These are very anxious times, and that’s really not helpful if stress and anxiety is a migraine trigger for you.
The best advice we have for you is keep calm, and keep taking your medication.
There’s a lot of misinformation around on the internet and it’s hard to know what’s what. Fortunately our colleagues at The Migraine Trust and the American Migraine Foundation have developed handy guides to answer your questions about migraine and COVID-19.
The Migraine Trust page: https://www.migrainetrust.org/blog/the-main-questions-youve-been-asking-us-about-coronavirus-and-the-answers-weve-been-giving/
The American Migraine Foundation page: https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/covid-19-migraine/
Obviously there are some parts in these posts that are country specific. But, as a purely patient body, we are not doctors, and we cannot give you advice better than this.
The most important take away is that you are not more vulnerable to the virus because you have migraine – including people on the new CGRP medications – and if you need to see the doctor, try and do so virtually (what is being called ‘telehealth’ here).
Many public hospital outpatient clinics in Australia closed early on in the pandemic to enable resources and staff to be diverted help with the response to COVID-19. We are unlikely to see that again, however, it is something you may want to stay aware of if you have upcoming appointments that require going to the clinic.
If you need renewal scripts for your other medications, you should be able to get that via a telehealth appointment, and in most cases will be able to get your medications delivered to you at home. You will still need a neurologist to give you scripts for the Aimovig and Ajovy access schemes; either your neuro or your GP can provide you with scripts for Emgality and Ajovy provide the discount brochure/voucher. More info about CGRP medications
Our pro-tip: try to avoid going to emergency!
One of the easiest ways to avoid a trip to the emergency department is to stick to a routine. If you would normally go to work, and are not going to the workplace anymore, that may be a bit challenging, but you have plenty of friends in the Migraine Australia Chat Group who are experts at being housebound. Get up at the same time, have your meals at the same time, go for a walk at the same time, if you would normally have a coffee in the morning keep doing that. Routine helps keep the brain happy.
And if you do get a migraine attack take your triptan, or whatever you normally use to manage your attacks, fast. The earlier you treat an attack, the less likely it will get to the point that hospital is required.
If you think you need to go to hospital, then do that. Hospitals are largely functioning as per normal, but there will be extra questions and possibly a different process for getting into the emergency department. You can also call Health Direct, 1800 022 222, or your GP for advice before going to Emergency. As always, if it is an emergency, particularly if you have a hemiplegic attack with significant stroke symptoms that are unusual for you, call 000 and have an ambulance take you.
The vaccines are fine for people with migraine - including those on CGRPs
People living with migraine often tend to get anxious about medication side effects and the possibility of bad reactions. For good reason - people with migraine do tend to be more sensitive! The best information we have is that all the vaccines are safe, and while they may cause some mild flu-like side effects they should resolve quickly.
There has particularly been a number of questions about whether those using CGRP medications need to be concerned about the vaccine or may need to time their shots. There is no evidence that the CGRP migraine medications will interfere with your COVID-19 vaccination, or that you need to time them so you don't get them at the same time, but if you are concerned discuss it with your doctor.
We aware of a couple of reported cases of vaccinations triggering migraine attack, but they are rare. We will continue to monitor the reports.
Read the American Migraine Foundation's advice and an academic article on the safety of the vaccines for migraine patients.