Hemiplegic Migraine

Hemiplegic migraine can be safely treated with triptans (drugs like Imitrex, Maxalt and other).

This is the conclusion of a study published in the September issue of journal Cephalalgia. A group of Finnish doctors gave triptans to 76 patients who suffered from hereditary and non-hereditary forms of hemiplegic migraine – migraine that is accompanied by temporary paralysis of one side of the body. They found that triptans worked well and none of the patients had strokes or any other serious reactions. According to the FDA, triptans are not to be given to patients suffering from hemiplegic migraine because they potentially could cause a stroke. No strokes have ever been reported, but it was thought that constriction of blood vessels in the brain during hemiplegic migraine is responsible for the weakness and giving triptans could worsen this constriction and cause a stroke. In the past several years we have learned that weakness is caused by a disturbance of brain neurons rather than constriction of blood vessels. Many headache specialists use Imitrex and similar drugs in patients with hemiplegic migraine and several years ago Drs. Klapper and Mathew have already reported on their positive experience in a small group of patients.

  1. Dr. Mauskop says: 08/05/200810:32 pm

    I would consider visiting a major medical center, such as Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN or Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

  2. Rebecca Miles says: 08/05/200810:10 pm

    Help – Please! My son is 4 years old and has severe hemiplegic migraines. He started havng them at age two and goes into a hemiplgic coma once evey three or four months. The coma can last anywhere from 36 – 78 hours. He is also paralyzed on one side. We need answers, We need help. Where can I find a specialist? We live in Cabot Arkansas, but will travel aywhere to see someone who specializes in this condition. Thank you so much. (501) 743-6939

    Rebecca Miles – Mother of Reece Andrew Miles – Age 4

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