Basilar migriane,

this is what my neurologist say’s I have.
but mine is silent, no pain. … 278-5.html


Hi every one, Ive just been reading about this basilar migriane,
I think we all have different types of migriane, but mine is basilar type, event though our docs have called our mav or silent migriane, we need to know what type it is if possible, because if we use certain typse of migriane abortives, it could make the chance of stroke higher.
as they constrict the blood vessel.

Hi Jennyd

My GP originally diagnosed me with Basilar - though the specialists seem to be reticent to confirm this. I unfortunately get the symptoms of basilar - double vision etc on some occasions, though I don’t think all my migraines are basilar - just a proportion of them. I had read that basilar migraines up the chances of having a stroke - and that some of the medications for migraine can highten that chance. I was told never to take Aspirin or the contraceptive pill because of this. But as basilar is so rare it seems that little is known of it by specialists over here.

Good point raised though! Happy new year to you - I hope it will be a happier and healthier one for us all.

Hi Mrs G,
how funny , I was just reading this artic;e you might find interesting, bit yucky to think of though.

Serotonin-Enhancing Drugs Could Trigger Stroke
By Nicolle Charbonneau
HealthScoutNews Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthScoutNews) – Combinations of certain drugs that enhance the body’s serotonin levels, including antidepressants, migraine therapies and diet pills, can trigger a stroke by narrowing blood vessels in the brain, a new study says.

Boston researchers report that the combinations may lead to a rare condition known as Call-Fleming syndrome, which can cause sudden and excruciating headache, seizures and stroke.

The findings could lead to changes in how patients with sudden-onset, severe headaches are treated, say the researchers, because current therapies often involve drugs that enhance serotonin, a hormone that transmits signals between neurons and causes narrowing of blood vessels.

Many legal and illegal drugs – including antidepressants, St. John’s wort, migraine remedies, cold remedies and diet pills, along with ecstasy, cocaine and amphetamines – affect serotonin levels, says the study’s senior investigator, Dr. Walter Koroshetz, associate chief of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Koroshetz describes Call-Fleming syndrome as a rare syndrome in which the blood vessels in the brain go into spasm. It can cause stroke if the vessels get too narrow and block blood flow to an area of the brain.

In the latest study, whose findings appear in tomorrow’s issue of the journal Neurology, the researchers describe three patients who developed Call-Fleming syndrome while taking combinations of serotonin-enhancing drugs.

The first patient, a 46-year-old woman with a history of migraine, depression and asthma, developed what doctors describe as a “thunderclap” headache coupled with nausea and blurred vision. Koroshetz says that such a headache comes on within the space of a second, and that patients describe it as the worst they’ve ever experienced.

The woman was taking two antidepressants, an antipsychotic drug, an anticonvulsant, an asthma inhaler and a common cold medication that she had started two days previously.

Her headache and visual loss worsened, although a battery of tests could find nothing wrong with her. On her sixth day in hospital, magnetic resonance imaging revealed a small stroke on the left side of her brain. Ten days later, her headache became even worse, and after imaging revealed more strokes caused by blood vessel constriction, her doctors diagnosed Call-Fleming syndrome. They stopped her cold medication and one of the antidepressants. Within a week, her symptoms improved and she went home.

The second patient, a 45-year-old woman with a similar medical history, went to the hospital complaining of the same kind of “explosive” headache and nausea. She had taken a common cold remedy about an hour before her symptoms started. Three weeks later, she suffered several strokes because of narrowed blood vessels.

The doctors also removed a tumor that they found in her lung. They then took her off an antidepressant, and within a few days her headache disappeared. Four months later, she started a different drug for severe depression. Her headache returned within two weeks, but disappeared when she stopped the drug.

In the final case, a 34-year-old man developed a severe headache, combined with nausea, exhaustion and sensitivity to light. He wasn’t taking any medications and he said he he used no drugs, but his mother had a history of migraine and he had experienced mild headaches in the past. His tests were normal, and he received an injection of painkillers, antimigraine medication and a steroid.

The headaches continued for three days. On the fourth day, doctors gave him a second dose of antimigraine medication. Within minutes the headache worsened, and the man experienced a full-body seizure. The next day, an MRI revealed lesions in several areas of his brain due to narrowed blood vessels. The headache resolved on its own after a week, and the man was discharged.

“We think that drugs that block that uptake of serotonin, combined with drugs that increase serotonin release, really have a potential for causing constriction of blood vessels in the brain,” says Koroshetz. “This is manifested by sudden, severe headache and then strokes thereafter.”

Dr. Gregory Call, a neurologist in Salt Lake City, first helped describe Call-Fleming syndrome in 1988.

Call says that the syndrome is most likely caused by a number of factors, and that drugs that affect serotonin levels are possibly one of those factors.

“We emphasized the fact that this [syndrome] might be a vascular reactivity problem, either migraine, hypertension, eclampsia or whatnot,” says Call. “It’s a multi-factorial problem – there is probably more than one thing that can precipitate this kind of reversible spasm of vessels.”

Koroshetz stresses that patients who develop a sudden, severe headache are more likely to be suffering from a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is a leak from a blood vessel inside the brain. Patients with such symptoms should seek immediate medical care, he says.

But he adds that people with depression who are taking selective serontonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft or Wellbutrin shouldn’t stop taking their medication over concerns about Call-Fleming syndrome.

He points out that in the last four years, of the approximately 2,000 stroke patients he has seen, only four have had this syndrome. And, he adds, there’s never been a case of this syndrome involving a patient only taking SSRIs.

However, he advises doctors who treat patients with these explosive headaches to find out whether the patient is taking multiple serotonin-enhancing drugs, and use non-invasive imaging techniques to look for blood vessel narrowing in the brain.

The report concludes that if blood vessel constriction is suspected, doctors should stop any serotonin-enhancing drugs and be cautious about using standard therapies for acute headache, which involve serotonin-enhancing medications.

What To Do

Check out the MedInfo Web site for information on SSRIs , or visit

I read (and I can’t remember where became my memory has gotten so bad) that, according to the American Medical Association, one of the leading causes of death in this country is medical treatment!

Oh yea, it was JAMA July 2000 - 3rd leading cause of death - medical treatment

Hi every one , last night I found a forum on basilar migraine, but it read only at the moment as the site is being updated due to a fault with the server, so the moderator said a new one will be up and running soon, any waysI found some of the people talking about just what happens to them during their migriane, and wow they have that zoning out feeling, where they cant talk properly and such.
here is the read only site.

Hi Jennyd

That’s a great article - albeit worrying! You are a true desk researcher as you seem to track all these interesting items down and we all benefit from your effort - so thank you for that!

I really worry about mixing drugs of any type from personal experience - I don’t think Doctors always pay too much attention to the side affects and how drugs interact with one another. It is rare to find a Doctor who tells you not to take certain drugs because of a chronic conditionyou have - When I told my current Doctor that I was advised by my old GP not to take the pill/aspirin due to the basilar migraines he just shrugs with no comment.

This article makes me wary of taking Feverfew etc if I am also taking migraine meds - I’ve come off the Feverfew over the past month but will no doubt go back to it in the future when I hit another Migraine crisis! I now think that all the face pain I’ve been having may have been caused by the Maxalt Melts, or maybe it is the interaction with Feverfew who knows!! :wink: I guess the basic rule of law is that if you suffer from bad migraines to try and avoid drugs (if you can) that are known to affect the circulation. I try not to think about the stroke risk too much - but when you feel at your worst with those nasty neuro problems you really do wonder if this or next time might result in one - like another postee said on here - you really wonder how you can survive when you feel that ill. Then I have some good days…and I try to forget until the next time. But it is good to be aware of the drugs that may heighten your risks though - at least you have the choice to avoid them that way.

Sorry this is off topic: I’m sorry to hear that you had no success with that medication Jennyd - something will help you, it is out there.

Dear Mr G Hi,
yesterday wasnt a good day for me I was pretty grumpy to say the lease, I need to get over myself sometimes and reminde myself how bad other people have it.
I was being self distructive in my thinking, today with less of this elavil in my system, I’m feeling one hundred percent better.
I know not everyone here has basilar migriane, but I thought it’s better to know what meds not to tkae and what ones arnt safe. triptans are a no no, or anything that can constrict the artery further, since all of us are dealing with gp’s on a regular basis, I suppose we need to be our own advocates when it comes to our health issues , I would love to find out about homeopathy myself, knowing full well that there are some shonky alternative medsen dr’s out there as well.
I’ve decided to read about every med from now on before going on it.
I think it was Julie saying, her homeopath over dosed her and made the situation much worse,
when your dealing with tiny amounts of piosons it’s as dangerous as any meds from science.
I wish we had a way of punishing bad doctors for what they do.
ive been left with perminent tinitus from a dose of xanax, I never had perminent before the 1st day I took the stuff, its a nasty rotten drug.
I only ever got tinitus when I’d have an attack of mav before . short lived too.
anyways , I hope your doing well Mr G.
oh also , I dont collect all these articles alone , sometimes I pinch them from other sites. he he!
warm wishes Mr G.