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Medications & Prescription Treatment

vicoden for migraines? really?

  • By merrie

    My migraine specialist has decided I should try vicoden, used very sparingly, in his words, to get a break from my migraines. I have had narcotics, very rarely, for my migraines, in the hospital, but I try to avoid them because of the rebound effect. I also very much doubt that hydrocodone is going to do. Much. I currently inject toradol at home, and if that doesn’t work, I end up in the er, where they end up giving me hydromorphine. This only happens about twice a year, because I hate going to er, and usually I would rather just deal with the pain as best I can at home. I am a chronic migrainer, so the migraine basically never fully goes away. And since I only use the meds 3 time a week Max, the other four I’m stuck anyway. Guess I’m just skeptical about using a narcotics as a regular basis treatment. Don’t want the situation to get worse, or to end up with med overuse headache. Shpuld I try it anyway, since that is what my Dr wants?

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  • By 11:11

    If you’re only going to the ER twice a year Id be leary. I’m in the ER every 2-3 weeks and have terrible migraines 3-5 a week.

    Have you trailed other meds besides toradol?

    What about triptans? There is a daily triptan for chronic daily migraine.

    Phenergan?

    I think you’re right to be concerned about regular opiate use. I think they have an important role in rescue, but are risky in daily use. I have a much higher ER visitation freq than you and I wouldn’t.

    I am however wondering if fentanyl patch might not be worth investigating in my case.

    Good luck and hope things work out for you-

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  • By merrie

    Hi,
    I am on three preventative meds, and I have phenergan, and another anti nausea med. I also have DHE 45 injectable, but it doesn’t work as well as the toradol, so I rarely use it. I only go to the er when I feel like I cannot ride it out until I am able to use my injectable, because I have not found the er to be super helpful, and I hate dealing with the er process. I have tried triptans several times. They give me severe chest pains, and don’t help the migraine. Yeah, I just don’t see the point of using vicodan when I know it probably won’t do anything, and is certainly not as effective as toradol. I was surprised he even prescribed it, considering the track record of narcotics and migraines.

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  • By Blaine

    I have used Vicodin once or twice, and some of the pain dissipate, but my other symptoms did not. I was clearly still having the migraine but didn’t feel it quite as much, and when the Vicodin wore off the migraine was back. That’s probably the best you could hope for (and of course narcotics have to be used sparingly).

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  • By kimberlyflick

    Count yourself lucky if you’re getting DHE injections. At first, I went through hell with that treatment. But after my body got use to them, those injections were a God-send. Now I can’t get them anywhere.

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    Merrie,
    You are right to be cautious about using vicodin. There is a risk of medication overuse headache, but same goes with DHE injectables. Vicodin does not work to stop the Migraine, it only treats the pain. But sometimes having a break from the pain can allow your body to relax, thus reducing or eliminating your Migraine. But other times, when the vicodin wears off the Migraine is still there.

    Any opioid has a potential for dependency so if you start to take it, monitor your usage and take it exactly how the doc prescribed. I would suggest that if you use it, do NOT drive and you may want someone else around in case you have a bad reaction. Most likely it will help put you to sleep.

    Going down the path of narcotics is a very personal decision and it’s up to you to figure out its right for you.
    -Katie
    Migraine.com Moderator

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    • By merrie

      Hi Katie,

      I guess I just don’t see the point of using vicodan. I already have injectable DHE, and injectable toradol, which I use no more than 3x a week total (for both meds, not each). I very much doubt that vicodan will be more effective than either of these, and it has a higher potential to cause a rebound migraine from what I understand. Now, when I have used my home injectable drugs, and these don’t work, and I end up in the er (rarely, maybe 2x a year), I can understand trying a narcotic at that point, just to try to give my body a break from the pain. But even when they do this, I usually am given something like toradol IV, and then they will use a narcotic, usually hydomorphine. This does work, and then I get at least a day off from migraine. Vicodan is a very low strength pain killer, I have trouble seeing it as more effective than the non narcotic options.

      Also, the reason I called the Dr in the first place, was not because I wanted a new rescue med, but because I couldn’t afford the preventative med he prescribed last time…it’s 150$ for 1 months, so I was hoping to try something else. I am just really confused about why we are going down this road. I guess I should try . To talk to him again, but he’s really hard to get ahold of, and he seems to get offended when I question thing. I don’t know. Feeling at loose ends. Thanks for the replies.

      Mer

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    Merrie,
    I am not advocating that you use the vicoden, just letting you know why some docs and patients chose to go down that path. If you’re uncomfortable with it, definitely don’t use it. Or like you said, use it as a last resort before you try the ER.

    This link might help you in getting a discount on the meds. You can also go on goodrx.com and find the pharmacy near you that charges the least for the med.

    https://migraine.com/offer-center/migraine-prescription-drug-coupons/

    -Katie
    Migraine.com
    Moderator

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    • By merrie

      Thanks for the link. Sadly the Ned I cannot afford is in Canada, which is probably why it’s so expensive. But I will check out the link for my other meds 🙂

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