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jacklalane
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/2/2005 6:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello,
 
I'm new to the forum although not new to migraines.  I come from a long line of migraine sufferers, as my mother and grandmother were nice enough to share the gene with me.  I've been dealing with them for about 15 years.  I've tried many different meds over the years but I really don't like the side effects most of them have.  I started on Topamax about 2 months ago and, although it seemed to help at first, lately the side effects seem to be outweighing the benefits.  I'm up to 400mg daily now and the migraines are back with a vengeance on an almost daily basis now and seem to be 'ramping' up to their new/old ferocity again.  I also take Imitrex but was told by my regular dr. that I was taking too much and needed to cut back on it.
 
My migraines have really seemed to escalate since I hit 40 last year.  When I get a migraine there is actually a spot on the left side of my neck (my migraines are always on the left side) that if you push on it or rub it it will make the pain in the left side of my head and my left eye so bad it will actually make me violently ill.  My mother's migraines are the same.  The reason I'm writing this is because I'm wondering if anyone out there has tried acupuncture for migraines.  My mother has tried it through her Neurologist and, after 45 years of suffering migraines, she has found relief.  I've heard it's hard to get insurance to cover this.  I'm just wondering if anyone else has had any luck with this type of treatment.  I'm in the process of looking for a Neurologist who does this type of treatment in my area.
 
Thanks for any replies.
 
jacklalane

Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/2/2005 7:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Jackalane,
 
I also take Topamax and have had a similar experience. I increased the amount of Topamax too quickly and was using too many medications causing rebound headaches.
 
Triptans unfortunately cause rebound headaches so if you're using "too much" which can be more than one or two a week to one or two a month. The jury is out on that. My doctor tells me use for two days and then no more for at least five days. Other professionals say triptans shouldn't be used more than two or three times a month.
 
My neurologist says rebound headaches interfere with Topamax's effectiveness. What I had to do was to withdraw from the medications causing the rebound headaches before we could accurately access if the Topamax was working.
 
When I first started taking Topamax the doctor had me increase one pill a week and very quickly I was up to 200 mg / day. The side effects and headaches were incredible. I was so nauseas that I couldn't eat for nearly two weeks. With my doctor's approval I backed off to 75 mg / day - to where the side effects were manageable. Be careful if you do this the withdrawal effects are nearly as bad as the side effects. I stayed at 75 mg / day until the side effects had disappeared and was also withdrawing from pain killers.
 
Things have been going really well. My migraines are down and I'm generally just suffering from rebound headaches - see post on rebounds and articles.
 
Good luck! Keep in touch and let us know how it goes.
 
PS I'm sorry to hear you inherited the migraine gene. I think a lot of us did.
Nicky
 
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.   Buddha


*Jay-Lo*
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 10/3/2005 12:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jackalane,
I too inhereted the migraine gene! (isnt it wonderful?)
I actually just recently got officially diagnosed with migraines although Ive been getting them since I was like 12. My parents and my doc just kind of wrote it off all these years as something insignificant. they thought I was exagerating i guess.
Plus Im only 18 so I think that influenced them too.
Anyway... I finally got the right diagnosis and my md has given me maxalt which is a triptan to try it out.
Well, I got a started feeling a migraine coming on about a week ago so I took my first maxalt and nothing.... took another one two hours later and nothing..... plus my migraines are always accompanied by nasouesness and the maxalt did NOT make it any better, if anything it made me even more nauseous than I already was. and Ive tried aleve, tylenol, excedrin and none if them have worked.
So I am basically stuck with this horrible migraine and no relief from anything.
I find that lying in bed with the lights off and ice on my forehead kind of help, at least to where I can sleep a little bit. but I cant spend all the time in bed.
I have a life and work and Im sure most of us do.
But it is so hard to deal with this horrible pain while you are working or taking care of other everyday responsibilities.
well, I didnt mean to make this such a long post.
but let me know if you try accupuncture if it helps you with your migraines. i may try it.
and if theres ANYTHING, really, that helps you with them, please share.
I am really willing to try anything.
thanks!
jay
Jay-L


Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/3/2005 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Jay-L,

I'm sorry to hear your struggling with getting the right medications. There are medications out there that can help relieve your pain. Unfortunately people do write it off and think you have a headache. When you're younger it's harder to get people to listen.

You have a right to be listened to and I'm glad that finally someone diagnosed you properly. The road to finding the right combination of medications and lifestyle is a difficult one. There are lots of books out there, written by neurologists. Check Amazon.com (in US) or Chapters.ca (in Canada). Educate yourself, that will help you assert yourself with your doctors.

If the Maxalt didn't work, it's okay to go back to the doctor and say "Nope, that didn't work, now what?" There are many other types of Triptans out there that might work.

My neurologist has me keep a headache diary. Each day I note when the headache starts, how bad it is on a scale of 1 to 3 (3 being intolerable), what I take to relieve it, if I get relief and any triggers. Then when I see the neurologist he can see patterns, can tell how bad they are and what's working and not.

If your GP runs out of options then it's time to see a neurologist. It's okay to ask him or her to refer you. If you don't feel comfortable doing any of this then it might be time to get a new doctor.

At your age, the first thing I did was get a doctor that didn't know my mom. My mom's doctor gave me the creeps and I didn't trust him not to tell her anything or everything. He also still looked at me as if I was 12. The new doctor was great, treated me like an adult and took me seriously.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

PS I've tried accupuncture and had limited success.

PPS No need to apologize for long posts, we're here to listen to you vent. I think you'll find a lot of us have been there. It sucks but sometimes talking about it helps.


Nicky
 
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.   Buddha


jacklalane
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/3/2005 10:39 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for the great responses.  I've tried several GPs over the years and some of them have written my migraines off as 'just headaches'.  My current GP is fairly good and has truly tried several meds with me over the past couple years but she doesn't have a good handle on the dosage so I'm basically on my own when it comes to that.  I have kind of a bad story about Topamax because my GP didn't know to start me on a low dosage but I won't bore you with that story.  That's why I'm currently looking for a Nuero that specializes in headaches.

It's true what people say, though.  You just have to keep trying different combinations of things.  There is something out there that will work.  I'm determined to find a combination of meds and possibly other treatments that will work for me, which is why I started asking questions on this forum.

Thanks again.

Jacklalane


tysmyboo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 10/3/2005 11:05 AM (GMT -6)   

Jay-L

I have NEVER Had any luck with any form of Migraine pill- as far as something to get rid of a migraine in progress...I have to take Imitrex, Zomig (one of the triptans) in nasal spray form, Migranal (DHE-nasal spray) or even Injections of Imitrex, DHE or Compazine. I don't know what it is, but I am so nauseated and in pain that the pills just don't make it through the lining of my stomach and get absorbed enough to make a difference.

I just thought I would throw that in, not that it means you will have the same problem. Check out a thread called "treatment options"...do some research and that way you will be prepared next time you go to the doctor. You will have some knowledge about medications they might prescribe to you before they do!
 
Welcome...this is a great place to come and get support!
 
Sara
Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
 
Thanks for Visiting HealingWell.com


Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/3/2005 11:46 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Sara and Jay-L,

I have the same problem with nausea and not being able to take medications. I found that taking Gravol - anti-nausea medication, not sure if you have it in the states - with my medications settles my stomach so the medication can work.

I also find the Zomig Rapidmelts work as well as the nasal sprays. Anything up my nose with a migraine just makes it worse.

Just a couple more thoughts. I take Gravol with narcotics if the triptan hasn't worked and that settles my stomach enough and puts me to sleep so the other medications can work.

Jay-L, I had a similar problem with Topamax and tried it again very slowly and am having much better success this time. My neurologist thinks its the best right now - I'm not 100% convinced of that yet, but am more of a believer than I was.


Nicky
 
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.   Buddha


tysmyboo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 10/3/2005 12:07 PM (GMT -6)   

Hang in with the Topamax...I am a huge believer...just take it nice and slow...

I just wish the doctors would do that the first time around!!!

Too bad doctors don't have to take everything they prescribe at least once, so they would know a little more about it!!! lol


Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
 
Thanks for Visiting HealingWell.com


Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/3/2005 12:29 PM (GMT -6)   

Sara,

What a good idea! If doctor's had to take what they prescribed they might be more careful yeah .


Nicky
 
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.   Buddha


tysmyboo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 10/3/2005 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   

I think doctors should also have to suffer from whatever ailments they are trying to treat....wouldn't that be great? They would have a different perspective and might be a little more understanding!

My doctor would have migraines, fibro, a touch of anxiety-under certain situations...kidney issues...and would know how to handle it all!

Ooohhh...maybe I just need to become a doctor.... yeah


Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
 
Thanks for Visiting HealingWell.com

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