What Do You Need To Know About Migraines?

What Do You Need To Know About Migraines?

Throbbing pain in the head, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, it sounds like you may have a migraine. ​A headache is described simply as constant pain.

Throbbing pain in the head, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, it sounds like you may have a migraine. ​A headache is described simply as constant pain in the head. While a migraine, on the other hand, is defined as a recurrent throbbing headache that generally affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision. Migraines are not just simple pains in the head, but they can bring visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch, smell, etc.

Significance Of Migraine

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are exceptionally prevalent, being the 3rd most common illness in the world. Approximately 39 million people, including children, are affected by migraines in just the United States. Migraine is a more common problem among women than men and usually affects people between 18 and 44, although people of any age can suffer from these irritating headaches.

Types Of Migraine

There are primarily two types of migraine:

  • complicated migraine (with aura)
  • common migraine (without aura)

Aura describes specific symptoms that refer to neurological disturbances, such as bodily weakness and visual disturbances. However, migraine headaches can be further classified depending on symptoms. For instance, a person who suffers a migraine each month for at least 15 days could be diagnosed with chronic migraine.

Cluster headaches, another possible type of migraine, may have similar symptoms. These don't usually last as long as a migraine but can be more painful. These intense headaches can involve radiating, almost burning pain that may make your eyes swell and possibly even your nose run. Cluster headaches are so powerful that they have garnered the name "suicide headaches."

Symptoms Of Migraine

Migraine usually causes a pulsing sensation or a throbbing pain on one side of the head; however, migraine may also be experienced on both sides of the head. Migraine attacks may last for a few hours to several days, and the pain can be sufficiently intense to interfere with your daily activities. Other symptoms typically accompany it.

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light, noise, and smell
  • Upset stomach
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hot flashes or cold (chills)
  • Pale skin color
  • Feeling tired
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Tender scalp
  • Tingling or numbness in the extremities or face
  • Diarrhea, in rare cases
  • Fever, in rare cases

Causes Of Migraine

Even though a significant amount of research has understood migraines, a specific cause is not always known. Both genetics and other environmental factors play a role in the underlying factors. Most people dealing with migraines regularly are able to point out certain triggers that seem to be associated with their severe headaches.

Migraine Triggers

Hormonal changes in women

Imbalances in estrogen, such as before or during menstrual periods, pregnancy, and menopause, seem to trigger headaches in many women.

Hormone imbalances in the brain

Any changes in the brainstem and its relations with the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway, might be involved. Imbalances of chemicals in the brain chemistry, e.g., serotonin imbalance, suspect migraines treatment, as it helps regulate pain in your nervous system.


Medications including oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin, can aggravate migraines with aura. However, some women also state that they find relief in their migraines when taking these medications.


Migraines may be caused or worsened by using alcoholic beverages, especially wine, and drinks containing too much caffeine, such as coffee.


Any type of stress can cause migraines.

Sensory stimuli

Sometimes, your body may respond to bright or flashing lights and loud sounds by inducing migraines. Moreover, strong smells such as perfume, paint thinner, secondhand smoke, and others can also trigger migraines in some people. We can conclude by saying that over-stimulation of any senses can result in migraines.

Changes in sleep patterns

Getting too much or too little sleep can trigger migraines in some people.

Physical factors

Migraines can be provoked by intense physical exertion such as sexual activity.

Weather changes

A variation in weather or barometric pressure can trigger a migraine.


Foods that underwent processing or aging might trigger migraines. The same is the case with very sugary and salty foods. Foods containing additives like sweetener aspartame and the preservative monosodium glutamate (MSG) can provoke migraines. Also, skipping meals can cause severe migraines too.

Risk Factors

Numerous factors make you more prone to having migraines, such as:

Family history

Having the problem of migraines in people in your family means that you have a good chance of experiencing it yourself. As far as genetics go, a child with two migraine-suffering parents has a 75 percent chance of being a migraine sufferer.


A person of any age can develop migraines, though the first usually occurs during adolescence. Migraines tend to reach their peak during the 30s and gradually become less intense and less common in the following decades.


Women develop migraines thrice as common as men.

Hormonal changes

Women with migraines would probably experience headaches shortly after or before menstruating. It is mainly because of the fact that estrogen levels fluctuate during menstruation, pregnancy, or even menopause. However, these start to get better after menopause generally.

Treating Migraines Through Ketamine

Ketamine is a medication that has been used for anesthesia for decades now. It is a dissociative anesthetic as it brings sedation more quickly as compared to other similar medications. Although it is mainly used for relaxing or sedation if used in high doses, using them in low doses can help relieve severe pain efficiently.

Ketamine medication produces an analgesic effect without having to do anything with opiate receptors in the brain like opioid pain medications. As a matter of fact, ketamine has been used instead of opioids to help reduce pain after surgeries or similar painful procedures. Ketamine has an effect on the N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors in the brain, so it acts as a signaling molecule to manage pain. The drug has naturally gained prevalence in treating untreatable pains such as migraine.

Ketamine Nasal Spray

A number of studies have successfully examined ketamine for its functioning against specific types of chronic pains, including migraines. A study in 2012 found that patients who took part in the research and received ketamine infusions intravenously experienced pain reduction significantly. Another study in 2013 concluded that intranasal ketamine helped people with migraine with prolonged aura.

In 2017, a study involving 61 patients with migraine showed that 75 percent of them experienced improvements within a week of usage of ketamine infusion therapy. Moreover, their pain intensity on a scale of 1 to 10 fell from 7.5 at admission to 3.4 on discharge. All these patients did not see any improvements in their condition with other treatments.

In 2019, researchers examined the efficacy of intranasal ketamine for children. The patients experienced a collective 66 percent reduction in migraine pain when each of them was given intranasal ketamine doses.

Get Ketamine Nasal Spray from Harbor Compounding Pharmacy

With the strong offerings of ketamine to help migraine sufferers, more patients have now begun to note this medication. If you are one of those sufferers of migraine and are looking to find eternal relief, please contact us at Harbor Compounding Pharmacy. Our talented pharmacists will work with you and your doctor to determine if intranasal ketamine could be right for you.

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