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Is my wife suffering from migraine?

Q: My 25 years old wife is suffering from headache on one side, fever and severe cough for the last eight days. We consulted a doctor who advised a MRI, which confirmed maxillary sinusitis on left side. But the pain was on right side and symptoms are - one side headache, throbbing type, stays for 2-4 hours, recurring on one side every 2 days or once daily. The doctor confirmed it as migraine. We have an eight months old child. The doctor told her to stop feeding and prescribed Valance 250 in the morning and Eliwel 10 at night. She is also taking Naxdom and Vasograine. Is my wife suffering from migraine? Is she on right treatment?

A:Migraine headaches are usually unilateral (one sided), but it is not a rule. On the other hand, all one-sided headaches are not migraines. Many types of headaches may be associated with photophobia (intolerance to light) and phonophobia (intolerance to sounds / noise).

In presence of an infection (sinusitis / cough / cold / fever/ etc), it is not advisable to characterise the natural behavior of a headache and to label it migraine or otherwise. Even if the MRI shows maxillary sinusitis on the left, this may trigger or worsen the headache on the right or there may also be mild sinusitis on the right side.

My suggestion would be to take a 7 day course of a good antibiotic (cephalosporin group), an anti-allergic like cetirizine, and an anti-inflammatory drug like Brufen- Paracetamol combination. If after this the headache still persists, obtain a second opinion from another neurologist. I would also advise to stop valance, naxdom and vasograine, and resume feeding the baby.

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