Chronic migraines after Depo-Provera injections
Last updated: November 2014
My name is Emily and I am 24 years old. I never really suffered from migraines growing up; maybe a few times during High School but no more then 1 month. Usually my migraines were menstrual induced.
Anyway, flash forward about 4 years after graduating High School, I started having severe, daily chronic pelvic pain. Within a year I had four surgeries for ovarian cysts and during my 4th surgery, received a diagnosis of stage II endometriosis. I was put on painkiller, birth control pills, and told to come back to my OB-GYN if anything worsened. Well, my pelvic pain did get worse and my periods became horrific. Hellish, even. I opted to see a new doctor; a endometriosis specialists.
After a few visits and a handful of trips to the ER, my new endo doctor decided it was surgery time. It would be my 5th surgery for endometriosis and ovarian cysts. Before my surgery (scheduled 6/20/14) I was given a injection of Depo-Provera. A progestin only form of birth control that is supposed to help relieve pain from endo and prevent anymore endometrial growths.
Flash forward to my second Depo shot.. I got my second shot in August. Two weeks later my migraines started and they have not stopped. I saw my endo specialist and he gave me Imitrex, 100mg. He told me to take one at the start of a migraine and another after two hours IF I was still in pain. The Imitrex worked for about 4 weeks but I got used to it. So, I went back to my endo specialist and he gave me Fioricet. I was told to take 1 tablet twice daily for migraines.
Well, my migraines continued and got worse with each passing week. I was finally sent to a Neurologist and she put me on Depakote, 125mg x3 daily. Fioricet w/Codeine, 2 pills every 4 hours as needed for migraine. And finally Imitrex, 100mg. Just in case my Fioricet w/Codeine doesn't quite cut it. I also take 12.5mg of Promethazine (Phenergan) during my migraine attacks and 4mg Zofran for the nausea my endometriosis causes me daily.
I go to a headache center for follow up with my neurologist on 12/12 and cannot wait. I HATE taking the Fioricet w/Codeine but it works 1000x better then the Imitrex ever did and it knocks my migraines down within 1 - 2 hours. The Codeine may be slightly addicting and cause withdraw headaches when I stop but right now, all that is worth the risk.
Depo-Provera is given every 3 months (12-13 weeks)so I am stuck with my migraines til at least January. My neurologist said they may stay with me for up to a year but agrees that the Depo induced my migraines. I am due for my next Depo injection on 12/2 and will not be getting it.
I would much rather suffer from endometriosis pain daily and get relief by taking Tramadol, Vicodin, or even Ibuprofen 800mg 3x a day then suffer from chronic, daily migraines. Hopefully by January I'm back to normal and don't have as many migraines or any at all but only time will tell.
Thank you for reading my story. Felt odd writing something this in depth and personal but nobody I know suffers from migraines so I had to at least vent a little.
Do you have a migraine toolbox for when an attack hits?
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