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Prevention Medications

Migraine Prevention Medications

  • By lwats80

    I have recently been prescribed pizotifen as a preventative for my migraines but after doing some research on the internet, I now a little scared to take them. All I have read go on about the really bad side effects. Has anyone used this drug? I would love to know your experiences.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    lwats80 – this is one of the few drugs I didn’t try while I was looking for a good preventive. I’m not actually sure its available in the US.

    Are there specific side effects that worry you more than others? I see that weight gain is listed as being fairly problematic…

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  • By lwats80

    Ellen – I’ve heard that they can make you very drowsy and tired all the time like you’ve taken a sedative. Ok, so I might not get the pain but if I still feel awful all the time is that really any better. I can managed the pain with naratriptans, it was the tiredness, drowsiness and confusion associated with an attack that I need help with. I mean, it doesn’t sound like my quality of life is going to improve much.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    One thing to consider lwats80, is that this may be an interim drug to help you until something else comes along that may be better. I definitely understand the tiredness issues though. I had some really major issues with that as well. It went well beyond the scope of simply being tired – my cognition was really decreased pretty badly. It was like being drunk all the time, or how I felt on lots of morphine when I was in the hospital. Had to stop reading books because I couldn’t follow a thought past one short sentence. Ugh. That said, even feeling that way was better than the agony, so long as I knew it would not last forever. It got me through for a while until something else was available to try. Sometimes using things in combination is also an option – again, best decided by your doctor. I suggest starting a frank discussion with him/her where you outline your concerns and ask if there are other options with a better side effect profile. Remember – – the choice is always yours. 🙂

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  • By lwats80

    I have been taking pizotifen for a week now and I feel fine. Well better than fine. I’ve not had a migraine all week and so far this weekend I’ve been migraine free. Not experienced any noticeable side effects yet which is brilliant. My boyfriend says it’s like he’s been given his girlfriend back. It’s early days but so far so good. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    lwats80 – Your feedback is awesome! Thank you so much for getting back with us on your trial of this medicine. It’s so exciting it is working so well for you. Congratulations on taking a giant leap forward in your Migraine journey!!!

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  • By lwats80

    Unfortunately, after a good month or so of being migraine free and starting to get back on my feet, the headaches have started to creep back again. I am still taking my medication daily but over the past 2 weeks I have started to get my migraines again. They started off relatively mild but got progressively worse and then yesterday I got a big one. I think the main reason for this is good old fashioned complacency. At first I watched what I ate, took a multi-vitamin and extra B vitamins every day as well as feverfew and other herbal remedies. After a few weeks of feeling fine I began to get think that my medication was some sort of miracle pill that I could take every day and everything would be ok. I gradually stopped taking my multi-vitamins and feverfew and began to be less cautious over what I ate and bingo, my migraines came back. So the moral of this story is medication alone can’t fix the problem, after all there is no ‘cure’ for migraines. Managing migraines is a full time business that involves lots of different factors and choices that have to be made daily. Hopefully I have learnt my lesson this time and will be able to once again get my life back on track.

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  • By Becca

    Has anyone tried Nardil? It is a MAO Inhibitor. We are starting it in 2 weeks after we try the diet restrictions that go with it and wean off all of the other medications, including Imitrex. I would love to know if anyone has any experiences with this class of medications. It is our last option after Botox didn’t work. Any feedback would be appreciated.

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  • By kitten

    I have never tried Nardil…I am getting the Botox every 3 months… those help some. He wants me to get the nerve block that goes deeply in the nerves…he said they are done with xrays…Been taking Topax for years now I just started “Lamictal” see how that works…He just gives me the Relpax tablets when I get a explosive headache…It never ends…it seems to be the weather with me…I am going to ask him about Nardil. GOOD LUCK!

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  • By janmarbol

    I never asked for prescription meds for migraine (I just put up w/them) but the Doc prescribed Topamax, however I’m leery of this drug (since it can cause overheating and I have thyroid disease, also suicidal tendencies and it interferes with other meds) so I bought it but have not taken it. Has anyone here taken it? Any side effects worthy of mentioning? And is there a newer generation med that is better and less aggressive so to speak? Thanks

    PS my major trigger is the sun or bright light. My migraines aren’t as painful (as they were a few years ago when they were unbearable) but they are more frequent (daily) and I have to be locked in the dark but still get them… so it’s not like I can avoid them (at least apparently) with simple diet. I think peanut is an aura trigger and I’ve stopped eating them all together.

    I’ve had them all since the age of 14: migraine with vomiting, migraine with vertigo, photophobia, extreme audio sensitivity, pounding headache, aura with or without the pain, and lately I have pain (not as severe) daily and not quite aura but I am “blinded” by even slight light and can’t focus my eyes (for reading, etc.) as if my eyeballs were stiff and I have to move my head instead of my eyes to follow printed words. That’s the best I can describe it. Anyone else have this weird symptom?

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  • By melissadwyer13

    TO BECCA: I literally had almost word for word the exact question. I am starting it (Nardil -MAO Inhibitor) in three weeks.. I am beginning the diet and had to wait three weeks since my last Imitrex injections.. this is also the next option after Botox injections failed me… it is just about the ONLY preventative I have not tried. If you find any information I would be interested.. I hope it works for you, well for both of us.

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  • By cerulean turtle

    i recently was put on topamx for migraine. i have vertigo triggered by heat- when weather changes i am in house until fall begins.my doc put me on this thinking it would difuse sensitivity – making vertigo less severe. but i got extremely dizzy and nauseous and overall bad feeling on topamax. what is an alternative? i take meclizine for vertigo but still have to stay inside.

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  • By cerulean turtle

    to janmarbol: also, how crazy when i read what you wrote about overheating w/topamax.no wonder my body was freaking out.one of my biggest triggers is heat.i am now feeling like the meds. left my body after stopping it after 4 days. it was terrible. and scary.it made me never want to take another med for migraines again. i took one in my 20’s but it was one of the really strong, older ones and it was terrible.the doc. didn’t tell me to taper off and i felt out of control and somewhat suicidal – this topamax scared me in that same way. you have to do the same tapering. it is too much. i live in the desert so i am in house now until pretty much november.reading your comments helped me see i am not alone

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  • By JerseyGirl

    I am on Topamax. I transitioned from Depakote to Topamax. It LITERALLY took me 9 months to TAPER-ONto it. You cannot juus start taking this strug and NOT expect to have side effects. Especially just suddenly stop taking it. Right now i’m on 100mg in the AM and 100mg in the PM. When i originally transitioned onto it I was on 75mg AM and 75mg PM. Doc & I started with 25mgAM & PM THEN INCREASED, added 25mg more each AM & PM each 3month period. This very very slow transtion allowed for a symptom tolerance of each increase.

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  • By Amy

    I tried Topamax. I do remember the overheating and always being thirsty. The main thing it did for me… It stopped my warning signs. I stopped getting an aura, which I used to get every time. Instead, I just got hit upside the head with a brick, at which point it was too late for my rescue meds. Needless to say I was NOT happy. That was about 8 years ago. I’ve started getting auras again over the last few years, but still more often than not, I just get slammed. Yay.

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  • By cerulean turtle

    i also, did the 25mg to start and it was terrible. i went yesterday and had session with an herbal master who put me on a cleanse and magnesium and feverfew for migraines. i feel better just knowing i got to the root of it and not on these strong meds. they also found i had a high build up of aluminum-which triggers migraines, from my deodorant 25%aluminum! i about died, went to health food store got deodorant.also discovered gluten intolerant which can trigger migraine, and i have enzyme deficiancy. i felt i had no more options in regular meds. my brain was actually zinging when i laid down at night after topamax.

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  • By britany

    i just got off topamax about a month ago, i only took it for 5days because i stopped eatting… i had no appitite and could hardly eat anything and i got diareha and it made me just feel the worst… and i got supper emotional on it i was balling every day… worst pill ever!!! =[ but i feel like ive tried them all and the side effects just suck… im so sensitive them… i brought up natural remedies to my dr. and he was like oh no them dont work… and i had a huge list of them. (i did research online) =/ so now im about to start on vivactil. has anyone tried this?

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  • By Elaine Gross

    Topamax has been a great help for me. I have chronic migraines, and a year ago I was pretty much bedridden. The combination of Topamax and Mexiletine has gotten me out of the bed and given me an almost normal life, and I’m grateful for that. I don’t experience heat as a side affect, and I’m going through menopause. I do have a problem now and then trying to find words I want to say when speaking. That’s frustrating, but I was relieved to know it was a side affect of the medication and that I wasn’t going senile.

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  • By Karen

    I’ve been on Topamax for 4 years now. Started at 25mg once in the morning/once at night. Currently at 100mg 2x/day/morning & night. For me it’s helped a lot. Some of the side affects have been ringing in the ears and difficulty finding the right words to say, however, overall I believe that it has helped moderate the intensity of my chronic migraines. I never did experience the problems with overheating as mentioned by some, but I did experience the lack of appetite in the beginning. Which was fine…needed to lose a few pounds anyway! 🙂

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  • By auntandrea

    I’ve been on Topamax for over 2 yrs. I started out at 10 mg 2x a day, now up to 100 mg 2x a day. I’ve endured the ‘dopamax’ moments and reluctantly increased the dosage when my headaches didn’t improve. As far as suicidal thoughts – is it really the medicine, or just the pain that is leading you to those thoughts? I haven’t done my research on that….but I did have thoughts, and attributed mine to just tired of dealing with the pain. Not a state of depression or wanting to die, just wanting to put an end to the pain. SSRIs are also used to treat migraines. They affect the serotonin levels in the brain.

    I have found that doctors keep adding medications to treat the symptoms which I find so troubling since they don’t understand what is truly going on in the brain and why we get this headaches and why this triggers effect us so violently.

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  • By Ann1111

    My doctor put me on Topamax last year. It was the most horrendous experience. She didn’t warn me of the possible side effects. She also didn’t take my family history. I have now read that my family history should have made her very cautious as I have a sister with bipolar disorder. She also, in my opinion, neglectfully, didn’t follow up on my progress but only said to go back to her if I wished to go over 100mg. To make matters worse, she told me to take all my dosage at night (it’s recommended to split the dosage between day and night).. This meant i was sleeping (at first, until I stopped sleeping) through the initial symptoms and they were really severe before I knew what was happening. Anyway, my symptoms were psychosis (I was hearing voices), insomnia, panic attacks, inability to eat and suicidal ideation. The suicidal thoughts were not due to pain or feeling basically awful, but from my very messed up brain chemistry. It was terrifying and six months later I am still working with a therapist to deal with the trauma and panic attacks. The suicidal thoughts were so strong (no matter how bad things have been, I’ve never been suicidal before or after), I am certain that I am lucky to be alive. My doctor (a new doctor) says she would have put me in a psychiatric hospital to keep me safe while I weened off them, but I was (terrifyingly) out of the country when the worst of the symptoms hit. The only option was to sedate myself until I could get home, at which time, I’d weened down enough for the symptoms to be less severe.

    I understand this drug does help some people. Living with migraine is a terrible thing, and I understand the desperation to get relief and have a normal life. I urge anyone thinking of taking this medication to be very careful. Make sure your doctor has a good handle on side effects, visit him/her at least weekly, and call him/her immediately if you have any thoughts that you think are unusual. I’d also let someone close to you know the symptoms and ask them to watch you for any changes, although afterwards my husband said I was just a bit quiet.

    I wish you all pain free, happy and peaceful lives!

    Ann

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  • By melissadwyer13

    I have been on the MAOI Nardil for a little over three weeks, my specialist said it will take a total of six weeks to see a big difference if the medicine will work. The diet is so strict and it’s just hard to eat. I vomit profusely with migraines and I don’t eat regularly, my doctor wants me to eat three times a day (he has been telling me this for a long time– to maintain my blood sugar and help as another prevenative measure) it is just so much harder now.. especially with such a touchy stomach during my daily attacks. It’s just hard because lately I feel like I’m taking this medicine that’s controlling my life instead of taking it to GET control of my life! If this medicine ends up working for me and I’m able to get my life back I will be more than happy to stay on it and this diet, it’s just difficult for me right now! And the diet isn’t only unhealthy things, but for example broccoli and healthy things I love have also been cut out! Has anyone found success with the Nardil? Or any MAOI?

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    JANMARBOL, What type of thyroid disease do you have? It could be antibodies themselves causing some of your symptoms. If that’s the case, then lowering your antibody levels may be helpful to you. Autoimmune issues are frequently a big problem for Migraineurs.

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  • By funkychicken

    My biggest problem with my migraines is the aura. I can handle the headache, but the aura leaves me disoriented/confused for at least 5-10 minutes and I need to find a way to limit them. Biggest triggers seems to be weather, stress, and sleep.

    What over the counter remedies have people found helpful in preventing migraines? (Even better if your migraine-issues are mainly aura). Any studies of OTC preventative medications anyone can direct me to?

    Thanks!

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  • By Debbie

    I have chronic intractible migraine and have tried and failed more preventive meds than I can count over the past 30 years including botox. My h/a specialist recommended that I try flunarizine, a drug that’s been used in Europe for many years as a migraine preventive but is not available here in the US. He gave me the name of a reputable Canadian pharmacy but when I called them, they told me that the entire country is experiencing a shortage of this drug and they were expecting it tentatively at the end of October. It is also very expensive and not covered by insurance.

    My questions are: has anyone tried this drug? Are you able to get it anywhere?Does anyone know of another (reputable)Canadian pharmacy that I can try? I randomly called an online pharmacy in Canada and they were also out of the generic but they had the “brand” name of this drug available at half the price of the generic. When I asked why, they said that it comes from Singapore. I don’t know whether to trust this or not.

    Also, has anyone experienced depression as a side effect or any other side effects of flunarizine.

    Thanks!
    Debbie

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  • By Teri Robert

    Debbie,

    I’ve never used flunarizine, and I don’t want to be a wet blanket, but there are laws you should be aware of. If you order this drug, even though a legitimate Canadian pharmacy, you could end up not getting your supply. It’s illegal to import medications that aren’t approved by the FDA, so if the package were to be checked by Customs coming into the country, it would be confiscated. I’m sure of this because I recently spoke with someone at the FDA about this issue.

    I’m not second-guessing your doctor – just wanted you to be aware of this.

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  • By Debbie

    Wow – thanks, Teri! That’s certainly something to consider! If I do end up getting this drug, I’ll have to see how much business this pharmacy does with US customers and how they’ve fared with this.

    Has anyone else here ever purchased drugs from Canada?

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  • By Teri Robert

    You’re welcome, Debbie. I have no idea how often this type of customs seizure occurs. If you were to order a medication that’s FDA approved in the US, it wouldn’t be a problem.

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  • By Shelley

    I recently went to a new neurologist after not having much relief from my current one after many years. He prescribed Benicar 20mg at bedtime each night, also Indocin 75 mg, once a day for the first week, the 1 twice a day after that. He also told me I should be taking Dolovent(a supplement for headaches). Has anyone heard of the Medicines. I looked them up and benicar is a high blood pressure medicine(actually have normally low pressure). Looking for any information or any insight on these drugs.
    Thanks

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  • By Anonymous

    I was put on Nardil for a few months, but a very long time ago,not to scare anyone but it was hell. You have to wear a medical alert bracelet at all times the diet is because of drug-food interactions that can get you sick. The meds you have to stay away from will kill you and I put on about 40 pounds in about 3 months.I looked like crap,felt like crap and was a constant nervous wreck,not to forget I was still suffering from migraines. When I found my new current Dr. and told him that I was once and this medication his response was,”they still use that” well I am very comfortable w/ my current Dr. and I just had to tell my experience. Hope I didn’t scare you but the truth is needed.

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  • By cmkensok

    I have been on Topamax for quite a few years and I currently take 250 mg at night. I have a chronic baseline headache every day but before I went on Topamax I would get extreme headaches that may last two weeks at a time. Topamax lessened my severe headaches a lot but has not helped my daily headaches. It is worth the side effects to me. At first I had a lot of problems with tingling in my feet and hands that was really bad but got better, and I couldn’t stand carbonated beverages for a while because they tasted terrible. My biggest complaint is the “dopamax” effect. I feel just stupid sometimes. I am now adding Inderal to my cocktail to see if it will help the daily headaches, which I am nervous about.

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  • By Rara

    I’m on Gabanet ( Gabapentin ) since 2009 i use dose 300mg daily morning and evening for the first 2 weeks and then once per day during 3 months (that’s the period of my yearly treatment) i start feeling less severe headaches after a week and then the headaches comes every 3 or 4 days with shorten time (instead of 8 hours it becomes like 30mins) and then it vanished…the headaches comes back in like 6 months after i stop so i start back my treatment..

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  • By getfitinthed

    I was on topamax but it made me feel much worse. The brain fog and the numb feeling was enough to make me stop. I have noticed that a preventative diet is the best way for me to manage my headaches. I have started a new diet that is a super healthy meal replacement and health shakes, that and their chelated vitamins I have gone almost two months without a migrain. Still occasional and more minor headaches, but they are much easier to manage and much less down time. The name of the diet is Body by Vi.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    getfitinthed – I am super happy you have found something that seems to help you. However, Migraineurs need to understand that what works for one patient, will not necessarily work for another patient.

    Of course optimizing your overall health is one of the best things you can do, that alone won’t necessarily eliminate the triggers that are resulting in Migraine attacks. Additionally, most health shakes contain MSG (usually hidden) http://bit.ly/qFXrs2 which can be a powerful trigger for many Migraineurs.

    While we can’t allow advertising of specific products, it’s great to know you are being helped by something so easy and healthy for you!

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  • By Arosie005

    I tried topamax for a couple months, the side effects were incredibly annoying but I stuck it out, it never really made a dent in the migraines though. I then tried amatriptyline? I can’t spell sorry! Nothing from that as well.

    I am now on Lamictal which I am FINALLY feeling somewhat better. The whole rash thing and bipolar medication was a worry but I have raised the doses slowly.
    I am amazed at how well this has worked so far!!! I don’t have nearly any daily headaches and the number of migraines have decreased as well. Now, when I get a migraine it feels like it is drug resistant and it takes maxalt, flexeril and endomethycin until I basically just pass out. But at least there are less of them!!
    I can’t tell you how nice it feels to wake up without throbbing head pain every day. It has been so long with this pain I forgot how it felt, and is such a joy.

    I wish you all the best with finding a preventative. While I am not perfect by any means, I welcome any relief. I hope everyone on here can find something that gives them hope to feeling normal! This is a beast of a disease to deal with…

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  • By kaysus1973

    My main preventative is a drug they use to treat Alzheimer’s Disease. It is called Namenda (Memantine). I take 10mg in the AM and 10mg at bedtime. When I first went on it, I was having 3 or 4 migraines a week and some other kind of headache every other day. The 1st 3 months I was on it I was completely HEADACHE FREE! Namenda is not FDA approved for migraine prevention. My doctor & her husband have done a lot of the research on it. I also take 300mg of Zonegran @ bedtime, 120mg of Verapamil & 400mg of Magnesium Sulfate in the AM. My psychiatrist also has me on Effexor XR for depression – my headache specialist said “don’t ever go off that” as it is one of the best antidepressants used to prevent migraines. My abortive is Maxalt.
    I have also been diagnosed with Pseudo-tumor cerebri (Intracranial Hypertension) & have been on Diamox (Acetazolamide) for 3 years. The neurosurgeon told me that if I lost a significant amount of weight it may resolve it self. Since that diagnosis I have lost about 85 lbs. I recently weaned myself off the Diamox. The first 2 weeks off were ok…the last 5 have been hell! The migraines are bad – different from my regulars….lots of pain behind my eyes and down the back of my neck. My vision is also being affected…Pseudotumor-cerebri can cause blindness. I have to go for a spinal tap on July 18 and to the neuro-opthamalogist on July 30. Kind of scared….Guess this is what happens when u take yourself off a medicine without the docs permission…Good luck to everyone in finding relief!

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  • By lisaa

    I was on Namenda for a while and it didn’t help at all. Neither did Topamax, and it constantly made things taste metallic to me. Unfortunately I have chronic daily headaches and clusters as well as migraines. I’ve taken pretty much everything out there with little success. The only thing that has helped is an herbal supplement that I started recently. Now I’m getting way less migraines, but it hasn’t helped the chronic daily headaches at all, and the clusters still come, although I think they are a little less frequent.

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  • By Teri Robert

    Lisa,

    What kind of doctor do you see? I know how easy it is to feel like we’ve tried it all, but there are so many options for prevention that to give them all a fair trial would literally take over 25 years. If you aren’t seeing an actual Migraine and headache specialist, I’d suggest you give it serious consideration. Take a look at https://migraine.com/blog/is-it-time-for-a-new-migraine-doctor/ and https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-4-preventive-treatment/

    Teri

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  • By babzzzes

    Does anyone have information on propranolol as a preventive for migraines? I just started on it after needing to ramp off of topiramate/topamax after only about two months because of the side effects.

    I’m seeing a new neuro as well, since I did not feel that my old neuro listened, which made it difficult for me to trust his recommendations – he is a migraine specialist, and I was really surprised by some of his attitudes, including a lack of understanding of how severely the cognitive impacts of migraine attacks have impacted my ability to continue functioning successfully in a work environment requiring a high degree of mental acuity.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    BABZZZE S – I’m sorry the topiramate didn’t help you or that the side effects were too serious. How long were you on it?

    Here is an informative thread re: topiramate that patients often find very helpful. https://migraine.com/groups/users/forum/topic/topamax/ It includes info re: ways to minimize side effects and how some physicians mistakenly don’t prescribe the right regimen for many patients, leading them to fail a medicine that might actually be helpful to them.

    Here is the forum thread for propranolol https://migraine.com/groups/users/forum/topic/propranolol-inderal/ and here is an introductory post on propranolol that might be helpful 🙂 https://migraine.com/migraine-treatment/propranolol-inderal/

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  • By hnm217

    Hey guys, I just happened to stumble on this website earlier today, I’m so glad I did! I’ve had migraines for like twenty years, and I’m only twenty four. Like you all, I’ve gone to the doctor, tried a thousand different medicines, changed my diet, my lifestyle, etc. etc. Last week on vacation I’d had enough. I got a migraine and went to the local herbal/organic store. The lady was more than helpful suggested I try “butterbur” as a preventative. and gave me a cal/mag powder to use when I had one. I took it, mixed it with applejuice and three hours later I was shopping. migraine free! sunday I got another one, I used it again, an hour later I’m at work! Also try to get foods that are high in magnesium, quinoa for instance. Keep in mind this may not work forever, and it may not work for everyone, but if your migraines are bad enough, anything is worth trying!! hope my recent discovery helps someone!

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Thanks for sharing with us, HNM217. I’m happy to see something is working for you. Many people with migraine take magnesium and other dietary supplements such as Co enzyme Q 10 and riboflavin to help prevent migraine. There is a bit of controversy surrounding butterbur right now due to the way it is processed. You see, because butterbur can be toxic to our livers, it has to be processed a specific way in order for it to be safe for consumption. The manufacturer who was processing correctly no longer does so, so some doctors aren’t recommending it anymore. Please be careful.

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  • By vwileb

    Hi All! I get about 3 migraines a month with aura’s. My doctor just started me on Topamax 6 days ago & I really wish I would have done more research before starting the prescription. The side effects have been bizzare including no appetite; trouble putting thoughts/words together; tingling sensations in scalp; drowsiness; just to mention a few. Though I hate getting & suffering with migraines; does anyone have any advice as to whether I may be better off just taking Zomig those 3 or so times a month I get a migraine rather than having these side effects? Or do most of them usually subside after taking the drug for a little while? Is Topamax often prescribed for people with approx 3 migraines a month? Just wondering if this is normal. Thanks for any advice u can offer!

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi thanks for coming into the discussion forum. The symptoms you’ve mentioned can all be potential side effects when starting Topamax. In fact, it can take up to three months for our body to adjust to new medications and we see a reduction in our migraine frequency and severity along with reduced side effects.

    Here is the current rule of thumb – three or more migraine attacks a month warrant a conversation with your doctor about prevention. So I am clear – you experience three migraine attacks a month and your doctor prescribed Topamax, is that correct? Have you tried anything else first? Any dietary supplements?

    The thing about starting Topamax is it needs to be titrated up very slowly beginning at a low dose of 25 mg once a day for a week. We have information on this dosing here; https://migraine.com/migraine-treatment/topamax/dosage/

    Taking Zomig “3 or so times a month” technically shouldn’t be a problem, but do you take any over-the-counter medication to relieve migraine pain? If so, taking Zomig AND any other pain relievers more than two to three days a week, could cause another problem called medication overuse headache. But you haven’t mentioned that. We have some information on moh in this link; https://migraine.com/blog/help-how-can-i-not-overuse-migraine-medications/.

    I hope this helps, let me know what you think, OK?

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  • By Wendy

    Hi! I am looking for a magnesium pill/tablet that will not cause the laxative side effect. Does anyone have any brands they could suggest for me? I stopped taking the one I have now because of the side effects, but my migraines came at me full force so I am taking them again but would like to find a brand that won’t leave me on the john half the day.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Wendy,

    I’m sorry to hear you are having issues with magnesium. I’m not sure switching brands will make a difference since it probably isn’t the binders that are giving you the problem. You may want to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about changing your dose to help with this. The pharmacist is a great resource for these type of issues. I think mine may be sick of me by now!

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  • By delta1

    Hi,

    I am considering taking a daily preventative medication, I was wondering if anyone was taking something that had been successful over a multi-year time period could tell me what it is the approximate % reduction in the number of migraines,

    Thanks

    John

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    wendyvernon – There are several different types of mag. The trick is in how you dose it. True, some are more of a laxative than others, however the key really is in starting low and going slow. This means start with a dose that does not give you diarrhea and stick with that for a while before going slowly upwards. Another method is to ask for magnesium IV infusions. Done once weekly for 1-2 months will raise your tissue levels of magnesium higher than any oral supplementation can. After that you can go back to oral meds and potentially have better luck on a lower dosage. Infusions every month or so are good if you just can’t tolerate oral mag at all, however I suspect that you’re starting out with the recommended dose which is just too much for your system at first.

    As for me, I took CALM for a number of years. I haven’t been on it for a while because I ran out and *forgot* to get any more. I like it because I can really super control the dosing and because I have trouble with pills and it dissolves easily in water or other liquid. It is one of the top bio-available kinds of mag as well, even better!

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    delta1 – Unfortunately your answer to this question would be as varied as Migraine patients themselves. Each of us reacts differently to different treatments, so what will work for one will not for another. If you’d like a list of preventives, I’d like to suggest this link: https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-4-preventive-treatment/

    Sometimes what worked for us for a time, seems to stop working so well. This is not uncommon, and an adjustment to your dosing or your treatment may be necessary. Sometimes when this happens doctors give an additional preventive and the two work synergistically to help the patient.

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  • By delta1

    Thanks Ellen, I realize that there is a range of drugs availiable and the results vary from person to person. I was simply curious if alot of people found one particular drug more effective than others, or if alot of people had taken a certain medication without any relief of their symptoms. I am hoping to start with the drug with the highest rate of success.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    delta1 – There are different triggers for Migraines, and there are different kinds of Migraines, and the treatments used depend greatly upon those variables and others including lifestyle, age, etc. If the wrong med is tried on a person, their outcome will not be what is expected. It probably won’t work, or work as well.

    That said, this article https://migraine.com/blog/new-migraine-prevention-recommendations-from-the-american-academy-of-neurology/ states that the best evidence is for topiramate, beta blockers and sometimes Frova.

    I guess what I’m trying to explain is that starting with the med with the best rate of success may be very frustrating if it is not especially known to help with your Migraine type and triggers etc.

    I hope this link has been at least somewhat helpful. It’s sad, but Migraine is just not something that has any kind of cookbook type of results with treatment or management. There is an immense amount of patience, trust and determination usually to find something that will be helpful, so don’t get discouraged if the first treatment isn’t as effective as you’d like. With any luck though, it might be. *Fingers crossed* you have success at the first go-round!

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  • By Annie5Star

    I was wondering if anyone has had good results with Zonegran? I’ve tried everything from several anti-depressants, Calcium channel blockers, Topimax, Botox injections – and recently, my Neuro put me on Sandomigran, which I’ve since found out is a very old-school drug … I had a few less migraines in the 6 weeks I took it, but I had a headache everyday with breakthrough migraines several times/week and I gained 18 lbs in 6 weeks!!! I’m no longer taking them – considering the side effects, they didn’t really do anything to help prevent my migraines. I’ve heard of Zonegran – one med that I haven’t tried – wondering if anyone else has had some positive results? Pros/cons?

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Annie,

    Yes, people have had good results with Zonegran, in fact there is a thread here about it here: https://migraine.com/groups/users/forum/topic/zonegran-zonisamide/
    Don’t lose hope, even though it may feel like we are guinea pigs when we try medication after medication, there is one that will work for you! Check out this link for more information – https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-4-preventive-treatment/

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  • By gerrik1

    Hi Annie,
    I have been on Zonegran for the past 4 years and up to 200mg in the am and 200mg in the pm. Had been on many other things Depakote, topamax, ect. Had migraines almost daily, now about 2-4 a month and only a daily headacke that I can usually get rid of with my PRN medication.

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  • By Laurie Vincent

    I used to get 25 to 31 migraines per month. My Neurologist had me try three different Migraine Preventative medicines over the years that didn’t work very well: Depakote, Gabapentin, Topamax. About seven years ago he put me on Lamotrigine/Lamactil. They keep the Migraines away better than any other medicine I have tried. I only get a single Migraine once every 4 to 8 weeks. I have been taking this medicine for seven years and it doesn’t have any side effects. I hope that others can try this medicine, too.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    Laurie Vincent – Funny you should mention lamotrigine… as this was the last prescription we decided to try for me recently.

    I’m so glad you’re having luck with it. It’s funny that not a lot of people do have luck with it, however I am sure not one to argue with success. Just because they couldn’t figure it out in a study doesn’t mean it’s not helpful to patients. My own doctor says “You know, I listen to the patients. They’ll tell me if it’s helpful or not. That’s the bottom line.” So, I may be giving it a go myself soon. Got to get through Headache on the Hill and another conference first before trying something new…

    Thanks so much for your input!

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  • By B. Morebello

    Has anyone tried using the light blocking glasses, like the ones from Axon Optics? I got so tired of wearing sun glasses all the time that I decided to order a paid and give it a try. I should receive them in about 2 weeks, but I wanted to see if anyone had any luck with them already??

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    supertruestory – Yes, and they have made an enormous difference in how I feel. They haven’t stopped any Migraines that I know of, but I am so terribly light sensitive when I am Migraining, and now even in between Migraine attacks, that to go without them in a place other than my home, is usually a recipe for trouble.

    Good luck with your glasses, and I hope you’ll write about them here sometime and let others know about your own personal experience 🙂

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  • By Roxana

    I have been on Amitryptylline for 14years and Gabapentin for 4 years for chronic daily headaches. I also take Fiorocet for breakthrough headaches and get Botox injections every 3 months. I just stopped Amitryptylline and started Topamax but I am scared of the withdrawal. Has anyone switched or stopped a tricyclic antidepressant after taking it for a long time?

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    rjgriffith – Have you had a discussion with your doctor about your concerns? Usually the slower a patient goes, the easier it is on their system. I would suggest that you follow carefully what your doctor recommends, including a plan in case you have trouble. This way you can proceed with confidence. 🙂

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  • By bohan

    My name is Bohan, studying Master of Design at UNSW, Sydney.Now, I am doing a project about how to reduce headache by drinking huge amount of water before painful period.

    I design a bottle which aims at reminding people of drinking big amount of water when under pressure of work.

    The initial concept is about:

    There are several tubes in water bottle, representing different period of a working day’s morning, respectively. For example, when it is 9 am, the user should turn the cap of bottle to 9am-930am shift, and then drink the tube’s water,(ABOUT 250ML), When it is 10am, similarly turning the cap to 10-1030 shift, and then drink. Besides this, the bottle has DRINK ANYTIME shift, When the user intend to drink anytime, just turn the cap of bottle to DRINK ANYTIME shift, and the user can drink the rest amount of water in bottle.

    All in all, there are 4 tubes in the bottle inside, each one includes 250ml and total is 1L.
    Apart from tubes’s water, the rest of space( DRINK ANYTIME’s amount) in bottle will occupy 500ml. The whole weight of bottle with full water is 1.5L.

    The label design of bottle will clearly show the different period of morning/afternoon, and moreover it can be changed and cycled.

    Thanks

    [post edited for commercial and personal information]

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    Hi boohann – Staying hydrated is important for Migraine prevention, so I’m right with you on that point. However, to be honest, Carrying around a 1/5 L bottle and drinking from it is not something I’m going to be interested in myself. Others may have another opinion. It’s too big, bulky, heavy, and not only does it apparently not contain a filter, but I prefer cool, fresh water – not water that’s been in a plastic bottle all day long. For me, it’s simply much easier to count the number of goblets of water I use each day. More importantly, my nephrologist and urologist are continually reminding me that it’s not important how much you consume, it’s how much your kidneys filter out and is eliminated through your urine.

    Not all of us use water the same way. During a Migraine, many of us get horrible diarrhea. Our water is being eliminated in a non-constructive manner. What matters is the water that makes it into our bloodstream and through our kidneys and added to urine. This keeps our kidneys healthy and reflect the hydration of our body overall. For me, I often have to drink enormous amounts of water to have it end up in my bloodstream where it can be helpful.

    Here is a link to the way many of us prefer to keep track of our daily hydration needs: https://migraine.com/blog/how-do-you-get-through-the-holidays-without-making-migraines-worse/ This allows us to pamper ourselves a little by making hydration a pleasant experience instead of one we *have* to do each day.

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  • By carladul

    My dr. just recently started me on Amatriptlynes (however it is spelled). I have only been on it a coupld of days and right now am dealing with alothof sleepiness and dry mouth. Im crossing my fingers and hoping that it only lasts a few days to a week. If the drowsiness continues I will have to stop taking this one as well. Being a mother of 4 children ages 3-9 I just cant afford to be so tired/drowsy all the time. I see that rjgriffith has been on them for awhile and I would be interested to know what side effects you experienced and for how long. I do also have Amerge for my migraines and I find that works pretty well IF I can take it right at the start. As many of us know that is quite often difficult to do as you only get a small amount that has to last. I also have firocet for the realllly bad ones. They work really well. There is still 4-6 times a year tho that I do wind up going thru the ER with migraines so horrible none of my meds will even touch them. That is when I am extremely grateful for my standing script for the occipital nerve blocks. Dont get me wrong. I detest having them. needles going into the back of my head…. just UGH… however when doing that is the only thing that will make me feel human again… well there it is. The only problem with that is it seems like I may be building up a resistance to it. It is taking them longer to start taking effect and it does not seem like it is lasting as long anymore either.

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  • By kwaichang

    I am getting some relief from the frequency of migraines since my neurologist prescribed Gabapentin 300mg 3x daily along with Oxcarbazepine 150 mg 2x daily. I’ve gone from an average of 3 attacks a week to one; oh and Imitrex spray 20mg was still kept in the regime. With these new meds, I haven’t lost whole days in bed for a long time and that is fine by me.

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  • By LT

    Has anyone used Benadryl as a migraine preventative? I am looking for information about it but can’t find much after doing some internet searches. I have used it acutely, but for the last week I started taking it every night because of insomnia and I have noticed that my chronic migraines are significantly better. Perhaps it is just a coincidence.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    Larissataurins – Diphenhydramine is sometimes helpful for some patients. If this simple treatment is helpful for you, congratulations! It is also sometimes used as an acute therapy. Because it actually has several modes of action in the body, there is speculation what it might be helping with in patients who respond. It could be as simple as allowing you to get enough of the right kind of sleep that your brain has the opportunity to reset itself and end the Migraine process.

    Whatever the reason, so long as your Dr knows what is going on, I would be very pleased if something so easy would be so helpful!

    ~Ellen

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  • By Laurie Vincent

    I hope that you can try Lamotrigine as a daily preventative medicine. You will have about three weeks of bad Migraines during the period where you are tapering down your dose from your current medicine and tapering up your dose of Lamotrigine. So do not give up before a month has passed! It will feel like you aren’t taking any preventative medicine at all during this time period. That is probably why it didn’t do very well in the study. I wish that they would do another study of this medicine so that more people could be helped like I was. I have my life back because of Lamotrigine.

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  • By AmyBabee

    Hi Larissataurins, I took Benadryl and it was for insomnia too but it did not help my migraine any. If it works for you, goodluck and I am glad you found something.

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  • By spiderlady76

    Hello I am new here. Chronic migraine sufferer for 20yrs now. I cannot find a preventative for mine. The only thing I haven’t tried is botox. I’m narcoleptic with cataplexy so anything causing drowsiness is out. Some antidepressants cause me to sleep and give me more migraines. Beta blockers topamax tried did nothing. Calcium channel blockers gave me migraines. And maxalt is the only thing that makes them go away. Tried imitrex, migrainel, magnesium. Got an injection of toredal in er once worked was numb where they gave me injection for 2 months. So I really don’t know what to do. My doctor is kind of at the same. Oh maxalt makes me sleep alsi. But I’d rather sleep than in pain.

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    • By Laurie Vincent

      spiderlady76:

      Ask your Doctor if you can take Lamactil/Lamotrigine as a preventative medicine. I have taken this medicine for over seven years with no side effects. If keeps my Migraines away. Before I used to get 25 to 31 Migraines a month. Now I only get one moderate Migraine once every 4 to 8 weeks. Hang in there, it will take about 4 weeks to work in preventing your Migraines. Feel better soon. 🙂 Try Gatorade for a Migraine and see if it makes it go away. This works for me. Part of your problem could be rebound headaches from taking medicine a lot to abort a Migraine. My Neurologist has me take two Aleve plus two Tylenol 3 to abort a Migraine. Works great for me.

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    • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

      Hi spiderlady76,

      Welcome to the Migraine.com discussion forums! We are so glad you’ve found us. I think it’s time to seek the help of an expert at this point. That doctor would be a migraine/headache disorder specialist. The reason I say this is because these doctors are experts who have extra board certification in headache medicine and treat migraine and headache disorder patients ONLY all day, every day. Let me share information on migraine specialists with you; https://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and when you want to look for one click on this link; https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/.

      There are over 100 medications that can be used for migraine prevention, let me share an article with you; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-4-preventive-treatment/.

      Pain relief can be difficult for people with migraine and headache disorders. One of the problems is called medication overuse headache or moh, former called rebound. This may occur if we take migraine abortive medications and/or pain relievers, whether they are over-the-counter or prescription, more than two to three days a week. If we have moh our migraine attacks will be harder to treat and we can end up in a daily cycle of pain that is equally difficult to break. Here is information on moh; https://migraine.com/blog/help-how-can-i-not-overuse-migraine-medications/

      I hope this helps,

      Nancy

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Laurie,

    Thanks for sharing your tips with us. It’s interesting to hear Gatorade helps you with migraine pain, good for you!

    I do have to mention that Aleve and Tylenol will not abort a migraine attack. These are pain relievers that cover up the pain, not stop the migraine process. Migraine abortive medications like triptans and ergotamines are abortive medications. Let me share information with you on preventive, abortive and rescue medications that can be used to treat migraine; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-preventive-abortive-rescue-medications/.

    I hope this helps,

    Nancy

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  • By Laurie Vincent

    Thank you Nancy. I have two cardiac arrythmias so my Neurologist told me I can’t take any of the usual Migraine Abortive medicines. None of them are safe enough for me. That is why he had me take both Aleve and Tylenol 3 together. The combination works great for me. 🙂

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  • By Sam

    Has anyone tried the Emsam patch (selegiline), an MOAI, for a migraine preventative? I have been on Nardil before and I had bad side effects with that. So I am hesitant to try Emsam but my Doctor is running out of preventatives for me to try.

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  • By Kerrie Smyres Moderator

    I haven’t tried it, but want to be sure you know that the body uses monoamine oxidase (which MAOIs inhibit) to process tyramine in foods. Tyramine can be a migraine trigger even for people not on MAOIs. Your doctor will almost certainly talk to you about this, but you should be extra careful to limit tyramine in your diet if you do decide to take the drug. It could be that the drug helps, but dietary tyramine counteracts the effect and you don’t see the results.

    Also, keep in mind there are more than 100 migraine preventive medications and tons of non-pharmaceutical treatments. You have many, many options, so please don’t worry that you’re going to run out of possible treatments.

    Take care,
    Kerrie

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  • By Sam

    Hello, I was wondering if anyone has heard of using stimulants as a migraine preventative. I read an article about it the other day. So I was wondering if anyone has tried it or if anyone knows of any good articles on it? Thanks.

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  • By Kerrie Smyres Moderator

    My headache specialist had several patients who reported that their migraines got considerably better when they started a stimulant for ADD/ADHD. He gave me a prescripton for Ritalin (the dose started at 5 mg and worked up to 15mg). At the time, I thought it reduced the migraine pain by one notch on a 0-10 scale, although it didn’t change the frequency (daily). I stopped it because of side effects from a drug interaction with something else I was taking and discovered the pain reduction was due to something else, not the Ritalin. Fatigue is one of my worst migraine symptoms and it did help that a little bit (but not a ton).

    It might be worth a try, especially if fatigue is a big issue for you, but be aware that stimulants can also trigger migraines for some people. Please let us know if you try it and if it helps you.

    Take care,
    Kerrie

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  • By browneyes1999

    Hi. I ‘m new to the forum.I was diagnosed with Migraines without aura , tension headaches and a neuralgia of some type due to ent issues in my right ear. I have been maintained on Topamax 50mg each morning and 100mg each night with Maxalt for occ. Breakthrough headaches until a few years ago. Over the last few years I have headaches almost every day..right side of head..throbbing pounding sharp pain through right eye scalp and head hurts on right side of head..with nausea..decreased appetite..vertigo..dizziness..inability to focus and retrieve words leading up to a need to lie in a dark room..these headaches last two days..if I catch them I can abort them if not I will have residual symptoms for a day or two after..mood changes and feel out of sorts then a few days later this cycle starts over again..I have had about 7 to 10 headache free days…

    Currently I have been prescribed Inderal 120mg . Elavil 25mg along with Topamax for preventive and Valium 5mg for dizziness Naproxen 500mg BID PRN headache Fiorcet prn tension headache.. zofran 4mg for nausea

    I have gained almost 25lbs in a few months on the Inderal . Has anyone else experienced this? I have asked the doc to wean this Inderal due to the continued weight problem so we can try something else.

    I have also been treated with Botox…good response..Depakote…no good. And lyrica…pretty good..too tired and also gained weight

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi browneyes1999,

    Weight gain is a problem for many of us and it is a common side effect of Elavil. 🙁

    It sounds like your current migraine regime is not very effective and I wonder if it’s not time to see an expert – a migraine/headache disorder specialist. These expert doctors treat one condition (migraine and headache) meaning they eat, sleep and drink migraine and headache. These migraine/headache disorder specialists are board certified in headache medicine, whereas general neurologists may not be. And there are only about 500 migraine/headache disorder specialists in the U.S.

    It’s difficult for neurologists to be experts in one area (even if they claim to be) because they treat so many different conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and other. Let me share this information on what makes these doctors so special and then how to find one- they can make all the difference! https://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/.
    Nancy
    I hope this helps!

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  • By browneyes1999

    Thank you Nancy . I already have a specialists in some of these cities for the ENT issues. I Will seen if my current Neuro or PCP will refer me out for an evaluation.

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  • By Stacey

    Hello Everyone. This is my first time here so I hope I am doing it right! I have suffered from migraines for 30 years and in the past year they have become chronic and I have had a headache everyday. I was recently prescribed mexiletine to use as a preventative. I have had a hard time finding other people on this and am wondering about the side effects others have felt and if they were able to stay on the medication and if it worked for them. I just want to make sure what I am feeling is ‘normal’ and not cause for concern. If anyone can help I would very much appreciate it. THANKS!!

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    StacyBurd,
    I was on Mexiletine last year after an inpatient stay at the Jefferson Headache Center. During my stay I was on a constant drip for a week of Lidocaine. When I went home, they gave me mexiletine as a substitute for the Lidocaine.

    I don’t think I stayed on it for more than 2 weeks. For me, I was only sleeping about 2-5 hours a day (when normally with Migraines, I get at least 10 hours of sleep). It also gave me this feeling that my skin was crawling, I was anxious, and very jittery. I couldn’t handle it and my doctor took me off of it. Of course everyone is different and you always need to decide if the benefits outweigh the side effects. Also, some of the side effects can dissipate the longer you are on the medication and when your body gets used to it. Here’s a list of side effects for this drug from Drugs.com (great website!)
    http://www.drugs.com/sfx/mexiletine-side-effects.html

    Let me know if you have any other questions!
    -Katie
    Migraine.com Moderator

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  • By Stacey

    Thank you Katie Golden! So far I am doing ok on the mexiletine and I am really hoping to stay on it. Last night they had me take two at a time and that did NOT go well. The whole lower half of my face and tongue were numb! Definitely one of the weirdest side effects I have felt from a medicine. Going to spread the doses out and see if that helps. I did have another question. I have been getting occasional pains in my upper chest, by my shoulder on the side that I had the PICC line in. Did you have any pain in the general area after the PICC line was removed? I know some of the meds they use are hard on your veins and I didn’t know if this was related! I hope you’re having a good day! Thanks Katie!!

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    StaceyBurd,
    I didn’t have any issues with my PICC line. But I did some research and found an online forum where multiple people complain of chest pain after removal of a PICC line. Unfortunately no expert commented on this issue or gave a suggestion.

    This website mentions that when a PICC line is inserted it can damage nerves in that area causing residual pain.
    http://picclinenursing.com/picc_risks.html

    You should definitely mention it to your doctor, just to be on the safe side.
    -Katie

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  • By Lynn Voedisch

    Hi, everyone. I’m brand new here, although I have participated at the boards on Facebook and before that at about.com. I didn’t know Migraine.com existed until an e-mail showed up in my mailbox.

    My question is this: After going through every preventative we could think of, my doctor and I are fairly stymied about where to go next. I had done wonderfully on Topamax until it turned on me and I suddenly needed higher and higher doses. It got to the dangerous level and although we cut it down and now I’m on fast-acting Trokendi, I’m still suffering from the memory effects that are so maddening. I want off of it immediately, because it’s not working at this dose anyway.

    I heard that Lamotrigine (pardon me if I spelled it incorrectly) works, although it seems there’s not much on it on the Internet. What does anyone know about this drug. Like Topamax, it also was made originally for seizures.
    Lynn

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    • By Laurie Vincent

      Hi Lynn: My Neurologist at Kaiser Permanente prescribed Lamotrigine for me eight years ago as a daily preventative medicine. I went from having 25 to 30 Migraines every month down to one Migraine every 4 to 8 weeks. It still works for me eight years later and I don’t have any side effects. You will have some Migraines for the first three or four weeks, as you taper down on the preventative medicine that you are on now, and as you taper up to the dose that I take, 3 25mg tablets twice a day. This medicine was tested by a group of patients but they had a hard time waiting for three or four weeks, so it didn’t test well for Migraines. But no other Migraine preventative medicine has worked for me as well as Lamotrigine does!!!! The brand name Teva works the best. My pharmacy substituted a generic brand one time and it didn’t work at all, like I wasn’t even taking any Lamotrigine at all. My Neurologist has me take two Aleve along with two prescription strength Tylenol 3’s to abort a Migraine. I can’t take any other Migraine abortive medicines due to having two cardiac arrhythmias. Other things that I do to prevent Migraines is to: eat an extra high fiber diet; avoid sugar and baked breads and pastries; avoid aspartame; avoid msg; avoid strong smells that trigger a Migraine, such as cigarette smoke and perfumes; I take one aspirin every morning along with magnesium; no caffeine in my diet at all. Home remedies that I use for Migraines before resorting to Aleve and Tylenol 3 are: drinking Gatorade and rubbing Origins On the Spot peppermint lotion under my nose and underneath my chin and neck. Due to High Blood Pressure, I now substitute two Aspirin instead of Aleve to abort a Migraine. Aleve raises your blood pressure.

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    Lynnv,
    Glad you found us!!
    I’ve not taken this drug. Lamotrigine is the generic name but you may hear it referred to as Lamictal. This is in the same class of drugs as Keppra, Depakote and Zonegran, if you’ve ever been on those.

    Drugs.com has a lot of info on Lamictal here: http://www.drugs.com/search.php?searchterm=Lamictal

    I, too, had to stop Topamax after years of use. It was very difficult to get off of. I worked with my doctor to slowly come off of it. I’m not going to lie, it was painful and my Migraines were very severe during this period of time. But if you can get on another drug while coming off of Topamax it should help tremendously. When I did it, I began Zonegran as a substitute for Topamax. Zonegran is similar to the Lamictal that your doc talked about. It has been helpful.

    Let us know if you have any other questions!
    -Katie
    Migraine.com Moderator

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    • By iluvlicorice

      I know this is an old post…Katie (moderator)…I’m wondering how you are doing on Zonegran? Are you still on it? Did you lose hair on this too? (I believe, from reading your posts, you lost a significant amount on Topamax)
      Trying to decide if I should give Zonegran a try. Just weened off Topamax, headaches are back. My headaches were SOOO good on Topamax, but I literally lost 60% of my hair!!

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  • By Lynn Voedisch

    Hi, Kate,
    Thanks. Actually, my doctor hasn’t suggested Lamictal yet. I have been researching things for our next appointment so we have plenty of solutions to discuss. Thanks for the tip on Zonegran too.
    I know what you mean about coming down off Topamax. I really have done the major part of it already. He took me down from 425mg(!) to 200 and put me on Neurontin, which didn’t work. Then we tried an anti-depressant/mood drug (just can’t remember the name) and it was horrible. Since then, he only changed the Topamax to Trokendi, reasoning that the fast-acting drug would not adhere to the brain cells and cause further memory damage. He was wrong and I get stupider by the day.

    This is why I am so eager to find a substitute. I
    In many ways I am still grieving the days when Topamax worked in a relatively small dose and I never, ever got headaches. I truly thought I was cured. As you say, when I came off of it. The chronic daily headaches were vicious and wiped out my social life–or any life.
    Still crawling back to a normal life one day. Thanks for listening!
    Lynn

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  • By Lynn Voedisch

    Quick note: the anti- depressant that was so awful was Cymbalta. It worked on the migraines for one month and then never again. Meanwhile, it made me so tired that all I wanted to do was sleep all day. Exercise felt like a nearly impossible task, and I was so emotional cry at restaurants and other public places, totally embarrassing my family.
    Good riddence to that stuff!

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  • By Elaine Gross

    I tried Cymbalta, and had a terrible reaction. Felt like I wanted to jump out of my skin. My heart was pounding and racing. It was awful, So silly me, a few days later thinking I may had been having a bad day, tried the Cymbalta again. NOT a bad day. I just can’t take Cymbalta. It’s soooo frustrating isn’t it? I’ve never taken Neurontin, but my husband had, with terrible effects. I’m sure it helps some people, but it was awful for him, and even has lasting damage from it. He does, however take Cymbalta, and it works well for him, but he doesn’t have migraines.

    After being relatively migraine free for a while I’ve suddenly started having them again along with vertigo and a lot of dizziness. And now have lost some hearing in left ear.

    One thing that really helped when I was suffering before was physical therapy. I get a lot of neck pain. And that seems to create mayhem with my head, back, shoulders, and neck. Physical therapy really helped me, actually I felt it saved me. My life went back to almost normal.

    Lynnv, I hope you find some modality of treatment that helps you. Don’t give up!

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