I would be VERY careful taking over the counter medications such as tylenol, not that I am saying they are "dangerous" but for a while (when I first had migraines) I would take advil, tylenol etc and my migraines got worse. It was "rebound" aka medication overuse headaches. Since they were not strong enough, and did not last long enough to get rid of migraines I felt like I would take one or two and then have to take more later as they wore off.
Since educating myself and learning what will and won't work for MY migraines I have not had a regular tylenol or anything like it in YEARS. I take things that are specific to migraine pain and ONLY in the amounts that are prescribed and I have found that the migraine pain is less and less severe than "rebound" headaches.
Let me know if this makes sense
First of all, welcome to the Migraine Board! You say that you suffer from CHRONIC DAILY MIGRAINES. What medication(s) do you take for these, and how often? You may be suffering from both migraines and rebounds because of the medication. Any kind of pain med, prescribed or OTC, can give you daily rebound headaches, which can be as painful and debilitating as full-blown migraines.
I have major back pain on a daily basis, in addition to frequent migraines, so balancing the back pain verses the rebound headaches are tricky. Something hurts all the time. The rebounds really keep me from doing anything constructive, as I'm just too miserable. I can't take NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, motrin, etc...), so Tylenol and prescription pain meds are my only options. By the way, taking too much Tylenol can do irreversible damage to your liver. Thus the warnings to take as directed.
Let us know what your daily medicine regime is and we can probably better advise you. Best of luck!
Post Edited (korbnep) : 10/23/2007 10:50:05 PM (GMT-6)
I tried Botox, it wasn't helpful. I've had several nerve blocks before, some in the back of my neck, but most were superorbital. One of the superorbital ones helped a little bit for about 4 hours, but when I had a semi-permanent nerve block done in the same spot, it didn't help. The neurologist said that it was probably just the numbing agent that helped, he said it must have hit a certain nerve just right.
I have a friend that I met in a hospital that has headaches like yours. Hers were caused from a seizure disorder she didn't know she had. I assume that you have been tested for seizures though, especially after 5 years.
Your pain levels sound pretty close to mine. After I get the demerol and phergan my pain level goes to a 4 or 5. A day or two after that I'm back up to a 6 or 7. Within a week I'm at a constant 9, which soon turns into a 10. And of course, stress makes the pain increase quicker.
Have you tried any tricyclic antidepressants, such as Nortriptylene? I found that it was helpful for ~2 years, and then it wasn't anymore. Also, has your dr. tried you on Topamax? I didn't find it helpful, but many of my friends who also suffer from migraines do find it helpful...at least for a while.
Currently, I've found the medications that have had the most impact on my daily headaches/migraines are: Lyrica (a nerve pain med), Verapamil (a channel blocker), and Migrelief (the supplement you are already taking).
I also have a very high tolerance to medications and feel your pain. I hope you can find something to help you.
When you were taking Stadol NS, how was it prescribed for you, and how long did a bottle last? It is the only thing that will abort one of my migraines, but doesn't really help if I don't get it onboard just as the migraine is beginning. This happens frequently, as I wake up with a migraine several days a month (usually when a weather front comes thru during the night). I was also taking a low dose of Lortab (5/500) for acute chronic back pain. My PCP was only giving me 30 a week, which meant I was only getting some relief 8 hours a day. Every week I had to jump through the hoops to get it refilled. He wanted me to stretch out my Stadol NS for a whole month. That was pretty assinine if you ask me. How are you supposed to decide which migraine should get treated and which should you have to suffer thru. DUH!!!
I've been averaging having to get a pain shot about once a week. Usually 10mg Nubain/50mg Phenergan, which usually works, but doesn't knock me out all the time. I've been having monthly follow-up appointments with my PCP for the past several months. This past week, he decided that the amount of narcotic medication I was taking was far too much!!! I am scheduled to see a pain management specialist at the University of VA Medical Center on Tuesday (over an hour from where I live). I've been there before but didn't get any help with my migraines. The gave me a round of occipital nerve blocks which did not help. My PCP decided to throw my entire pain management issues on them and let them manage my pain. He said he wouldn't be prescribing pain medication for me anymore. The Pain Management Center is strongly opposed to using any narcotic medication for anything. I guess they might make exceptions for people with terminal cancer, but who knows. I've just taken my last Lortab, and I'm at a loss as to how I'm supposed to have any quality of life without the only medications that give me any relief. Guess it just sucks to be me.
Anyone know of a good doctor or pain specialist on the east coast who isn't afraid to treat chronic pain issues with narcotics? I'd go just about anywhere to get decent treatment. I have a right to a decent quality of life, but I haven't found a doctor yet willing to work with me for years. Can we say "hot potato"? Geez...I feel like the baby being thrown out with the bathwater.
Liz- I'm so sorry to hear you are in so much pain. I can't relate to the high drug tolerance levels, but I can relate to what I also call chronic migraines (daily, never ending migraines). I was in bed for a year and a half with what literally was a daily, never ending migraine (the pain level never dropped below a 5 on a scale of 1-10). I saw someone ask earlier what doctors you are currently seeing, but didn't see the answer. If you're not already, I would really advise you to seek out a neurologist who specializes in migraines. Usually these neurolgoists don't see any patients except migraine/headache related cases. I went through a slew of doctors who thought I was exagerating the pain level and occurences of my migraines, doctors who just guessed and threw numerous different drugs at me (telling me to try this for a while, and come back in a few months for a follow-up), etc. When I went to a neurologist who specialized in migraines it was the first time a doctor really listened, had some answers, and set up a logical/feasible treatment plan with me.
Wishing you a peaceful day!