Reader Stories

Migraine Stories: Laura’s Success

Seroquel has proven a successful headache preventive for Laura of Headaches and Movies. After a year of being totally incapacitated, she is fully functional — working, moving out of her parents’ house and going out with her “awesome roommate.”

As always, everyone’s body is different. What works for one person may not work for others. Even if Seroquel isn’t the drug for you, it’s heartening to know that there are (many) success stories. Laura wrote, “. . . I couldn’t imagine my life being better right now. There’s nothing overwhelmingly fantastic happening, things are good. And life being good is a damned nice change.” Her post shares her story in more depth.

Congratulations, Laura! May life continue to delight you.

4 thoughts on “Migraine Stories: Laura’s Success”

  1. Just began 100mg Seroquel last night. I have had migraines for 20 years almost every day. Triggers are foods, stress, some prescription meds, body position (had whip lash 20 years ago and have since had migraines). Am also approaching menopause but how can they get any worse?
    I get auras only as a withdrawal symptom from one medication. The only symptom I rarely get is nausea so I guess I’m blessed in a way.
    I have and use imetrex (sumatriptan), maxalt (not with imetrex), butalbital (limited as it is addictive). Other things: ativan to prevent stress reaction; flexeril to knock me out and relax my back/neck – this sometimes helps and at least lets me sleep.
    Because I never threw up, it took years and finding a friend who became a doctor before I found maxalt worked. Before that I only had OTCs that never worked. I must have been a bitch; I had a very hard time all day at work every day.

    Oh, I also take 160 long acting inderal(propranolol). Inderal is the best thing on earth besides imetrex and maxalt. When I first took 20mgs or so each day I had 1 entire month without a headache. It was the first month, only month I’ve had headache free!! I totally love inderal; I add 20mg extra inderal with other meds for treating some migraines.

    So Seroquel, between 50 and 200mg is something I will try too. I love the knock-out effect as I have trouble sleeping. The dry mouth is very difficult but eventually you go to sleep without ever swallowing again for the night.

    sleep = peace for my migraines and me.

  2. Seroquel is an atypical antipsychotic, and is not particularly prone to causing tardive dyskinesia. If you are reading information that discusses premarketing adverse events reported to the COSTART system, you should be aware that all symptoms are reported, and no effort is made to determine whether or not they are related to the drug in question.

    In the initial studies, the patients being treated had diagnoses for which they had likely been treated in the past with other antipsychotics, and may well have had symptoms related to those medications.

    I see no reason why the company would be “sued out of existence” for one diagnosis any more than another. In fact, in the studies done for depression and for bipolar disorder, the incidence of akathisia (a form of highly restless movement disorder) and other extrapyramidal symptoms was equal to or less than placebo. Tardive dyskinesia was seen only in the schizophrenic population.

    In light of the high comorbidity of severe migraine and major depression, I see no reason why this should not be considered as a reasonable treatment option.

    Hmm… Maybe I’ve found a new med!


  3. Seroquel has side effects that are both common, severe, and sometimes irreversible–tardive dyskinesia is bad even by the usual standards of brain drugs. I expect the reason they don’t market it for migraine is they would be sued out of existence.

    Thanks for pointing this out.


  4. Arrrgh! Pet peeve. I really like Seroquel as a headache preventative medication when the usual things have not worked. It works for a lot of people; it helps sleep; and it helps anxiety.

    So, why won’t the manufacturer do a drug study of this medication for migraine?

    The condition for which it is approved has a 4% prevalence. Migraine has a 12% prevalence. And yet, the pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, does not seem to see the value of migraine/headache as a disease state.

    I don’t wish to minimize the impact and distress of mental disorders, but migraine and chronic headache has significant impact and distress as well. Why not seek an additional indication for an already successful drug? After all, Topamax and Depakote started out as medications for epilepsy.

    FDA approval for a particular condition like headache or migraine would go a long way toward getting a given medication on insurance formularies, and getting better reimbursement (lower copays).

    I’d never heard of using Seroquel for migraine before I got this message from Laura. It’s a shame migraine isn’t a flashy enough illness to get attention from the pharmaceutical companies.

    You’ve gotten me thinking a lot about the stigma of headaches. This article on the stigma of epilepsy ran it Tuesday’s New York Times:


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