Migraines & PMDD???

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zimmy
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/12/2006 1:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone, this is my first time posting here. I have had migraines for about 8yrs. I used to get them 2/3 times a year and now I get 3/4 a week. I have tried several medications but apparently I become immune to them and they stop working. I was recently given Topomax. I get my migraines two weeks before my menstrual cycle, they say they are called menstrual migraines. The doctor told me to take Topomax one week before my period. It made me a bit dizzy but I did not get any major side affects. I was so glad to read about the soda comment here, I thought I was going crazy! So far, I only had one migraine so I will keep trying it and see. However, I also have been recently diagnosed with PMDD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Any women out there with this? I am to see several doctors to figure out what the best medication is for me. I have read about Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil and that they should not be mixed with any triptans, for people with migraines. My question is...does anyone have any experience taking a migraine medicine and an antidepressant at the same time? Any thoughts or opinions will be so much appreciated. Also, if there are any women out there with PMDD, please let me know your thoughts and experiences too. I have read that PMDD only affects 2-10% of women so I am having a hard time trying to get some more info. Thanks everyone, zimmy 

mommyto3
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 11/12/2006 5:13 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi, what you read about mixing certain antidepressants and triptans is true. I take a tricyclic antidepressant to help prevent my migraines, and several other medications to prevent and abort them. I just started on it and it takes awhile to build up in the system so I don't know how well it is working yet...Unfortunately, I can't help any with the PMDD. Do you only take the topomax one week before your period and then go off it again after your period (I'm sorry I may just be misreading your post)? Take care.


zimmy
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/13/2006 5:33 PM (GMT -6)   
hi, thanks for your reply, yes, i was put on topomax for the week before my period and then i stop taking it, i only have done this for one week so we will see how it goes, i have a dr's appt coming up so i will see what they say about the migraine medicine and anitdepressant, i hope your meds work well for you, thanks again, take care

hopefulmigrainer
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 902
   Posted 11/13/2006 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Zimmy -- I have heard this too but my docs know that I take 2 anti-depressants and triptans. My worst most STUBBORN migraines are pre/present menses. I also believe that I may be hitting perimenopause. This can happen up to 10 years before menopause and that my migaines are increasing in frequency each year. Their are a few threads in the past about "hormones and migraines." Happy reading.
Talk2Kel 
DX: chronic migraine, cervical degeneration, depression/anxiety 
RX: Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Soma, Immitrex 
"You don't find out that God is all you've got until God is all you've got."


zimmy
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/13/2006 10:12 PM (GMT -6)   
HI HOPEFUL, THANKS FOR YOUR INPUT, SINCE YOU ARE TAKING BOTH ANTI-DEPRESSANTS AND TRIPTANS, MAY I ASK IF YOU ARE NOTICING ANY OTHER UNUSUAL SIDE AFFECTS FROM TAKING BOTH, SINCE I HAVE BEEN READING THAT ONE CAN OVERDOSE ON SEROTONIN? THANKS AGAIN, TAKE CARE

hopefulmigrainer
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 902
   Posted 11/14/2006 12:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Gosh, I never heard about the "overdosing on serotonin" but I have heard that taking anti-depressants and triptans together is a heart risk. I wouldn't worry about overdosing on serotonin. What dosage of Prozac are you taking? A psychiatrist is the best person to dispense meds. I'm getting off of my Wellbutrin which has no serotonin, it has neophenefrine (sp?) instead. I hate taking meds but I was severely depressed and chronic migraine is a depressant too. Did you know that their are PMS clinics out there? Maybe do a google search.
Talk2Kel 
DX: chronic migraine, cervical degeneration, depression/anxiety 
RX: Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Soma, Immitrex 
"You don't find out that God is all you've got until God is all you've got."


mommyto3
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 11/14/2006 6:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Zimmy--I'm just curious and may have not been told correctly. I was told that Topomax takes 3-4 weeks to build up in the system to work to full effectiveness and then when it is time to go off of it I have to be tapered to prevent issues. I don't know what dosage you are on or anything like that so it could be a completely different plan so I was just curious if as time goes on if it continues to work without the build up period being needed. I felt like I got the side effects alot quicker than 3-4 weeks. Take Care!

Hopefulmigrainer--If you type in Serotonin Syndrome on your search engine it will give you more information on this condition. It can be caused by combining SSRI's and SNRI's with triptans. It discusses what types of symptoms to look for in this condition. It also talks about weighing the options with your doctors in use of these medications. I hope this helps...Take care!

zimmy
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/15/2006 5:45 PM (GMT -6)   
hopefulmigrainer--I recently started doing research on triptans and anti depressants and I did not mean to scare you or anyone else. I started posting here to get some input from others. I am glad that you have done your own research. I have a doctors appt coming up to discuss the anti-depressant meds so we'll see what he gives me. Thanks for the info on the pms clinics, very helpful. Take care and again, did not mean to scare anyone

mommyto3-I was not told about tapering off issues with topomax, just to take it for one week and then stop, I have a doctor's appt so I will ask again about this, to make sure. Thanks for your input. Take care

BREA
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/22/2006 10:07 PM (GMT -6)   
HI IM A NEW MEMBER. I HAVE DAILY MIGRANES/HEADACHES. I'V HAD HEADACHES FOR 15 YEARS.
THEY USED TO BE 1/2 A WEEK AND HAVE GOTTEN WORSE OVER THE PAST 4 YEARS.
I TAKE NEURONTIN,ELAVIL AT BED TIME, MAXALT, AND VICADIN. NOTHING IS WORKING NOW.
JUST AN FYI FOR THOSE WHO TAKE TOPOMAX. I USED TO TAKE THAT FOR ALMOST ONE YEAR, BUT HAD TO DISCONTUE BECAUSE IT CAUSED LOW CITRATE LEVELS WHICH CAUSED KIDNEY STONES. I HAVE EYE HEADACHES. IT HURTS TO MOVE THEM. I HAVE WIERD TRIGGERS TOO. I CANT SLEEP ON MY BAC, I CANT LOOK UP BECAUSE IT ALMOST GIVES ME AN INSTANT HEADACHE. HAS ANYONE EXPERIENCED THIS?
I'M AT MY WITTS END. I CANT REMEMBER A DAY I HAVEN'T HAD A HEADACHE. I READ SOME PEOPLE TAKE ANTI DEPRESANTS. HOW WELL DO THEY HELP? ANY HELP, ADVICE, EXPERIENCES WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. I CANT TAKE MUCH MORE. ITS NICE TO HAVE PEOPLE THAT UNDERSTAND THE PAIN THAT WE GO THRU ON A DAILY BASIS. WELL THANKS FOR LISTENING.

zimmy
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/25/2006 11:28 AM (GMT -6)   
hi brea, thanks so much for your input, i am no longer going to take topomax because of the side effects and because i am now on an anti-depressant. the doctor informed me to work on one issue at a time so we'll see what happens, i wish you the best of luck and you're right, it's nice to have people understand what we go through, take good care

hopefulmigrainer
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 902
   Posted 11/25/2006 4:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Zimmy -- my psyche doc finally caught up with the whole anti-depressants and triptans warning. Actually, the NEURO is the one that should be up on this. My psyche doc said that psychiatrist were recently given information about this. She immediately took me off of "Lexapro" because it is an SSRI. I also take Wellbutrin which is "not" an SSRI. Therefore, since my depression is better, I am only going to take Wellbutrin. And, gosh, I hope I don't have a relapse because I really can't afford one right now. Be sure that you are talking to ALL of your docs about this matter.
"You don't find out that God is all you've got until God is all you've got."
 
"The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground."
 
"You are richer today if you have laughed, given or forgiven."


meg813200
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/12/2008 6:29 PM (GMT -6)   
The best remedy for menstrually related migraines is called butalbital. It is quite old (I am a neuroscientist specializing in PMDD). It sometimes takes an hour or more to work, but it has the best success rate of any anti-migraine drug. Why don't you get it prescribed more often? 1) It is a barbiturate, so there is a potential for abuse 2) marketing companies are going nuts to prescribe women topiramate (topomax) because it was not effective as an anti-epileptic and they don't know what to do with it. 3) It is off patent, so no one makes money off it like they do from Imitrex etc. 4) Premenstrual migraines (most of them are) are completely under-researched and the majority of the solid research is not picked up by the medical community.

Butalbital does not prevent migraines (unless you get warning signs, like aura etc and take them when you have warning signs) but it makes the pain go away. It should not directly interact with antidepressants of any type, though they can make you sleepy and you should not drive etc till you know how they will affect you. These drugs actually address the most likely direct causes of the migraine.

Most antidepressants do not help with migraines, especially menstrually related mirgaines. Some can in fact cause headaches. Although most doctors will tell you otherwise, the actual studies do not support the fact that antidepressants (or any class) reduce or prevent menstrual migraines, or certainly not by much. If you have some conditions, (poly cystic ovaries, irregular periods, are perimenopausal or menopausal) you may have migraines that do not seem to be premenstrual, but are actually caused by the same hormones that are just being secreted at an irregular time.

You should not take antimigraine drugs like Imitrex with any antidepressant (celexa, lexapro, prozac, paxil, zoloft) and a lot of others. You should also not abruptly stop taking either topomax or antidepressants, unless a doctor tells you to because there is an emergency.


If you are getting migraines 3-4 times a week there are a few things you should check out.
1) anemia (very common, very underdiagnosed)
2) thyroid (also very common, very underdiagnosed)
3) your sleep pattern
4) diet - some things are notorious and reliable causes of migraines (but only in specific people). You should do the brown rice, turkey and pears diet for a few weeks and slowly add things back to see if it is diet related. Also keep a detailed diary of what you ate and when. Red wine, MSG etc can all be culprits
5) Don't fad diet and don't skip meals - dehydration and low blood sugar are not good for migraines either
6) a screaming hot bath with some epsom salts and 1-2 aspirin (this will dissolve and be absorbed by the skin, helped if you use a little bath oil) may also help reduce inflammation that comes with migraines and "reset" the blood vessels. It doesn't always work for me, but a lot of times it does.

DrKay
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/27/2008 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I began getting migraines during my premenopausal stage.  They were directly related to hormones.  My doctors bounced me around with medication.  I did take Topamax for 3 years.  It really helped.  However, you need to take it twice a day.  The side effects for me were bone thinning and depression.  So I am off the Topamax after breaking my left foot twice.  I do take an anti depressant and Imitrex.  However, I rarely take the Imitrex so I don't worry.  Excedrin is my only comfort now.  And Ginger Ale. 

westSJres
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/29/2008 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I just posted my experience as a new topic.  Here it is again for good measure:
I have never posted anything before, but want to get the word out about my recent experience Cymbalta.  I had never had migraine, but started suffering from Vertigo in Jan 2007.  I had MRI of my head/ear, two Sinus CT scans, and a full allergy workup.  Nothing wrong.  FIRST DIAGNOSIS- Meniere's disease - so I followed a salt-free diet (prescribed for Meniere's disease), but no improvement.  SECOND DIAGNOSIS - Vertigo-associated migraine, and I was sent to a headache specialist.  Although my mother, her father, and two brothers are migraine suffers, I had never had a migraine.   This was april, 2008.  Thinking the vertigo might be caused from the antidepressant medication I had been taking for several years, my doctor switched me to a newer drug - Cymbalta.  Concidentally, this is when the vertigo started to be followed by intense Migraine.  I was up to the working dose of 60 mg per day of cymbalta, but cut back to 40 mg/day, (probably a sub-therapeutic dose) because I thought it was making the migraine worse.  The Psychiatrist thought that was impossible, and told me that Cymbalta is even prescribed for headache.   The migraines became a daily event- now coming with classic auras, as well as vestibular (vertigo) auras.  I took a Stress Reduction class, went through 10 sessions of expensive biofeedback, and was put on Topomax.  As my headaches were worse during the second half of my cycle, the headache doctor also but me in an Estrogen patch, hoping higher estrogen levels would reduce the severity of the migraine.  Still no improvement.  Seven months later, the migraines were no better, and I wanted to quit the Topomax - I hated the way it made my food taste, and I was definately suffering cognitive impairment from it.  I decided something wasn't right, and I wanted to get off everything.  Unfortunately, I was now entering a depression.  Unwilling to increase the dose of Cymbalta, I switched back to Zoloft.  And here's the point to the story:  ITS BEEN 3 WEEKS AND I HAVEN'T HAD A SINGLE HEADACHE.  I still have the vertigo - and its probably more noticible now that I don't have the headaches.  I think its important to know that Cymbalta may worsen your headaches.  This might be because of its dual mechanism of action as a seratonin AND norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor.  Similar compounds might have similar effects - I know Wellbutrin gave me headaches.  If you have migraine - STAY AWAY from this DRUG.

DrKay
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/29/2008 4:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Are you still on the Topamax? When I was on the drug it made me depressed. It is a side effect of the drug. I found the Topamax very helpful with migraines. I have estrogren induced migraines brought on by menopause. The Patch made it worse. Never was told to try Cymbalta. I basically use Excedrin now.

westSJres
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/29/2008 5:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow thanks - It didn't occur to me that Tomopax could have brought on the depression, but it doesn't surprise me, given all the side effects this drug has.  THe main reason I stayed at 75 mg instead of going up to what my Doctor considered a therapeutic dose of 100 mg is that it made me feel extremely anxious.  I think you're probably smart to use Exedrin - please be careful: Its VERY hard on the digestive system - my mother was using it for her migraines and wound up in the hospital with internal bleeding.  Interestingly, her migraines totally disappeared when she started taking Beta Blockers for hypertension. 

DrKay
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/29/2008 5:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Topamax also thinned my bones. I only take one Excedrin a day. If it is really bad, I go with Imitrex. My stomach can only take so much of this stuff. I believe I just have to finish out menopause which takes longer than I realized.
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