend some quality time finding a doctor who will treat you as an individual, not as a number or a bag of symptoms.  With a good doctor, the two of you can work towards eliminating migraines by treating the source of your pain.

Don’t know where to start? Are you tired of your doctor giving you a one-size-fits-all plan? I offer phone consultations to patients around the world. Reach out to me. Together, we can get you on the path to health.

Sources:

Healthline- Excedrin Migraine: Side Effects, Dosages, and More

American Migraine Foundation – What to Do When Migraine Treatment Fails?

Migraine.com – What to do when nothing’s working for your migraines