Steps You Can Take to Help Migraine Headache

Finding the right migraine treatment depends on getting the right diagnosis

Have you ever been told that your migraine headaches are “sinus headaches” or “tension headaches”? Misdiagnosis of migraine is very common. A recent large study found that less than 5% of people with migraine had 1) talked to their prescriber about their migraine symptoms, 2) received an accurate diagnosis, and then 3) received appropriate migraine treatment.

mystory is about a long search for answers

It took me 10 years to find that right treatment option.

Angie went from prescriber to prescriber looking for answers before she found a neurologist who started her on once-a-day Trokendi XR (topiramate) as her migraine prevention medicine.

Individual results may vary.

That’s why it’s so important to find a prescriber who really understands migraine headache

Headache specialists or neurologists who specialize in headache are the experts in diagnosing and treating headache disorders.

You will open a separate browser page for The American Migraine Foundation website. This site is maintained by a third party who is solely responsible for its contents. We encourage you to read the Privacy Policy of every website you visit.

Migraine prevention medicine can help get you back in the picture

There is no cure for migraine. The good news is that there are migraine prevention medicines that can reduce the frequency of migraine headache.

The migraine treatment plan you develop with your prescriber may include migraine treatment approaches from each of these 4 buckets:

Acute treatments

Prevention medicines



Intended to provide individual symptom relief

Reduce migraine frequency, and stopping them before they start

Once-a day Trokendi XR (topiramate) is a migraine prevention medicine 

Medicines used to treat the pain of migraine headache Non-drug therapies including lifestyle changes such as avoiding migraine triggers, stress management techniques, and exercise

Acute treatments

Intended to provide individual symptom relief

Prevention medicines

Reduce migraine frequency, severity, and stopping them before they start

Once-a day Trokendi XR (topiramate) is a migraine prevention medicine


Medicines used to treat the pain of migraine headache


Non-drug therapies including lifestyle changes such as avoiding migraine triggers, stress management techniques, and exercise

What helps migraine: lifestyle changes that may help prevent migraine headaches

Over time, you may discover some lifestyle changes that may help you prevent migraine headache. Here are some simple things that you can do in your daily routine to help reduce migraine, including:

Keeping regular sleep and meal patterns
Exercising regularly for at least 30 minutes, 3 times per week
Avoiding known triggers
Reducing your stress levels

What helps migraine: Avoid your migraine triggers

There are many different migraine causes, and there are also many different factors that can bring on migraine headache in individuals who are sensitive to them. Migraine triggers are different for everyone and can change over time.

The most frequently experienced migraine triggers include:

Hormonal changes (eg, during a woman’s menstrual cycle)
Food allergies or sensitivities (eg, to alcohol or food additives)
Bright lights or loud noise
Skipping meals
Too little sleep
Weather changes

To identify all your migraine triggers, consider keeping an accurate record of the patterns that accompany your migraine headache symptoms. It is also important to record the frequency, severity, and duration of migraine over time as well as your migraine symptoms. This record will not only help identify all your migraine triggers, it will give you and your prescriber a better understanding of how you are feeling on your current migraine treatment plan.

mystory is about becoming more in touch with being good to myself

Since taking Trokendi XR (topiramate) as a prevention medicine for my migraines, I’ve tried to make healthier choices when it comes to other areas of my life. My dog and I go for walks in the woods to give us both some exercise. I’m eating healthier. I allow myself to take some breaks.

Betsy had a long journey to find a migraine prevention medicine that helps her reduce the frequency of her migraines. Along the way, she learned a lot about focusing on her health and well being.

Individual results may vary.


Do not take Trokendi XR if you have recently consumed or plan to consume alcohol (i.e., within 6 hours prior to and 6 hours after Trokendi XR use)

Swallow Trokendi XR capsules whole. Do not sprinkle on food, chew, or crush.

What are the possible side effects of Trokendi XR?

Trokendi XR can cause serious side effects, including: Eye problems. Serious eye problems include sudden decrease in vision with or without eye pain or redness, a blockage of fluid that may cause increased pressure in the eye (secondary angle closure glaucoma). Call your healthcare provider right away if you have new eye symptoms, including any new problems with your vision.

Decreased sweating and increased body temperature (fever). People, especially children, should be watched for signs of decreased sweating and fever, especially in hot temperatures. Some people may need to be hospitalized for this condition.

Increased levels of acid in the blood (metabolic acidosis). If left untreated, metabolic acidosis can cause brittle or soft bones (osteoporosis, osteomalacia, osteopenia), kidney stones, can slow the rate of growth in children, and may possibly harm the unborn child of pregnant patients.

High levels of ammonia in the blood. High ammonia in the blood can affect mental activities, slow alertness, cause tiredness, or cause vomiting. Blood ammonia levels have been shown to rise when Trokendi XR is taken with a medicine called valproic acid (e.g., DEPAKENE® and DEPAKOTE®).

Kidney stones. Drink plenty of fluids when taking Trokendi XR to decrease your chances of getting kidney stones.

Low body temperature. Taking Trokendi XR when you are also taking valproic acid may cause a drop in body temperature to less than 95°F, tiredness, confusion, or coma.

Effects on thinking and alertness. Trokendi XR may affect how you think, and can cause confusion and problems with concentration, attention, memory, or speech. Trokendi XR may cause depression or mood problems, tiredness, and sleepiness.

Dizziness or loss of muscle coordination.

The most common side effects include tingling of the arms and legs (paresthesia), not feeling hungry, nausea, weight loss, abnormal vision, a change in the way foods taste, nervousness, speech problems, dizziness, slow reactions, upper respiratory tract infection, sleepiness, diarrhea, pain in abdomen and difficulty with memory. These are not all the possible side effects of Trokendi XR. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Like other antiepileptic drugs, Trokendi XR may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500. Before you take Trokendi XR, tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior. Call a healthcare provider right away if you have thoughts about suicide or dying; have attempted to commit suicide; have new or worsening depression or anxiety; feel agitated or restless; experience panic attacks, trouble sleeping (insomnia), or new or worsening irritability; feel or act more aggressive, angry, or violent; act on dangerous impulses; have an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania); or experience other unusual changes in behavior or mood.

Before taking Trokendi XR, tell your healthcare provider about any other medical conditions, including if you have kidney problems, kidney stones, or are getting kidney dialysis; have a history of metabolic acidosis (too much acid in the blood); have liver problems; have weak, brittle or soft bones (osteomalacia, osteoporosis, osteopenia, or decreased bone density); have lung or breathing problems; have eye problems, especially glaucoma; have diarrhea; have a growth problem; are on a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates, which is called a ketogenic diet; are having surgery; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant; or if you are breastfeeding. Trokendi XR passes into your breast milk. Breastfed babies may be sleepy or have diarrhea. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take Trokendi XR.

Trokendi XR can harm your unborn baby. If you take Trokendi XR during pregnancy, your baby has a higher risk for the birth defects of cleft lip, cleft palate, and being smaller than expected at birth. These defects can begin early in pregnancy, even before you know you are pregnant. The long term effects of this are unknown.

Tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Trokendi XR and other medicines may affect each other, causing side effects. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take valproic acid (e.g., DEPAKENE or DEPAKOTE); any medicines that impair or decrease your thinking, concentration, or muscle coordination; or birth control pills. Trokendi XR may make your birth control pills less effective.

Do not stop Trokendi XR without first talking to a healthcare provider. If you have epilepsy and you stop taking Trokendi XR suddenly, you may have seizures that do not stop. Your healthcare provider will tell you how to stop taking Trokendi XR slowly.

Do not drive a car or operate heavy machinery until you know how Trokendi XR affects you. Trokendi XR can slow your thinking and motor skills, and may affect vision.

INDICATION Trokendi XR® (topiramate) extended-release capsules are used to prevent migraine headaches in adults and adolescents 12 years and older.

Please refer to the full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for additional important information on Trokendi XR.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.