The prognosis of migraine – will it go away?

How long will I suffer from migraines?  Will it ever go away?  These are very common questions patients ask their doctors.  Drs. Bigal and Lipton reviewed a recent large study that looked at what happens to migraine patients within one year of observation.  The study found that migraine completely went away in 10%, improved in 3% and worsened and became chronic (occurring on more than 15 days each month) in 3%.  This confirms what we’ve know all along – migraine headaches tend to go away with age.  In women this often happens after menopause and in men at around similar age; however this study and our experience indicates that for many people migraines may go away earlier, at any point in their lives.  The problem is that we can never predict when this will happen and in a small percentage of patients (about 3%) migraines never go away.  

8 comments
  1. Christy says: 05/12/20088:52 am

    I do worry about this. I’ve only been suffering from frequent migraines for 4 years now, but I feel like I have, in a way, lost those 4 years of my life.
    I also worry how long triptans will work well for me. They are a lifesaver, but I am concerned that one day, they will no longer work.

  2. Dr. Mauskop says: 05/12/20083:40 pm

    Triptans are true lifesavers for millions of migraine sufferers, and usually they do not lose their efficacy. However, if the headaches are frequent, magnesium, other suppelements, Botox and preventive medications is the way to go.

  3. Christy says: 05/13/20088:33 am

    I have been told that I’ve tried every class of preventative there is. I’ve also tried OMT. I have not tried magnesium, other supplements, or Botox yet, though. That’s good to hear that they usually don’t lose efficacy. I’m also sorry to hear you have migraines.

  4. Lori Mayotte says: 12/14/20089:48 pm

    Have there been any reports (that you are aware of) of migraines going away after a hysterectomy and/or removal of the ovaries? I’m wondering if this would have any effect.

  5. Dr. Mauskop says: 12/14/200810:10 pm

    While natural menopause brings relief of migraines to two thirds of women, surgical hysterectomy, even with the removal of ovaries, usually does not help.

  6. lucy says: 03/27/20125:00 pm

    I suffer from migraines, Infact i had one yesterday Im 16 and they often accour once evey two months, i hate them so much, some time i have to go to hospital for them because i suffer so bad, i get this vision ultering thing and i cant see, i hate getting it because i know im going to get a migraine id rather not know. it sucks because i cant eat to much sugar or stay up late because that can bring them on . ynd whn E gat tham mu radeng liiks leka thes. I cant see or talk properly, and i vomit and have the most painfell feeling in my head as if some one chopped my head open and put razer blades in my brain and is shaking my head around, fast then slow. What is the best thing to make it less painfull. or to help prevent them?

  7. Dr. Mauskop says: 03/28/201211:38 pm

    You may want to ask your doctor about Migralex and for a prescription of Imitrex tablets and injections, which are easy to inject yourself. For the prevention, avoiding caffeine, regular exercise, taking magnesium and CoQ10 supplements daily would be a good start, but see a doctor first.

  8. patricia zander says: 12/17/20127:55 pm

    I have had migraines all my life…just a few here and there in childhood. However, by the time I reached 30 I had a chronic condition. With every decade of life the frequency and duration of the attacks increased. I have tried all available treatments. I am 60 years old and disabled with daily migraine. Most recent treatment was botox; botox does not treat migraine successfully!

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