Since 2004, I had had maybe four to six migraines per year. They are not that bad, lots of sparkly lights, bad headache, difficulty speaking for about an hour, waste of a day. From what I have heard, that is not too bad.
But during chemo, yikes! That number has jumped. (I have gotten a migraine on both of the last two days.) So my primary care physician gave me a selection of migraine drug samples to see whether we could find one where I can stay upright and functional instead of having to go to sleep.
All of these drugs work different for different people, so the point is to find one that works for me.
Excedrin Migraine: This is what I have always taken at the first sign of blank spots. I basically rush home and go to sleep for a few hours to escape the pain, but then I am okay.
Treximet: I remember that I was not really impressed; it did not seem to be any better than Excedrin. I definitely went to sleep, but I am not sure if I tried to stay awake. Might be a good idea to try Treximet once more and take notes.
Relpax: Got rid of the sparkly lights very fast, but about 45 minutes into the headache, my head HURT a lot and I was actually nauseated. (Months of chemo, and it takes this migraine to nauseate me!) Almost exactly two hours into the headache, the sparkly lights came back. So I ended up in bed after all.
Frova: The sparkly lights lasted an extra long time and made it impossible to see anything. I never could have driven the car like that. However, for a few hours, I felt pretty good, minor headache only, able to watch TV. But five hours later, the entire headache came back. Sparkly lights followed by lots of pain. I took a second pill. I ended up in bed to escape the pain. Then later I was groggy.
Immitrex: The sparkly lights were very short lived. The headache pain was moderate. I could not read. It was best if I went to sleep. I could not have stayed at work through the migraine.
Maxalt: The sparkly lights lasted for the usual 20 minutes, but then no headache followed! I was almost perectly fine. I had a MINOR headache (more like a hint of a headache). I definitely could have stayed at work! Fantastic! No wonder this stuff is so expensive. (Updated June 2010)