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Includes Expert Content
In theory is it possible differentiate a migraine from a lupus headache by its treatment?
Fesser98Sp posted:
So since I am waiting for the labs to come back I was thinking...

I have had migraines for approximately five years now, and to date the most effective treatment is IV Toradol(NSAID). The only other migraine treatment that has worked has been Relpax(which is not covered under my current insurance) and is thought to have some anti-inflammatory properties(at least if I'm understanding the drug company literature). The Toradol is only strong enough to be effective for me in the IV form, when given as a muscular injection the headache will linger for more than a day.

Maxalt in combination with Propranolol has been almost worthless, it barely slowed the pain. Imitrex injection(aside from the painful side effect reaction I got) helped but that took almost an hour to really work and it nearly sent me into a panic attack.

The Tordal works in less than 15 mins. The last time I had to go to the ER the PA was AMAZED by the drastic improvement in me. I have to be careful with medications as I tend to be very sensitive to the side effects.

So since I am in the process of trying to find out what is wrong with me, and hoping to get a lupus diagnosis(I know that no one wants lupus, but I really would like to know what is wrong with me and its the only shoe I can find that seems to fit). I am still looking for any information to help the NP who is my new primary, with ideas to help figure out what is wrong with me.

So does it make sense that a migraine that responds better to NSAIDs than standard migraine medication, would more likely be classified as a lupus headache. Or is it still just a migraine? And could it possibly have any bearing from a diagnosis stand point?

Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated. :)
squirmy1963 responded:
Very interesting. I don't know. I have migraines, and I have Lupus. I've never asked if the migraines are Lupus related. From what I understand, you respond better to anti-inflammation medicine. So it would make sense that an inflammatory disease might be causing you Migraines. Keep us posted on what your doctor says.
David Zelman, MD responded:
Migraines can be associated with lupus but are not usually the only finding. So for example even if the ANA was positive and migraine was the only problem it would be unclear whether that in fact you did have lupus. The fact that toradol works better for you does not have any particular diagnostic significance. The nature of the headache should be clarifed by a neurologist preferably. There is no specific test for migraine and it is often diagnosed based on clinical characteristics. In your case doing an ANA ( for lupus) may not add insight but rather cloud the picture especially if it is positive and you have no other supporting evidence for lupus. Hopefully that helps
David Zelman MD
Fesser98Sp replied to David Zelman, MD's response:
Thanks for the replies and the insight. I am waiting on an ANA, ESR, RF, Lyme Titer, and Vit D level. My NP wants to be thorough. I am having a combination of joint aches, muscle pain, migraines, photosensitivity, and my UA regularly has protein and casts. I had just been wondering if it would help in diagnosing one way or the other. I figured it couldn't hurt to ask.

Andie_WebMD_Staff replied to Fesser98Sp's response:
Hi Fesser,

I understand how frustrating it can be to not understand why your body is having different symptoms and waiting for diagnosis. You just want some answers to explain, and it's tough to be patient when your head is pounding.

I just thought you might also be interested in posting your question to our Migraines and Headaches Exchange which also has a WebMD Expert on board.

Hope you find some solutions soon!


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