Understanding Where Migraine Nausea Comes From, and How to Stop It

Finding Migraine Nausea Relief

It’s important to manage your migraine according to the plan your doctor has prescribed, but a queasy stomach tends to interfere with that good intention. Since nausea and vomiting can prevent you from taking and absorbing oral medication, you may have to alter your treatment approach. Here are a few migraine and nausea relief options you can try:

Eliminate Stress

Stress is a terribly invasive trigger, leading to more migraines and interfering with treatment. If you can find ways to drastically reduce your everyday stress – and counteract your body’s stressful response – you may notice fewer attacks and much more manageable symptoms.

Relaxation exercises are good starting points for a less stressful life. If you’re having trouble tapping into a meditative state or your approaches are losing effectiveness, consider visiting a therapist for a fresh take and some new approaches to stress management.

Try Acupuncture or Acupressure

Acupuncture has been traditionally used to stifle nausea and vomiting stemming from a number of causes. Simulating one particular acupuncture point (PC6) has helped to relieve nausea associated with chemotherapy and motion sickness, and so may help with your migraine nausea.

Acupressure is a less invasive technique that may bring comparable results. Acupressure can reduce migraines by pressing firmly on specific points to reduce nausea and vomiting significantly – research reveals that it can even replace antiemetic rescue medication.

The bonus is that you can eventually practice the pressure technique yourself, in the comfort of your own home.


Medicate Wisely

When you experience nausea without vomiting, you may find some relief with NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen), especially when taken early in the attack. A high dose can cut down the migraine pain quickly, which should help to limit or eliminate the accompanying symptoms, like nausea.

If you’re not able to keep anything down, you must find another route for your medication. Taking an anti-emetic (medicine to stop the nausea and vomiting) or triptans (drugs that aim to quickly relieve the migraine itself) in suppository form can increase your chances of getting the medication into your bloodstream quickly.

In the case of severe nausea and vomiting, you may need to be admitted to the hospital: water and electrolytes can be replenished intravenously, and your health care team can make sure your body absorbs the medicine you need.

Stay One Step Ahead

If you can stop the migraine before it begins, you can sidestep the unpleasant nausea. Consider a preventative migraine management plan, focusing on staying far away from food and environmental triggers, and incorporating the right medications: some studies have found that tricyclic antidepressants can partially or fully relieve nausea and vomiting with migraine.

It’s worth revisiting your migraine management plan with your doctor from time to time, to make sure you have the best treatment combination for your symptoms.


Migraine.com (Nausea with or without Vomiting)

NCBI (Optimal management of severe nausea and vomiting in migraine: improving patient outcomes)

WebMD (Headaches, Migraines, and Nausea)

ShareCare (Why do Migraine Headaches Cause Nausea?)

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