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Are You Suffering From a Migraine Hangover?

August 11, 2022

Are You Suffering From a Migraine Hangover?

Splitting headache, disrupted vision, sensitivity to light; no, it’s not a hangover, it’s a migraine. Millions of Americans live with migraines, but, it’s still a widely misunderstood neurological phenomenon. 

There are a variety of stages that make up a migraine, and one of those stages is called a “migraine hangover” or the “postdrome” phase of a migraine. 

This phase occurs at the end of a migraine cycle and can be difficult to manage, particularly in the wake of the migraine’s preceding symptoms. 

Keep reading for everything you need to know about migraines, the symptoms of a migraine hangover, and ways to mitigate symptoms of this challenging neurological disorder. 

What Is a Migraine?

Let’s start with the basics: what is a migraine? Commonly misunderstood as a headache, migraines are actually classified as a neurological disease that includes a throbbing headache as one of its more notable symptoms. 

It’s not just a bad headache or sensitivity to light; migraines can significantly impact one’s ability to function regularly.

There are four distinct phases of a migraine, which we will trace in depth below. These phases include prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome. Each stage has different symptoms, which may or may not be the marker of the presence of a migraine. 

While not everyone experiences every stage, it’s important to note that a migraine is not just the headache phase – it’s the entirety of the cycle. 

What Are the Stages of a Migraine?

Let’s explore the four stages of a migraine to understand better what the last stage – the prodrome, or migraine “hangover” – is all about. Lasting between 4 to 72 hours if left untreated, each stage of migraine includes a distinct set of symptoms that, if observed, can help you manage the symptoms better. 


The first stage of a migraine is the prodrome stage. It’s the first sign that you might be experiencing a migraine. The prodrome phase can precede the headache stage of a migraine by hours (or even days). 

Migraine typically includes symptoms such as:

  • Extreme tiredness and fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Change in appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating 

This stage is also known as the premonitory stage. It can be difficult to pinpoint. It’s especially tricky to recognize this stage if you experience similar symptoms through PMS (premenstrual syndrome) or do not have significant prodrome symptoms. 


The next phase of a migraine is the aura”stage. Though only about 20% of people actually experience migraines with aura, this stage can be particularly debilitating. The aura stage of a migraine can last between 5 minutes and an hour and usually immediately precedes the headache phase.

Symptoms of aura in a migraine include: 

  • Blurred or fuzzy vision
  • Seeing bright or flashing dots of light
  • Tingling or numb skin
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Seeing waxy or jagged lines
  • Complete loss of vision
  • Change in taste or smell
  • General sense of uneasiness

Again, while only 20% of people experience aura with migraines, this stage can be particularly challenging due to its sudden onset of significant symptoms. 

If you are someone who experiences chronic migraines, then you may already know you are already experiencing a migraine when the aura stage hits. However, if you have never experienced a migraine, it can be scary to experience an aura. 


A headache is the most well-known stage of migraine, and what people commonly associate with a migraine. The headache phase is arguably the most painful part of having migraines. The headache phase isn’t just a dull pain. 

Symptoms of headache in a migraine include:

  • Actively throbbing sensation
  • Head pain that travels to both sides
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased sensitivity to light, smell, and sound

During this phase, bedrest with reduced light, noise, and minimal external stimuli may be helpful. 

Due to the potential for nausea and vomiting, hydration is critical at this stage of a migraine. Increasing fluid intake is important but can be challenging to manage, given the presence of nausea and vomiting. 

If you cannot keep down fluids, consider one of The I.V. Doc’s at-home intravenous therapies. Our Cleanse therapy is the fastest way to rehydrate your body without having to worry about drinking fluids and being able to keep them down while nauseous. 

If you are unable to get up to get fluids, book a same-day appointment with The I.V. Doc. You don’t have to wait for your migraine to end. We can help you hydrate and move towards recovery with no unnecessary transportation required. We head to you, whether that’s in the comfort of your own home, office, or hotel room. 


The final stage of a migraine is often the most overlooked. People often think that once the headache stage ends, the migraine is over. Also known as the migraine hangover, the postdrome stage is marked by the after-effects of the experience of the first three stages of migraine. 

Symptoms of postdrome in a migraine include:

  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Body aches
  • Feelings of depression or euphoria

At this point, your body has experienced hours – if not days – of a fairly significant neurological event. You may be feeling drained and exhausted. Now, more than ever, you need to take care of your body as you reintegrate into your daily routine. 

Like the headache phase, ensuring that you stay hydrated is critical during the postdrome phase. With a decreased appetite and increased potential for vomiting, ensuring that your body is as hydrated as possible across the course of a multi-day migraine is one of the best things you can do to support your body.

Treatment Options for a Migraine Hangover

The I.V. Doc specializes in providing relief when you are feeling down. Whether it’s a hangover, jet lag, food poisoning, or a migraine, our breadth of intravenous wellness services are here to help you recover. Best of all, we head to your door.

During the postdrome phase of a migraine, it’s all about working with your body to manage symptoms. Staying hydrated throughout the entirety of your migraine can provide a baseline for helping your body recover faster. 

We offer a Migraine Relief Hydration Therapy specifically designed to target what your body needs most at all stages of a migraine.

With hydration, anti-inflammatory medication, and medications for acute abortive symptomatic migraine relief, this intravenous treatment can have you feeling sweet relief after your 30-minute treatment.

The Bottom Line 

Migraines are far from enjoyable and can range from irritating to debilitating. Whether you experience some or all of the stages of migraine, prioritizing your health and wellness is important. 

A migraine isn’t just a headache. Hopefully, this article has you more informed and empowered to better care for yourself or a loved one the next time a migraine pops up. You’ll know to turn to The I.V. Doc for quick, convenient care to help you get back to living life. 


Migraine Headaches: Causes, Treatment & Symptoms | Cleveland Clinic

What Is Migraine? | American Migraine Foundation

The Migraine Postdrome| PMC

« Back to Blog | The I.V. Doc Information on Dehydration, Jet Lag, Hangovers, Food Poisoning and Vitamin Drips

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