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​​​​​What is a status migraine?

Migraines are a type of headache that can cause other symptoms such as nausea and vision problems and can last for a few hours to a few days.  However, a migraine that lasts for more than 72 hours is called a status migraine, or status migr​ainosus​.  ​​​A typical​ migraine can sometimes turn into a status migraine if treatment is not received early enough after the attack starts, the right treatment​ is not received, or to much headache medicine is used.  

​​​What ​are the symptoms of a status migraine? 

The warning signs of status migraines are similar to those of a typical migraine.  Symptoms include:

  • ​Head pain
  • Sensation of sparkling lights or other vision changes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Trouble thinking clearly

​​Because the condition lasts for at least 3 days, there is a risk of dehydration and sleep loss because of prolonged vomiting and pain.

​​How are status migraines treated?

​A common medication to stop status migraines is dihydr​oergotamine​ which can be taken as a nasal spray or through a shot.  Sumatr​iptan​​ is another medication that comes as a shot, nasal spray, pill, or skin patch to stop status ​

Some headaches may require immediate medical attention, including hospitalization for observation, and diagnostic testing.  Treatment is individualized, depending on the underlying condition causing the headache.  Full recovery depends on the type of headache and other medical problems that may be present. ​