Weird reaction to Excedrin migraine? Panic attack?

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 7/1/2010 4:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,

I developed some debilitating vestibular migraines when I hit 20, but a combination of higher estrogen birth control pills and elavil every night has made them much milder and less frequent, yay.

I went to bed last night with a pounding headache behind one eye, put an ice pack on and tried to sleep it luck, still there when I woke up, so I took one dose of Excedrin migraine (actually a generic version, a combo of acetomenophin, aspirin and caffeine). It immediately took the pain away, but now I'm really shaky and weak, and my heart is beating like crazy. Anxious and lightheaded, kind of scary. Feels like I can barely lift my arms and I'm cold.

I just ate a full lunch and drank two bottles of water, still feeling this way. I also realized this has happened a few other times I've taken this medicine last year, though sometimes it's just fine, this doesn't occur.

The weird thing is, as a young teen, I used to take this all the time with no side effects for my monthly behind-the-eye headaches, and it worked like a charm. I've only had this weird effect since hitting about 20.

Has anyone else experienced this?

*Note: I don't think it's the caffeine intake. Sometimes caffeine CURES my headaches/migraines! I drink it occasionally, usually soda and sometimes an energy drink, with no side effects. Moderate use, not a lot and not a little. I don't drink coffee either.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 7/1/2010 10:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Given your symptoms, please call your primary doctor and make an appointment. Nothing to frett about, but still needs to be addressed by a doctor, and we are not doctors.
Smurfy Shadow/Desirèe 
DX: Wegener's Disease, Migraines, Diabetese Type II, PCOS, Lactose Intolerant, Benign Heart Murmer, Depression, Asthma, Asperger's Syndrome, Necrotizing Gramultous Inflamation in eye, A.D.D., Acid Reflux, Tumor Behind the Eye, Carpal Tunnel, Fibromyolgia, Clasterphobic, Arthritis
Medications:  Tri Nessa, Percocet, Metformin, Prilosec, Protonix, Zantac, Advair, Cingulair, Albuterol, Calcium + Vitamin D, Pro-Air, Pepcid, Rolaids, Zofran, Compuzeen, Refresh Plus Eye Drops  PRN: Epi-Pen, Albuterol Nebulizer, Benedryl
Undergoing Radiation Taking Lorazepam (Ativan) on Radiation Days

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 197
   Posted 7/2/2010 12:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Even though it would make my headaches feel better, caffeine always makes my heart pound, and makes me feel awful and mimics a panic attack for me. The trade off of making my head feel better is making the rest of my body feel terrible. The older I get, the worse my reaction has become. When I was in my 20's, caffeine didn't bother me at all. I drank regular coffee, no problem. Now, the most I can get away with is a glass of iced tea, and it has to be with food, or my heart is tripping for hours. Forget soda with caffeine. I can't take OTC cold medications for the same reason. The decongestant ingredients do the same thing. My heart rate runs in the 80-90's to start with at rest. Add caffeine and it trips out at 120+ for hours. As Desiree advised, it is worth making an appointment with your doctor. But to put your mind at ease, the lightheaded, shaky, weak, anxious feeling you describe sounds very similar to my reaction to caffeine, and is exactly why I won't use it any more to treat my migraines. Feel better!

Fibromyalgia, High BP, Migraines, anxiety
Current medications: Topamax, Maxalt, Lotrel, Wellbutrin

Post Edited (caligirl2001) : 7/4/2010 11:55:49 PM (GMT-6)

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