Every single day headache...(currently on valproic acid)

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Gator4life
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Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 4/30/2011 7:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Ok, so I'm obviously very new to this forum. I'm not even a lurker. Im just getting tired of dealing with these headaches! Thought maybe I would try my hand at a medical forum. I'll try my best to describe my problem. Though I must admit, that after reading over similar topics, my headaches pale in comparison. I mean, a poster talking about a 7 year long headache!?!? Anyway, I'm 29, no medical conditions. (that I'm aware of) I do, however, have bad posture and never excercise. I used exercise religiously. I eat semi healthy. Well, not really. I eat veggies but I also eat a lot of greasy food. (a lot) I used to drink and smoke cigerettes religiously for about 12 years. Though I've stopped that non sense about 2 years ago. I drink on occassion, like once a month. Cigs even less. Now on to my dark secret. I've been taking sleeping pills (unisom gels) for as long as I can remember. (I told my neuro that by the way) I only use one before bedtime. Never more, never less. I got addicted to them forever ago because I always had problems going to sleep. When I was young, I would come home from school and pass out from staying up late playing games! So of course at night I wasn't sleepy. My mom would give me a pill every now and then, leading to my body eventually requiring it to go to sleep. My mother feels terrible for giving me that first pill. Now look at me! Lol

Alright, so I've had my headaches since march 15th. I guess around 45 days. They usually start at the (top, back left) and just migrate wherever they want. Doesn't usually affect my front too much. Sometimes, very rarely, it will hurt behind one eye. But overall, mostly the back and sides. Right now, as I type, it's a dull pain, all around my head, including the top, but excluding the very front. Bare with my descriptions, as its very difficult to pin point exact locations of my head ache that seems to be every where at times. I started out taking Tylenol and OTC mess but they didn't do much. The only one that really worked was excedrin 'tension headache'. Obviously I wasn't going to take those forever. I went to my family doctor and he ran through the list of physical exams. He decided I just had tension headaches and I should just eat more fruits and go exercise, even if I didn't feel like it. I decided I would wait it out but after a week I said screw it and I asked him to make an app. With the neurologist. I had to wait about month before I could even see the neuro but I took it. In the meantime, my GP prescribed me Amitryptiline to quell my stress. Lol i got very impatient after 2 weeks and demanded my neuro see me soon, as my headaches were driving me nuts. Keep in mind, I've never been a headache person. I rarely get them, if ever.

So my neuro did the same battery of test and said he thought I was normal. He went down a laundry list of meds I could try. Looking back now, I wish I would have really listened to him. He said so many so fast, including a temporary steroid?!? (someone please enlighten me on that) We settled on valproic acid, blood work and a CT scan without contrast. I didn't have the money or insurance for an MRI. The dosage is 250 mg capsules, twice a day, twice daily. (4 total pills)

The CT came back clean and blood work was ok. So I've been taking these pills for about 10 days. And let me tell you, I get a nasty side effect. Feels like somethings coming up my throat. Almost like I'm going to puke, but I don't. In the the tenth day, it just got too much to handle and I called the doc to see if I could lower the dose. He said I could cut it in half and go to two a day total. Started that yesterday. Been a good difference. I can handle this much easier. Now as for my headaches, since I've been taking these pills, roughly 11 days, I have noticed some improvement in my headaches (strength) but not duration. I still have them every single day, morning to night! I mean, if I can go on a tangent real quick: how is that even possible? How can one have freaking headache every single minute of every single day. Yeah, it sometimes feels extremely faint and it doesn't really bother me. But it's always there! Lurking! Lol ok, back on topic... I guess my question is how long does this stuff take to work, and is this even right for me? Also, my neuro told me to come back and see him in 6-8 weeks. My thing is, if I lowered the dosage, shouldn't I extend that time a little?

I hope I didn't confuse you guys too much with my post. I typed this in a hurry with the stupid auto correct on my phone. Thanks for any help!

Post Edited (Gator4life) : 5/1/2011 12:22:04 PM (GMT-6)


Gator4life
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 5/3/2011 6:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Guess nobody has any advice. Well that sucks!

jewishmother
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 5/4/2011 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi...........I am having trouble with my current migraine digesting your posts so please excuse me if I ask any questions that are already answered in your posts. It is very important that you have a doctor that you trust to listen to your whole story. Do they know about your depression? Do you have any other symptoms besides the pain? Nausea? Light sensitivity? Numbness? What besides drugs can ease or lessen your pain? Have you tried massage therapy? Stretches for your neck? Is there a history of migraines in your family?

If it is migraines that you are dealing with it is important for you to keep a journal - what you eat, how much/well you sleep, activities etc... alongside your daily symptoms to see if there is a pattern. Also don't know where you are geographically but a lot of migraine sufferers have had a really difficult time with the ever-changing weather and the fairly constant rain in some parts of the world.

Does your neuro think it is migraines? Why valporic acid? It is an anti-convulsant and a mood stabilizer. What other drugs did he suggest? Some drugs can take a month or more to be effective. Please keep posting. L

Gator4life
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 5/6/2011 8:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow! A post! Lol. I'll try my best to clear some things up. First off, I live in Florida. Weather is pretty nice most of the time. I don't think that has anything to do with it. Its never bothered me in the past. As for my symptoms, I don't get nauseas ever, no vision problems, no dizziness, no numbness, light sensitivity, no spots or 'floaters'.... pretty much nothing but head aches all day, everyday. Lately, my short term memory has gone south. I swear I forget things so quickly. Though I think that has to do with multiple factors. I've never had a good attention span. I'm always thinking about 5 million things at once. Then add in the valproic acid and that's a recipe for forgetting things. My family doesn't have a history of headaches, that I'm aware of. Nobody in my immediate family has had them, I know that much. Myself, I rarely ever get headaches. That's why this sucks so bad. I'm not used to dealing with this.

As for my diet, i eat veggies but I also eat fast food as well. I drink a decent amount of water. (enough to where it shouldn't b the problem) one thing I do have a problem with is sleep. As I stated in a previous post, I'm addicted to sleeping pills. I take one unisom gel cap every night. Been that way for probably 10 years. But it's never bothered me. Also, I'm a light sleeper so I wake up probably 3 times a night. Or I should say morning. I go to sleep very late. I take a pill at midnight and actually go to sleep at 2:30, wake up at 11:23 am to go to work at 12:15pm. As for my neurologist, I've only met him once so he really doesn't have a clue about my past, other than what I've told him. (which is everything). Anyway, I don't know why he put me on valproic acid. He listed numerous things I could try, but I really had no clue what to say yes to. We finally settled on valproic acid. Which, by the way, did jack squat. I understand these things take a while to work in your body, but after 2 weeks, I had enough.


Now an update on where things are right now. I recently called my Neuro up and said we need to try something new. He agreed and told me to come in sooner than my previous appointment I had. My new app. is May 18. In the meantime, he put me on prednisone tablets, usp 5mg. for the pain. Just a weeks worth. I hope I answered everything.

Lastly, (almost forgot) I don't exactly take a diary but I more or less know when my headaches get worse. I don't believe there's any triggers that I'm aware of yet. When I wake, (around noon) my the pain is probably a 4 out of 10. As the day progresses, it hovers around a 6 or 7. By evening time (7-10) it not always, but usually sky rockets to a 10. I've taken OTC meds but most don't help. 'excedrin tension headache' does help but for some unknown reason, it makes me nervous and anxious. I know, strange.

I think ive covered everything in all my post, combined.

I wonder sometimes... Is it really possible for tension headaches to last all day everyday, for two months? That's what my family doctor thinks is the problem. Yes, I'm under a ridiculous amount of stress, but who isn't?!? Hell, there's people out there under more stress than I am and I don't see them with headaches! That's what concerns me. I think on my next visit to my neuro, I'm going to ask for muscle relaxers. Maybe that's what I need. Never had those before. Heard they are addictive so I declined them on the last visit. I'll post back when I get my next prescription. Thanks a lot for taking time out to answer me. It's easy to just read and click on to the next page. You decided to be different, and for that I thank you! Even if you don't help me at all. (:

Post Edited (Gator4life) : 5/6/2011 9:20:13 PM (GMT-6)


jewishmother
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 5/6/2011 8:27 PM (GMT -7)   
The excedrin you are taking has caffeine which is why it makes you nervous and anxious. A lot of people have to try several different drugs to see what works best for the headache and sometimes when you find a drug that works that can also help you define what type of headache you are having. Does that make sense?

Does massage help at all? Any jaw pain or pain in your temples? Heat or ice help? Do you do any stretches for your neck and shoulders? Do you ever have any pain or pressure behind your eyes? Glad your neuro moved your appointment up - a good sign that he believes what you are telling him about your symptoms.

Sorry again for all the questions - the search for a diagnosis can be exhausting and headaches/migraines can be very stubborn creatures.............keep posting please................even if it is just the two of us talking!

Gator4life
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 5/7/2011 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Don't think I mentioned this before but it may be important. I'm 30 years old, male, 139 pounds and around 6 feet tall.


Ok.....so I did try a neck and scalp message a few weeks after the headaches started. It didn't help. But of course that was just one time so who knows. I tried stretching my neck and shoulders with exercises I read on the Internet but to no avail as well. Though once again, I didn't keep at for too long. Im not very patient. To be honest, I think I hurt more after the exercises.

As for jaw pain, no. I do, however, have pain in my gums from time to time. I didn't take care of my teath for a long, long time. NEVER floss, to this day. I brush every night before I sleep at least. And sometimes use listerine. Another thing I'm not proud of is I haven't gotten my teeth cleaned or checked in probably 10 years!

Trying to answer every question but it's hard on this phone! Lol bare with me...

As for pressure behind the eyes. Only when it's really bad do I get that. And it will indiscriminately choose an eye. Some times left, some times right. The pain, most of the time, starts from the back of my head and then migrates where ever it wants.

You mentioned ice... That's the one thing I haven't tried. I just thought it would be a waste of time. My mother keeps telling me to at least try it. I'm going to give it a try tonight.

Lastly, this 5mg prednisone scares the crap out of me! Every where I read, people complain about he ridiculous side effects. Moon face, anxious, terrible weight gain, dehydrated, etc, etc...these aren't just side effects that may happen like the usual pill bottle reads, either. Almost everybody (actually) gets these. That being said, I think that is more for higher dosages. (which there is much, much higher) I'm only supposed to take it for 6 days. For now, (today) I'm going to try ice and some more OTC meds. If that fails, along with prayer, the I'll take the dang steroids. My appointment is pretty close so I hope I can fight through until then. Sigh...

Post Edited (Gator4life) : 5/7/2011 12:08:40 PM (GMT-6)


jewishmother
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 5/7/2011 10:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Just a couple of more thoughts...................I asked about the pressure behind the eyes because that could be a sign that your headaches involve the occipital nerve especially since the pain starts at the back of your head. If you pushed at the base of your head right above your neck when you have the headache how does that feel? You might want to read a little bit about occipital neuralgia. Is your scalp sore? I know, I know more questions...........

btw - did you try the ice at the back of your head? The steroids are an anti-inflammatory and if your pain is muscle-related or vascular it might help cut the pain and if it does help that gives your doc some important information.

Gator4life
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 5/8/2011 4:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Don't think it's occipital neuralgia. I already read over that. Didn't try ice last night because it actually subsided for some reason. But as soon as I woke, bam, right back to square one. Thank god it doesn't keep me from sleeping.

As for the steroids, well, basically, uh, ..... I'm nervous! Lol. I probably should though. I think I'm going to fight through it until I see him again. Gonna try the ice right now though. My pain is about a 7 out of 10. I'll post back after my next appointment on the 18 of this month. (unless something changes)

Thanks again for taking the time to answer back! (:

Gator4life
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 5/14/2011 2:13 PM (GMT -7)   
When it rains it pours! Started feeling a little better earlier this week. The pain was still always there, but it wasn't too bad. (still haven't gone to the nuero yet, app. is a few days away) so a couple of days ago my back tooth started hurting badly. Turns out one of my wisdom teeth needs to come out. Food is getting trapped underneath a flap of my gum, and is getting infected! The whole area gets inflamed. Pretty painful to eat. The dentist told me it's impacted I need to surgically cut it out. Freaking ridiculous! He also gave me penicilin for infection. While I was there, he suggested a mouth piece at night; said it looks like I have clinching and grinding. (can't think of what thats called, starts with a b) bruxism? Anyway, ive slept with that mouth piece for 2 days now and nothing. I'll give it a week and that's it. I was/am hoping that it's the cause of my pain but I really, really doubt it.

Back to my head: the last two days, I've woken up with ridiculous headaches. I mean, terrible pain! Don't know if the tooth infection is making the normal headache increase or if it's just the usual headache flaring up on it's own, stemming from the original problem. Sigh...

Starting to regret not taking the steroids. Just don't like the idea of nasty side effects. From now on, I guess I should just do what the doc says, regardless.

Honestly, I think this has something to do with my neck/spinal cord. When I wake, my neck usually feels pretty stiff. A (slight) bit of pain as well when I stretch it back.

Looking forward to seeing the neurologist in a few days. Not looking forward to the bill though! ):

Gator4life
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 5/20/2011 7:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Got my new prescription. Put me on nurton's generic drug. Can't think of the name right now. Also, since I never took the prednisone, he told me to take that as well.

I started all of this yesterday. (5/20)... the prednisone, after a day and a half, has done nothing but make me nervous and sometimes nauseous. I'm only going to be on it for 6 days so I hope this starts helping soon. I'm starting to get very depressed about all this. Seems like nothing works. My next step will be a trip to the hospital. Even the neuro told me he thought that might be in my best interest. They can run a bunch of test there. He thought maybe I should get an MRI, eventhough my CT was clear. That, and probably more blood work. ):

jewishmother
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 5/20/2011 9:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there........thanks so much for the update. Again sorry but have a few questions! Are you still taking the antibiotic for the tooth. Certainly jaw and tooth problems can be the cause of headaches or exacerbate a headache. Are you scheduled to have the wisdom tooth removed? Years ago I had trouble with constant outer ear inflammation to the point that I would lose hearing in my right ear - turns out the problem was the way I held my jaw when I slept that was causing the inflammation. I think you might want to try wearing the mouthpiece for a few weeks before you pass judgment on whether or not it is helping - I know it is hard to be patient when you are in pain but if the mouthpiece is not making it worse why not stick with it a little longer.

Is it gabapentin you are taking? That is a pretty good migraine preventative that a lot of people have had success with but it may take a while to help. Did the neuro give you anything as an abortive for the pain? I don't know what country you are in or what your health care system is like but shouldn't your neuro be the one ordering the bloodwork and the MRI? Have you been evaluated by a physical therapist? You are right about the steroids causing the nervousness - but it is a short course and hopefully it might give you some relief. One last question - did you ever try the ice? I so appreciate that you posted again - and so sorry that your pain is still a companion.

Gator4life
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 5/26/2011 1:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Sigh... The news gets better and better. Turns out my tooth is deeply impacted, and requires surgery to come out. Un F-ing believable. Scheduled to remove that on the 14th of June. Also, the surgeon told me that I have signs of grinding from my teeth, but thinks that's not the cause of my headaches. Says, I've been doing it for years.

Yes, I'm on gabapentin. (3/day) started it a week ago. (5/19) It hasn't done squat yet. The prednisone pack, however, actually helped a little. On the third day of the 6 day pack, it started to really help. The pain wasn't totally gone, but much better. I bet if it was a higher dose, the pain would have been completely gone. Now, about 2 days removed from the prednisone, my headache is almost debilitating at times. I feel like I'm back to square one all over again. I know these drugs like valproic acid/ gabapentin take time, but I truly don't think they're right for my specific problems. My headaches don't come every now and then. I have a constant headache that never fully goes away. I'm trying my hardest to wait it out and see if the drugs will have an effect, but it's freaking impossible some times.

You asked about neurologist... He suggested the hospital because I think he doesn't know what else to do. I'm supposed to go back to him in about 7 weeks. Instead, I'm probably going to go to the hospital and hope they find something. (hopefully nothing too bad) I'm sorry, but this is utterly ridiculous to me. Having a constant headache, 24/7....IS UNBELIEVABLY frustrating!!

Lastly, before I forget, yes I tried the ice pack. Didn't work. I also tried a long, hot shower, focusing on my neck and shoulder muscles. Didnt work. Message... Didn't work. ): though about a chriropracter, but I'm scared after hearing some bad things about them. There's one thing I haven't really tried. Exercise. I did it for a few days, but got annoyed when the headache would flare up randomly.

Anyway, thanks for sticking around. I very much appreciate it.

Post Edited (Gator4life) : 5/26/2011 3:00:34 AM (GMT-6)


jewishmother
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 5/26/2011 9:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Glad to hear from you...........I am currently reading Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away. It isn't bad - a quick read and kind of funny in spots but what I like about it is that we share a lot of the same frustrations/thoughts/emotions. Makes me less alone and less crazy!

I think it is a pretty good clue that the prednisone helped.............maybe getting that impacted wisdom tooth out will be helpful! Could be it is causing some inflammation and/or pressure on a facial nerve (like the trigeminal nerve).........anyway being an optimist (most of the time anyway, though my ethnicity/genetics gives me a good dose of pessimism!) I am hopeful that the tooth extraction will have a positive effect. How extensive is the surgery?

You are right - it is ridiculous..........constant pain with no known cause especially with all the testing they can throw at us should not be happening. The brain however is mostly still a mystery and we are all caught up in this who-dunnit. Thanks for the update................just a couple of more questions. Does your pain level ebb and flow? If it does have you been able to see any kind of pattern? Please keep posting! L

Gator4life
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 6/12/2011 8:56 PM (GMT -7)   
6/12 So it's been a little more than 3 weeks on gabapentin. It has done absolutely nothing! I've, as of last night, decided to stop using it.

This whole mess has literally made me very angry, in my day to day activities. I try every darn OTC medicine, all for not. Well, actually, sometimes the OTC's do work. Not nearly as often as id like though. I'm finding myself on the brink of destruction. It's just crazy. How can one have a headache everyday? It literally never goes away. Granted it softens up a bit from time to time. But it never fully goes away. Then there's the times when it actually does intensify worse than normal. Sigh... I just don't understand why this is happening to me. I've prayed to god for not a cure/answer, but for a step in the right direction. I'm done praying for this, that's for sure. God is great, but prayer isn't going to help me, apparently.

Anyway, my last option, which Im not too thrilled about, is chiropractic care. I know there's a lot of skeptics, including myself. But I'm tired of dealing with this. Tomorrow I'll be sheduling an appointment to see if maybe there's something wrong with my neck; maybe it's a cerviogenic problem. After that, I guess I'm hospital bound. ):

Gator4life
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 6/16/2011 8:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Went to the Chiropractor today. No relief. He took X-rays but didn't find anything alarming with my neck. Sigh. After it was all said and done, I ended up with a prescription for calcium pills? Lol I don't intake any calcium because of my intolerance. Said it would help with my IBS, along with not eating certain foods. How that has anything to do with anything, is beyond me. Anyway, he ran a bunch of muscle test, and then pushed my mid to upper back in, while laying down. It popped. After that, he pushed my head down on a releasing chair that gives away as you push. Still wondering what that was all about. I have another app next Monday. I'm skeptical but have no choice since my pain persist. Gotta try everything. Lastly, and most importantly, he asked if I was under stress. Seems like all doctors are in agreeance that it's just stress. Sigh... That may be true, but why can't I find something that relieves the pain consistently? That's all I want! Debating whether I should try a loratab or not. this sucks!

jewishmother
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 6/17/2011 12:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry for not responding a few days ago when you first posted but I am traveling and don't have consistent Internet! Is your neuro at a headache clinic or does he specialize in migraines? If not please consider getting a second opinion from a migraine specialist.......there are other drugs you can try and also there are nerve blocks available also that might work for you. Do you like to read? There are a couple of good books out there written by people who are on the same journey you are and it might help you to read about their experiences. One of them is Vicodin and Chocolate. The second title eludes me but when I return home next week I will send you the title. Stress can be a contributing factor but very rarely is the primary cause. Please remember you are not alone and continue to stay in touch! L

Gator4life
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 6/17/2011 1:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for replying. You know, I can't believe out of the hundreds of people that visit this site, only one person has chimed in. Come on, people. I want advice/Personal experiences.

Anyway, about my neurologist, I'm not sure what exactly his specialty is. I got refferred to him by my GP. I'm done with him anyway. In the two times I saw him, I swear it seemed like he was in a rush to make a diagnosis and rush me out. Didn't feel like he really wanted to be there listening to me. You're right though, I need to look for other forms of treatment. I just can't take this pain much longer. I'm past the breaking point. Oh, and no I don't like to read! ): don't have enough patience.

Dog house
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/19/2011 9:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey there Gator4life I'm new to this site, but my headaches sound a lot like yours. Take a look at my thread "Cronic Daily Headaches and Migraines". As far as Nuerologists go I would look for one that Specilizes in Migraines or Migraines and 1 or 2 other Neuro problems but not a whole list. I hope things are going better for you now.

BabyNurse
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/20/2011 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Gator4Life: Well, it looks like you got your wish from the 17th. I have plenty of personal experience with this problem. I stumbled onto this site today & read all you have been posting. I know EXACTLY how you feel. I have had a headache & pain EVERYDAY for about 13 months!!! I am definately at the end of my rope & have tried everything! Have you tried going to a pain clinic? Not sure if you have one in your city, but that is where I was finally referred. I have been going to a pain clinic since December, and while I am not any better, they definately seem to be more helpful & have more ideas than my neurologist was. It sounds like your neurologist has been no help & If I were you I would stop going to him now! I saw a neurologist last fall for this problem & he was also no help at ALL! Didn't even seem very willing to try.
I should mention, I was in a bad car accident about 3 1/2 years ago & broke 3 vertabrae in my neck. So most of these dr.s I have seen believe my headaches are from my neck, etc. but none of them have been able to do anything so far. I have a lot of pain everyday at the base of my skull/back of my head (i think you mentioned that) and then it radiates to the front & I also have a lot of pain all across my forehead. I have had several injections in my neck & tried many medications, nothing has helped yet. I also have been going to an excellend physical therapist since December. the physical therapy has helped some but I am still having headaches everyday.
I know I haven't been much help today with advice (besides trying the pain clinic) but I have a horrible headache today worse than normal & can't concentrate. Hope it helps just to know someone knows how you feel & what you're going thru.

txgoddess
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/22/2011 9:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Gator4Life, you may want to consider a medicine detox. It could be all of the medications that you take are causing rebound headaches. Do a google search for Houston Headache Clinic and click on the "Our Services" link. It has a link in there on detoxification and the medications that may cause it. I've pasted below.

Because of the problem of rebound and daily headache as a result of rebound, it is imperative that we detoxify patients off medications which we think are creating the problem of rebound. Patients who have been on narcotic medications, like codeines or Demeral, Stadol, and also patients who are taking large quantities of Fiorinal, Fioricet, Esgic, Excedrin Migraine, etc have to be detoxified. In other words, the body has to get rid of the medication. Unless it is done, new treatments will not be successful. So, the first step in our treatment for patients who have daily (or near daily) headaches and who are on too many pain medications, is to detoxify them. We take them off the pain medications either gradually over a period of days or abruptly in many cases. If they are taken off medications abruptly, we might use medications like a Catapres Patch to reduce the withdrawal effects from those pain medications.

Withdrawal symptoms from medications include restlessness, diarrhea, sleeplessness, unexplainable jittery feeling, tremor, excessive sweating, etc. These symptoms can be minimized if the patient is put on a Catapres Patch.

In extreme cases, there have been incidences of seizures when the patient suddenly withdraws from medications like Fiorinal. When the detoxification is done under supervision in the hospital, unwanted side effects from withdrawal can be counteracted by appropriate medications.

Once detoxification is done and the patient's body is totally free of pain medications, they show a very rapid improvement.

txgoddess
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/22/2011 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I've had a headache 18 of the last 22 days. Some are more of an annoying pressure and some are full-blown migraines. I know that some of my migraine triggers are heat and pms, but the other headaches have no known identifiable trigger (at least to me). I used to never wake up with a headache, they'd always come in the evening. Now, it seems that if I don't wake up with one, I've got it before I make it to work (at 8am). I have an appt Friday so I'm hoping to find some answers.

In the past, I've tried amitryptiline (sp?), inderol, topamax, cymbalta, and a host of anti-depressants to get rid of my migraines. Seems like everything works for a short while (<6 mo), then I'm right back where I started. It's been years since I've had the chronic near-daily headache that I now have, though.

Good luck!

Gator4life
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 7/2/2011 11:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow! Replies! Lol. Thanks for stopping by and chiming in! I appreciate it very much. Well, nothing has changed. Still dealing with headaches. I recently went on vacation for a week to the beach. Was hoping the relaxation would help. Not so much. I also went to another chiropractor visit. (2 total now) he put me on demerin before I left for the beach. Been taking it but hasn't done anything. SIGH!!

I've now decided to get my nuero to reffer me to a specific neurologist in our local hospital. It's a good hospital, otherwise I wouldn't bother. Though, now, after reading the new replies to my thread, I might look into a pain clinic first.

As for detoxing, I'm really not on a lot of meds. I'm taking an excedrin tension headache pill, about one every other night. Sometimes, if it's bad enough, one and a half. Usually just one though.

Again, thanks for the replies to all of you! Even if you have nothing of value to contribute, like one of you said, it's good to know I'm not alone! I'll post back more often.

jewishmother
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 7/3/2011 2:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I think a pain clinic is a good idea...............but a new neuro is a good idea too. As a lot of us have discovered we are our own best health care providers and we use our docs to gather information and then we decide what to try next. Will it take a long time to see a new neuro or go to a pain clinic? B/c your pain is impacting your day to day life so severely I would make both appointments and keep pushing - but please when they prescribe meds for you to try ask them how long until you get to a therapeutic dose.........it is hard to be patient and wait for them to kick in especially since the side effects seem to kick in right away! Do you have a pharmacist that you trust - anytime I am prescribed new drugs I ask my gp and a local pharmacist what they think about the drug..........the more info I have the more comfortable I can be when I swallow those pills! Can you list the meds you have tried so far? L

Gator4life
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 7/3/2011 9:04 PM (GMT -7)   
So far:

1. amitryptiline was the first one. Got off that quickly though. Worthless.
2. Valproic acid was second. Only stayed with it for a couple of weeks. Side effects sucked.
3. Gabapentin with a 6 day, low dose steroid pack (prednisone) I used up the steroid but didn't keep using the gabapentin. Waited 3weeks for it to work but nothing happened. Again, worthless.
4. Chiropractor gave me demerin. It's for your adrenal glands. I guess I showed symptoms of adrenal problems to him. Fatigue, headaches and a few others. He also gave me citracel with vitamin D for my IBS (bowel syndrome) (self diagnosed,) by the way. Lol!! haven't been to a gastro but I plan on going after I figure out my headache problem.

Thanks, Jewish mother for stopping back by! Still ready to help, I see. Good stuff.

LdyJane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 7/3/2011 9:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm seeing a physiatrist (I've seen a bazillion dr.'s, including the esteemed MHNI); the physiatrist is doing more for these types of headaches than anything else I've done. I'm going to a special dentist she works with..no I don't have tmj, but apparently she believes that the neck is causing the headaches and something in the jaw is causing the neck. After spending years and dollars on meds and neuro's, I'm trying something different. It is helping.
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