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Migraine Infusion Therapy: What to Know

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Experiencing migraine symptoms? When over-the-counter medications are not an option, infusion therapy may be an effective alternative. 

Keep reading to find out if this is the right treatment option for you.

What are migraines and how do they differ from headaches?

Migraines are chronic headaches that cause throbbing pains, lack of sleep, sensitivity to sound and light, nausea, and weakness, which impact overall quality of life. Those who suffer from migraine headaches typically feel an ache on one side of the head.

Migraine pain is more intense and incapacitating than headaches. To diagnose migraines, healthcare providers conduct physical and neurological exams or review a patient’s medical history.

Treating migraines may also require the use of oral medications such as triptans and magnesium oxide, or migraine medications taken intravenously or via a nasal spray. Sometimes, headache specialists also suggest lifestyle changes like staying hydrated and frequent exercising.

Despite having access to pain-relieving and preventive medications, some patients still fail to get pain relief. In such cases, infusion therapy may be a more effective alternative.

What is infusion therapy?

Infusion therapy, also known as IV therapy, is a method of treatment where a medical professional administers medication directly into the bloodstream via an IV drip by inserting an intravenous catheter into the arm. 

Many people consider IV infusion therapy to be a form of inpatient hospital care since IV catheters are typically connected to a hospital or emergency room. Contrary to popular opinion, however, medical professionals can also administer infusion therapy in an outpatient setting.

IV infusion may help relieve the severe pain caused by migraines. There are new FDA-approved medications used for this purpose, such as Eptinezumab-jjmr and Dihydroergotamine (DHE), which, In clinical trials, have proven to be effective treatments. Even chronic migraine sufferers showed improvement in the tests.

5 benefits of IV therapy for migraines

IV therapy provides migraine relief in numerous ways:

1. Boosting your hydration

Neurology-associated diseases like migraines require hydration for treatment and prevention. When dehydrated, your brain temporarily shrinks, causing severe headaches. But getting enough water each day is easier said than done.

IV therapy increases your hydration level more quickly and efficiently than drinking water. This helps in migraine alleviation.

2. Providing a full dose of vitamins

A lack of vitamins is another cause of frequent migraine attacks. Vitamin IV infusion treatment provides your body with essential vitamins for migraine relief.

3. Providing needed electrolytes

Lack of electrolytes like magnesium can trigger migraines. IV therapy uses an electrolyte-rich solution to help relieve your migraines while preventing new ones from occurring. When you increase your electrolyte level, you are also regulating your blood pressure and assisting muscles, such as your heart, to contract.

4. Calms overactive nerve endings

Overactive nerve cells send impulses to the blood vessels at the beginning of a migraine. This causes the release of hormones like serotonin. When these hormones are released, blood vessels near nerve endings swell, causing a migraine.

IV therapy targets the proteins that cause overactive nerve endings, calms the nerves, and stops the process that causes migraines.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are usually recommended for the treatment of migraines. Most of these are over-the-counter drugs that are administered orally. These drugs, however, take a relatively long time before the bloodstream absorbs them to provide relief.

One advantage of IV infusion therapy is that it is administered directly into the vein and into the bloodstream where it works quickly to alleviate migraine symptoms. Most patients experience immediate improvement after receiving IV therapy, and they observe that its effects linger for days or even weeks after.

Am I a candidate for infusion therapy?

You can try IV therapy if you have tried other treatment options without success and are looking for something to quickly and effectively alleviate migraine pain.

Another consideration to determine if infusion therapy is right for you is the occurrence of medication overuse headaches. This is a secondary headache triggered by taking strong migraine medications like triptans. It’s a cycle that is difficult to stop because discontinuing the drugs will cause the primary headache to resurface but continuing will cause medication overuse headaches.

If this is your case, IV therapy might be just right for you as well since it helps break the cycle.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. It’s for educational purposes only. Consult your healthcare provider to be certain that IV therapy is right for you.

Side effects of migraine IV therapy

Common side effects of IV therapy are nasal congestion and sore throat.

Other, though rare, side effects include:

  • Pain and redness at the site of injection
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Breathing problems
  • Swelling of the tongue, lips, throat, and/or face

If you notice any of the above, promptly report it to your healthcare provider.

How Local Infusion can help

At Local Infusion, we provide a dedicated Infusion Guide to support you during the course of your treatment. They provide clear answers to all your questions, from what to expect in your first infusion session, to financial guidance and support.

Contact us if you’re interested in learning more. We’re always happy to help.

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