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Living with Migraine

Anyone out there on Coumadin who has Migraines?

  • By Savta45

    I’m wondering if anyone else out there has to take Coumadin (blood thinner) on an ongoing basis, and also has Chronic Migraine? I do, & it VERY much limits the medications that I can take, either to prevent or treat the migraine. I’ve had 6 DVTs, Deep VeinThrombosis (clots), in my Right subclavian vein, so the doctors think I am too much of a risk to ever get off the Coumadin. I’m also on Plavix, which is another anti-coagulant (blood thinner), also for life. My first clot was in 1998, my most recent was in 2011. I’ve had surgery to remove the top rib on the right side, because it was thought that my collar bone (clavicle) was compressing the vein between it & the rib, causing the clots. Unfortunately, I’ve had 2 clots since that surgery, so that wasn’t it. Sorry for getting into all the details. It just adds to the frustration of the migraines, is all. Thanks for listening.

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    Naomisdtr18,
    I don’t have much info for you, but found an NIH study that showed patients on Warfarin reported a decrease in their Migraines.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2397582/

    But based on this article, taking NSAIDs are out for you, but Opioids may help- however you have to be very careful in taking them.

    https://migraine.com/blog/i-am-currently-taking-coumadin-warfarin-and-cannot-take-nsaids-to-treat-my-migraines-tylenol-no-longer-works-for-me-what-other-treatments-can-i-consider/comments/#comments

    Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful, but maybe your neurologist can be helpful?
    -Katie
    Migraine.com Moderator

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  • By Savta45

    Thanks, Katie. I’m already taking Norco, and Topamax. Ive tried Botox injections, which haven’t worked. I’m not sure the Topamax is working at all, but I’m afraid to find out what would happen if I got off it. I’ve tried Lyrica, which didn’t do a thing, other than give me several nasty side effects. I’ve done acupuncture, & biofeedback. I just was reading somewhere on here about some Alzheimer’s drug which is being used for migraines, & am going to look into that a bit more. The probability is that it won’t be advisable for me, or that the side effects aren’t worth the risk that way, but I want to check it out anyway. If you find anything that would help, or anyone in a similar situation, if you could point it or them in my direction, I would appreciate it very much.
    Sincerely,
    Ruth

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    Naomisdtr18,

    Yes, Namenda is the name of the Alzheimer’s drug that is being used off-label as a preventative for Migraines. The drug works on the CGRP peptide in the brain that seems to be connected to Migraines as well. New formulations are still being studied and it may be 1-2 years before they are available for market. Definitely ask your doctor about trying Namenda. Your insurance company may not pay for it if you don’t actually have Alzheimer’s.

    Here’s some info on this new drug:
    http://www.americanheadachesociety.org/migraine_community_sees_promise_in_new_class_of_drugs_optimistic_for_relief_for_millions_of_sufferers/?pg=1

    -Katie
    Migraine.com Moderator

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  • By gilgomez

    Hi there! I have been on Coumadin (warfarin) for the past 15 years since they found out I have Factor V Leiden blood clotting problem. I have had two TIA’s, multiple PE’s, DVT’s and suffer hemiplegic migraines. Lots of cognitive issues, loss of balance seems permanent, weird prickling sensation over my skull, on and on. My neurologist happens to be a migraine expert and he together with an incredible team of doctors led by my hematologist have been amazing and so informative. My migraines have morphed more than once, over the years different symptoms and aura. And reading over the forums I now realize that I was a child having stomach migraines but I am going off topic.

    Have you been screened for a genetic blood clotting disorder? My cocktail of medications for migraines includes the following:
    verapimil 240 twice daily to prevent hemiplegic migraines
    Lyrica 300 at night and 100 at morning as preventative plus to help me cope with fibromyalgia
    Fioricet 2 capsules at onset of migraine, then I space them out to another 2 at four or six hours, or if milder 1 at four or six hours
    Vistaril 25mg in those cases when nothing else works and my nausea is out of control and I am vomiting from the pain. This is my emergency medication because as you know, the Fioricet can only do so much. I try and be careful with Vistaril cause it will knock me out for a good 8 to 10 hours if I am not careful. But it seems to stop the full blown hemiplegic migraine in its tracks or really slow it down.

    Best of luck as you find your best team of doctors and medications. All I can say is make sure your neurologist is a migraine expert and if you haven’t been screened for a clotting disorder maybe you can ask.

    Keep us posted! You are not alone! Hugs and well wishes!

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