August has many of us taking time off and enjoying vacations. This is a perfect time to upgrade your strategy for dealing with migraines when you're back at work. We offer a practical plan, plus a migraine toolkit you can keep at work. We also take a quick look at how you can be part of the newest migraine research studies, and how widely used NSAIDs carry the same heart risks as OTC pain-killers that were taken off the market years ago.

As always, if you have "migraine success stories" to share — or ideas for articles, let us know! We truly enjoy hearing from our readers.

Tina Sanders

Linpharma Customer Education



Coping With Migraines at Work

Migraine pain and the accompanying light sensitivity, nausea, and dizziness can be truly debilitating. In addition, chronic migraines can play havoc with your ability to work. Plus, repeated episodes of calling in sick can be embarrassing--and sometimes even career-limiting. This is yet another reason it's so crucial to find a prevention strategy that helps reduce the frequency and severity of your migraines. Even with the most effective preventive strategies, however, you can still experience migraines--and they may strike at work. Before that happens the next time, here are some practical ways to minimize the impact.

Stay out in front of migraine attacks

  • Maintain your prevention regimen. This can include avoiding triggers, using supplements, meditating, and getting regular meals, exercise and sleep.
  • Let your boss and coworkers know that you get migraines. Help them understand that the pain and nausea can be debilitating and that although you're using preventives to help lessen the frequency and intensity of migraines, there is no 100% cure. When you call in sick, it's because you are.
  • If possible, identify a spot in the workplace where you can lie down if a migraine strikes. Discuss this with your employer ahead of time. Remember that migraine can be considered a disability under the law, and that you have the right to ask for accommodations.
  • Have a plan for how you'll get home if a migraine becomes too intense for you to stay at work. This might include having a friend or family member who can come get you in an emergency, or putting an app like Uber or Lyft on your phone so you can easily call for a ride.

Be alert to early-warning signs

  • Learn to recognize prodrome. This is the first phase of the migraine. If you experience auras with your migraine, the prodrome typically comes before the aura symptoms. Your own prodrome is unique, but pay attention to typical signals that a migraine is coming, such as excitability, irritation, unusual thirst, intense food cravings, increased need to urinate or a sleepy feeling accompanied by frequent yawning.
  • Act quickly. Take non-sedating acute medication or a painkiller that includes caffeine (like Excedrin). Apply a cold pack to your eyes or the back of your neck. Stay hydrated. Some scents can be triggers for some migraine sufferers, but sniffing lavender oil is often said to be helpful in keeping a full-blown migraine from developing. Try massaging your face, head and neck.

Take Time Out

  • Retreat to a dark, quiet place. Lie down if you can and give the medication time to act.
  • Loosen tight clothing and try to relax your mind and muscles by practicing meditation techniques, such as focusing on your breath.
  • Suck on a piece of crystalized ginger to ease symptoms of nausea. Ginger tea is also a good option, but you have to walk to the break room and wait while it brews.

If Your Migraine Keeps Coming...

For some people, allowing themselves to vomit can actually defuse the intensity of a migraine. If that ins't an option--or it doesn't help--and your pain medication isn't kicking in, you may need to activate your emergency plan and call someone to help you get home.

Migraine Toolkit for the Workplace CLICK HERE

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Be Part of the Newest Migraine Research

Ever wonder what new migraine treatments and preventives are being studied? You can find out with a visit to this government website:

Just go to the site and enter "migraine" in the search box. When we were writing this article, that search pulled up 758 new and upcoming migraine studies, covering everything from weight loss and migraines, to ginger, intranasal cooling, acupressure, surgery and the drug frovatriptan. For any study, you can click to find out more, including who is sponsoring the research (e.g. Wake Forest School of Medicine).


This is an excellent way to explore the newest migraine research currently underway. Plus, if you’re interested in taking an active part in the research, you can find contact information for studies that are actively recruiting participants in your geographic area.

NSAIDs: More Dangerous Than We Realize

One of the reasons our newsletter stresses natural migraine prevention is the danger that is often associated with even widely used over-the-counter medications. We�re now learning this is indeed the case, with the danger of using NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories) such as ibuprofen, naproxen and diclofenac greater than previously recognized.

We�ve long known about side effects such as the potential for stomach bleeding or liver damage. We�ve even seen newer forms of NSAIDs taken off the market because they increase the risk of heart attacks. But now, very recent research (March 2016) highlights the serious cardiac risks that even older NSAIDs can pose for people with heart issues apparently to the same extent as the newer NSAIDS that were taken off the market.

For our readers who like to follow up and read the primary research, here is the citation: Cardiovascular safety of non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: review and position paper by the working group for Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy of the European Society of Cardiology. European Heart Journal, 2016.

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