NEED help deciding on new medication

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/24/2014 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm 23 years old and I've had headaches/migraines as far as I can remember. I've been on preventative medication for at least 9 years. I've been on nadolol, propanolol, amitriptyline, and valoproic acid that I can remember. A few months ago, I was on nadolol for a few years but it wasn't working anymore and I wanted to switch because nadolol affects sexual functioning and I don't want that. I was on valproic acid for a month and although my headaches and migraines were substantially decreased, my heart rate was through the roof and I also experienced tremor. I went to my doctor earlier this week for a follow up and because of her concern for my high heart rate, she took me off the valproic acid. It's only been 4 days since then but my heart rate is slowly going down and my tremors are slowly getting better. While this is good news, I also had a HORRIBLE migraine yesterday that left me unable to do anything and with my busy schedule, I can't afford to have migraines like that.

I need help figuring out what kind of medication to suggest to my doctor. She wants to put me back on nadolol because she believes my high heart rate and tremor are symptoms of being off the nadolol rather than valproic acid. I don't want to go back to taking a beta blocker (like nadolol or propanolol) because those are the types of drugs that affect sexual function and they've also stopped working to prevent migraines.

I would really appreciate any feedback about the types of medication you are taking to prevent migraines. I understand that everyone responds differently to everything but it's all still very informative. Thanks!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 394
   Posted 1/24/2014 4:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I suffered from a visual form of migraine for over 15 years. I also had an undiagnosed seizure problem during that time, yet I never had the visual migraine at the same time I had the seizures. (Sometimes a visual smptom, known as an aura, can precede a seizure).

I had these migraines up to several times a week, though I never had any pain. The first medication successful in stopping the migraines was Ergotrate. My pharmacy wouldn't even fill the prescription for it until they spoke with the doctor, they thought the prescription was a mistake. But after regularly taking the medication, they finally almost entirely stopped. I was also taking Propranolol at the time, so I asked my Internist if he'd raise the dose on the Propranolol and discontinue the Ergotrate, which he did and was similarly effective in preventing the migraines.

A few years later, they discovered I was having seizures (over many years), so I was started on Dilantin (Phenytoin), this has been very effective in preventing my types of migraines, and I was able to come off the Propranolol.

I saw your question and did a little research, this page explains various medications used for migraine prophylaxis. Hope this helps.

Pain in Pgh
New Member

Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 1/25/2014 4:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Maxalt works for me. Its like a wonder drug.

Achey all over
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 187
   Posted 1/31/2014 8:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I take nortiptyline as preventative and for break through I take is a powder and is a miracle drug for me. I was just about to go to the ER and remembered I had a sample packet. I literally couldn't move so the thought of even getting to the hospital was too much for me...I took the exaggeration 15-20 min and it was more than tolerable ..maybe mention it to your Dr. Good luck
( I am usually on the Fibro page but get migraines as well)
Fibro, 13 right knee surgeries ( total knee replacement ), 14th pending, C5/C6 cervical fusion & discectomy, both ankles reconstructed, right shoulder reconstructed, gall bladder removed, ERCP pancreatitis followed, migraines, reflux, nerve damage..Meds: nortriptyline,300 mg Lyrica, dilaudid, Tramadol, Valium, vitamin D, magnesium

Post Edited (Achey all over) : 1/31/2014 7:49:36 PM (GMT-7)

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/4/2014 11:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I too went through many of the preventatives and have finally settled in with Topamax. Its been just under a year and I feel great. I am at 125mg daily and I've gone from 10-12 migraines/month to 2-3!!!

There are a lot of negative opinions with regards to Topamax but the few side effects I experience are TOTALLY worth it as I'd take them over a bunch of migraines any day!!!

I've also noticed that when I do get a migraine, it is significantly less debilitating while on Topamax. I'm not sure that everyone experiences that, BUT its a plus that I am definitely enjoying.

Good luck finding one that works!

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/6/2014 7:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I have suffered with migraines since I am 12, I am now 49. I have tried many things for prevention, unfortunately I still get headaches, but I can say that sumatriptans have changed my quality of life.
I was On propranolol, and switched to Nadolol, thinking that my blood pressure was a little too low. I take valenfaxine, which is an antidepressant which is supposed to help with migraines and I also take magnesium. I do think that has helped. I take topamax also.
I hope this helps. I wish I didn't get the headaches, but it I do think the severity of them is better.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/6/2014 7:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been suffering chronic migraines for 14 years and have nerve damage in my next, i find topamox tramadol, gabapentin lyrica are the best also when migranes are really bad, relpax.
i hope this information helps you good luck

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/7/2014 2:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your response. Tramadol helps me as well. I didn't find gabapentin did anything but I don't know if I had the right dosage and I know I had to take it at night because it made me sleepy. What is lyrica?

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/27/2014 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Juliamarie, It brakes my heart to know you are on meds for so long and in pain at such a young age. My daughter is a little older than you. Here is what I posted the other day hope it helps you...........Hi, I wanted to join this blog just to let people know my story and to give hope. I have had headaches off an on my whole life. Then migraines the last 7 years with chronic daily headaches and migraines. I tried topamax three times in the 7 years but after 4 months couldn't take the tired drug feeling. Then Elavil or Amitriptyline. And Botox shots, sinus surgery , migraine diets and many other ways to get rid of them. My Daughter who is 27 years old also had them. She was watching Dr. Oz who had a guess speaker on there named Dr. Fuhrman He said all his patients recover from migraines in three months by following his nutritional advice. I knew this was not going to work. But my daughter bought his book (Eat To Live) followed it and recovered. So I tried it and now I am 9 months migraine free. no meds!!!! What also compelled me to try his way was he wasn't selling any magic herb or snake oil or promoting any one thing. He simply tells you how to get rid of them buy going to the grocery store yourself and buying the right food and getting rid of toxins.I used to get very insulted when people told me I had the power to cure myself with food or just drink more water suggestions. So I know oversimplifying migraines can be angering. I thought there is no way Im changing my diet just to try one more thing that has little chance curing me, since migraines stole my life all I have left to enjoy is food and I don't want to deprive myself further. Dr. Fuhrmans program is more than diet as you will see in his book. But My daughter who lived with me keeps cooking this yummy food and she felt great. So with a panic attic in the grocery store trying to buy new foods and mourning the oreo's. I kept my promise to her and weened off the Elavil. and started Dr. Fuhrmans program And now I write you completely cured and not selling anything but hope. If you are interested, Read his book for the info.( I found his book at our library) He has a web sight at PS we also lost weight on his plan. Good luck don't give up and settle for medications like I did!! Write me anytime.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/5/2014 2:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, This message is also for JuliaMarie... I found this post quite by accident. Here's my story. I'm 57 years old. My migraines started at the age of 16. I began having tremors at the age of 23, always on the right side of my body. (mainly in my right leg.) At the age of around 30 I started having this rapid heart rate that would come on for no apparent reason. (My heart rate can go up to 200 beat per minute) I'd find myself in the ER over and over again. I was always told the same thing. I have a healthy heart.
I've tried the " no white" diet...which is basically what it sounds like, nothing white. No sugar or white flour. I was so careful, eating extremely healthy for one year. I became a vegetarian, I still am... however, that hasn't helped the migraines at all. Not only do I have migraines but I get this deep pain to the core of my bones, it''s always on the right side. The best way to describe it is like having a migraine on one whole side of your body, this horrific deep pain and no relief.
I've been quite the puzzle to the medical profession. This is why I think my situation may help you. I have a younger sister with all my same symptoms. (We compare notes.) As time went on, I began having seizures and this flickering in my right eye. ( not like a strobe light, much slower, like lights being turned off and on. I eventually lost the coordination in my right leg and right hand and found myself in a wheelchair when I was 35. My 3 kids were very young and it was hard on them, It was so hard on all of us. I would remain unable to walk for around 6 months and slowly be able to walk again. I started to notice a pattern, from no coordination to being absolutely healthy and hiking mountains. Literally... Still no one knew what was wrong with me. During the migraines, my right eye tears up and tears flow down my cheek, I get this pain across the right side of my head, eye and face and the pain runs around to the back of my neck. I know our symptoms are not the same but the good news is as severe as my case became, I found someone to help me.
I was finally diagnosed this year, 2014 with a rare migraine disorder called "Hemiplegic Migraines" Hemi, because the symptoms are only on one side of my body. It's also familial, there's a genetic test for it. Not too many doctors seem to even think about testing for it. Thank goodness my sisters doctor did, and then my doctor followed suit.I found that a low dose of Effexor 75 mg helps. It also helps my sister. It's used to prevent the migraines and doesn't effect your sex life, there's also this powder called Cambia that's amazing! you only use it during a migraine. My understanding is it reduces the inflammation that occurs during a migraine. Simple enough I guess. The Cambia powder is expensive, about $22.00 a packet. A prescription comes with 9 packets. You mix the Cambia in 3 oz of water and drink it. It taste like mint and licorice, not too bad of a flavor. If you have good insurance it helps offset the cost.
I can't even count all the hospitals I've been in because no one knew what was wrong with me. I been on every imaginable Migraine medication possible, as well as numerous antidepressants, anti-nausea meds. What has been successful for me, with the least possible side effects Is what I mentioned above, the Effexor, the Cambia plus Phenergan 25mg for nausea if you need it. I'm on the least possible medication and improving. Not 100% but functioning much better, plus I'm happy! I'm out of the wheelchair again and with the migraines controlled, maybe not completely, but lets say 70% better :) the seizures have stopped and my heart rate is back to normal. I'm still working on controlling the tremor and getting into physical therapy. I really hope I helped you or maybe someone who may be reading this. Please feel free to ask any questions if I wasn't clear about something. One more really odd as in interesting thing I started drinking was "organic turmeric." I put 1 teaspoon of turmeric and a pinch of pepper in 6 oz of cool water and stir it really well and I drink it down...( The pepper is suppose to help your body absorb the turmeric.) I did research and it's one of the only spices to cross the blood brain barrier. Its worth a shot. I like it. I notice this relaxed feeling about 15 minutes after I drink it Just thought I"d share... There is help out there, it's just a matter of finding what works for you. I had to wait almost half of my lifetime. Hopefully you find something soon. I wish you all the best, you are so young and have your whole life ahead of you, good luck! Aunie

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 3/6/2014 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I take Verapamil as a preventative, which works. I also take vitamin B2/Riboflavin. To stop the pain, I have Bayer Back and Body, Atarax, and Zanaflex.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2016
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/26/2016 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I just filled a prescription for Cambia and the regular price for 1 box of 9 packets is $615.99. Someone posted a price of $200 for same. Where was this purchase made? I would like to find it at that cheaper price.
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