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Medications & Prescription Treatment

Phenobarbital and Amerge

  • By Kristen

    I finally got in to see a neurologist (headache specialist) today after a month long migraine ordeal. I’ve known for years that I am addicted to Excedrin. I take it every day and have for most of my adult life (I’m 49). She recommended taking the combination of phenobarbital with Amerge for two weeks to get me off the E and get my daily headache under control. I’ve tried to get off myself but the rebound headache is so bad I always go back.

    Anyway, I’ve never heard of Amerge and the phenobarbital kind of freaks me out. Has anyone heard of or been on this combination before?

    She has given me a prescription for Maxalt to try when the migraine comes back. Thank you for any insights.

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  • By Teri Robert

    KBAZ,

    Amerge is a triptan, the same family as Imitrex, Maxalt, etc. It starts to act a bit more slowly than some of the triptans, but it has the second longest half-life of all of the triptans, so some people feel they get more sustained relief because it stays in the system longer than most of the others.

    No, I haven’t known doctors to prescribe phenobarbital to be taken with triptans, and have to say that it surprises me a bit because phenobarbital is a barbiturate, and they’re generally avoided because their use increases the risk of Migraines becoming chronic. Your doctor must have a good reason for prescribing it. If it concerns you, I’d suggest calling her office and asking for more information.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon!
    Teri

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