Preparing for your appointment can help you make the most of your time with your doctor.
I’ve been navigating migraine medical appointments for over 7 years. I understand first-hand how overwhelming they can be and how hard it is to cover everything you want to in such a short amount of time.
Over the years, I’ve learned a few tips to make doctor’s visits run smoothly. Preparing for your appointment and bringing notes with you can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. To help you get started, I’ve put together five questions to ask your doctor about migraine at your next appointment.
Migraine is a complex neurological condition with many subtypes. It’s important you take the time to understand the type of migraine you have and its associated symptoms. The more you understand about your migraine, the better equipped you’ll be to manage it. Ask your doctor to clearly explain your migraine diagnosis before discussing the different treatment options.
One of the best ways to effectively manage migraine and reduce the frequency and severity of attacks is to try a prophylaxis treatment. Typically this type of treatment will be considered if you’re having 4+ attacks a month and over-the-counter medication isn’t relieving symptoms. There are several preventive options to try, such as:
Ask your doctor about the preventive options suitable for you and the side effects associated with them.
Once you’ve decided upon a preventive treatment plan, it’s time to focus on the acute side. Acute treatments are used at the first sign of a migraine episode to abort an attack and give you relief.
There are many different options to try, including traditional oral medications like NSAIDs and triptans and newer medications like Gepants and Ditans.
There are several factors to consider when planning your acute treatment, such as timing, dose, anti-sickness, and delivery. For example, if you experience vomiting with an attack, you’ll most likely do better with an injectable triptan or nasal spray than oral medication.
Once you’ve worked together with your doctor on an acute treatment plan, ask about what to do if this first-line plan fails to abort an attack.
So often, it can feel like you only discuss medication and treatments in appointments. In reality, managing migraine takes so much more than just a prescription.
Ask your doctor what else you could be doing to manage your migraine. What supplements do they recommend? What changes to your daily routine/lifestyle could make a difference? How could you better manage triggers? What should you record in your migraine diary? Most doctors will be pleased to share their wealth of knowledge with you.
Don’t overlook this question — you might just learn something that makes all the difference!
At the end of your appointment, it’s a good time to ask about new treatment options on the horizon. Knowing what the next steps are if your current treatment plan isn’t successful can be really useful to know in advance. It gives you time to research and consider the different options available to you ahead of your next appointment.
The treatment landscape for migraine has changed dramatically over the last few years. There’s more hope for migraine relief than ever before.
Doctor’s appointments for your migraine can feel overwhelming or unproductive if you aren’t prepared. Writing down your questions beforehand and taking notes can help you make the most out of your appointments. You and your doctor are a team with the same goal — finding you migraine relief.
Medically reviewed on August 10, 2022
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