HAS ANYBODY USED or KNOW ABOUT CYMBALTA?

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CRANKY 1
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Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 10/30/2005 9:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Since the frequency of my migraines has increase exponentially this year, I'm really struggling to get my meds on the right track.  I think my biggest problem is my constant insomnia, which my GP wants to discuss with my Psych. since she want to change one of the meds he prescribes, Effexor XR, for something called CYMBALTA.  Both are use for depression, but my GP seems to think that Cymbalta is supposed to be good for chronic pain relief.  Personally, I could not find any resource information to back this up, and I'd really rather not switch.  Besides, what the heck does it have to do with my insomnia problem?  Anybody got any clues here?  What's wrong with just prescribing something that will get me some sleep?  I'm already doing the melatonin/valarian root thing, which knocks me out sometimes, but I'm usually back awake in about twenty or thirty minutes.  I don't even get sleepy when I get a Nubain/Phenergan pain shot, which knocks most people out. I am sick and tired of being awake, and having a headache or migraine all the time.  If you missed it, I did have two whole pain free days a few weeks ago, the first I can remember in a long time.  I would really like a few more of those.  Heck, at this point, I'd settle for a good, long nap.
 
Thanks for listening.
Leigh Ann cool

"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett


rhonnie
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/31/2005 1:38 PM (GMT -7)   
leighann, i'm wondering if you've had sleep studies done.

tysmyboo
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Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 10/31/2005 7:34 PM (GMT -7)   

My sister was put on cymbalta for chronic pain, and insomnia type issues in conjunction with depression....(of course after being on other things that didn't work out)

I don't know what happened or its effectiveness...she lost her job and insurance of course and had to quit taking it, probably before it had much time to do its work...

I will talk to her and try to post again...well, don't hold your breath, we're not "buddy-buddy" right now...

 


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Nicky (coquitlam55)
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 11/1/2005 10:25 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Leigh Ann,

I don't know anything about Cymbalta, though I've seen it discussed a lot in the Depression forum, you may want to ask there.

Insomnia can be a symptom of depression and you doctor may think that's the cause which is then in turn causing your migraines. I learned that my migraines and depression were closely interrelated and once I got a handle on my depression my migraines got better. As my migraines got worse the depression got worse.

I don't know anything about Effexor but I do know that some anti-depressants can also cause migraines. Could your doctor want to switch you off Effexor for that reason? I think Cymbalta is the Topamax of anti-depressants.

The problem with prescribing something to help you sleep is that these can be addictive and often only work in the short term and you'll end up in the same situation addicted to a medication.

Hang in there. I'm sorry you're having such a tough time.


Nicky
 
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.   Buddha


laura l.
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 11/2/2005 11:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Leigh Ann,
Cymbalta (duloxitine) is a relatively new antidepressant that has been shown to relieve not just the emotional pain of depression but also some physical types of pain such as that associated with diabetic neuropathy. It is a dual inhibitor of serotonin and norepinephrine uptake (Celexa, for example, is a pure [selective] serotonin reutake inhibitor). A lot of doctors now see Cymbalta as something good to give to depressed people who also have somatic (physical [pain]) complaints. Cymbalta can cause insomnia, headache, somnolence (how can it cause both insomnia and somnolence???), dry mouth, tremor, weakness, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, anorexia...."There have been relatively few reports of rash and migraine..." That's comforting, isn;t it! It's so hard to know how any particular med will affect any given person -- it is usually a wait and see kind of thing. I do note that after 7 days Cymbalta causes a decrease in the amount of time spent in REM sleep - so that might be a problem for you -- but maybe not. Found this info at
http://www.uspharmacist.com/index.asp?page=ce/10151/default.htm
Hmmm. Guess that link didn't come out as a link. Sorry. If you are looking for something to help you sleep that you can take long-term and is not a controlled substance and has shown no evidence of dependence: there is a new sleeping pill called Rozerem (generic ramelteon) that you might want to ask one of your doctors about. It is no doubt pricey (sp?) because it just came out, but it sounds like it might be helpful to you. Another one that has been taken for over a year at a time without evidence of dependence is Lunesta (eszopiclone??). And you probably would not need a sleep med for anywhere near a year == just long enough to get some decent rest and get your body back on a normal schedule. Anyway, hope this helped a little. Hope you start feeling a little better. I surely do sympathize.
Laura L.

rachelsilvas
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/2/2006 1:05 AM (GMT -7)   
I know exactly what you are going through and let me say I am sorry.  I have been on Cymbalta 60mg now for a year and it has changed my life.  I am manic-depressive and I have not had ANY problem with it since I started taking Cymbalta.  I too was on Effexor and it was like taking a sugar pill.  There was no change what so ever in my moods, pains, sleep....nothing.  Since I have been taking Cynbalta, I have been able to start college, focus on 1 thing for long periods of time without interuptions, and I just got my whole life back.  I still have a little problem with ensomnia but it was not as bad as before.  I'm going to start taking Lunesta on Friday to see if it will help with it but if I were you, I would REALLY consider changing to Cymbalta.  GOOD LUCK!!  Rachel 

cajunbrat
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 188
   Posted 3/2/2006 11:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Just had to share this ........Cymbalta is my lifesaver!!! a little lagniape that came along with it was that it eases my fibromyalgia!!!!! wooooohooooooo!!!!!!!!! Thank God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~Kathy~

Still Bummed
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/21/2006 1:37 PM (GMT -7)   
This is for Rachel (or anyone who has switched from Effexor to Cymbalta) --

I am just starting Cymbalta at 30mg per day. I have been on Effexor for 5 years and it just isn't "working" anymore. Do you remember how you switched over? You didn't
just stop the Effexor, did you? I normally take 150mg in the morning, but have been taking 75mg twice daily (one in AM one in late afternoon) for the past week. My doc says
I should stop the Effexor and just start taking 30mg of Cymbalta for the next 7 days before going to 60mg. I'm a little scard to stop the Effexor "cold turkey" because I
know how *itchy I am without it.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated! -- Still Bummed

Neurotransmissing
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 952
   Posted 3/21/2006 2:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, hope you don't mind me chiming in. I post in the MS forum but your thread caught my eye.

The uses of Cymbalta, as with many other psychiatric medications, do tend to criss-cross. Like you, I was also on Effexor and was weaned slowly off of it; upon reduction of the dose, I started on the 30 mg. dose of Cymbalta. Once completely weaned off of the Effexor, my Cymbalta was increased to 60 mg.

Recently, due to my MS dx, I was weaned off of all psychiatric medications so that a determination could be made as to which ones actually helped me. I must say, the Cymbalta is a very good medication; the best one I've used. Now off of it, not only the painful symptoms of my MS, but also the very irritable ones have returned! I also know that the Cymbalta did help my spirit! Unfortunately though, I was also on Klonipin, which is also beneficial for this pain/irritation, being the symptoms MS present ... so it's quite possible that it is the Klonipin that helped most ... or the fact that I took both together. That's what I'm working on now, figuring that out. I took Cymbalta first, and got very good results; but as my MS progressed with the inclusion of a seizure disorder, the Klonipin was added.

I will say this though, Cymbalta was very effective and did address the physical discomforts I was experiencing; so personally, I would recommend it to those close to me. That is clear. In addition, it did help with the depression I was going through at the time; I had not yet secured my dx, and it was very upsetting. Unfortunately, with the development of seizures, several other prescription medications had to be added to my elaborate collection.

Hope you find relief very soon! ((( HUGS ))) and prayers for you!

~ Cindy
Psalm 3:5;6;7;8
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;"
"in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
"Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil."
"This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones."


rachelsilvas
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/21/2006 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Still Bummed-----
 
I stoped taking the Effexor as soon as I filled my prescription for Cymbalta.  Effexor was like taking a sugar pill for me and was a waist of money.....but all humans are created differently.  With that being said, I stopped taking Effexor and started taking the 30 mg of Cymbalta the next day.  Then after my 5 days of taking the 30mg, I moved up to the 60 mg per day and have seen a GRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEAAAAAAATTTTTT difference with the Cymbalta.  But for all of you that take it at night......STOP DOING THAT.......if you are having problems falling asleep, staying asleep, or get a "boost" of energy before bed, it could be your Cymbalta.  Take it FIRST thing in the morning!  If you have a hard time remembering to take it, put it on the sink in the bathroom if you brush your teeth first thing in the morning, or next to your coffee pot for your "morning boost"!!  Also, one more thing....I warn you....do not stop taking the medication without suppervision from your doctor.  I didn't have the money for a refill this past month and thought that I could just stick it through until next payday.....three days without it and I was freaking out.....not just over big things, but I totally lost my mind....if I had to get up to get a drink of water....if the phone wasn't put up on the charger.......just little stuff like that set me off....so PLEASE if you need help with your medication, contact your doctor and see if they have any to give you untill payday or whatnot.  Good Luck to all of you and have a blessed day!!
 
Rachel

Still Bummed
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/21/2006 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   

Cindy and Rachel,

Thank you both for your responses.  I feel better starting the Cymbalta after hearing real life experiences from real people!  The Effexor has always helped my anger "problem" and helped even out my moods, but has never really helped me with my depression.  After five years of being on the Effexor, I am "Still Bummed" most of the time and unmotivated and sleep WAY too much.  My doc told me that the Cymbalta would help me control my moods like the Effexor, but also help "lift my spirits" and give me more energy and the ability to focus on one thing at a time.  So maybe I won't need my ADD drugs either!  Anyways, this forum thing is pretty cool and I think you guys are great for opening up to strangers who need advise!  -- Still Bummed, but hopefully not for long (Bonnie)


Neurotransmissing
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 952
   Posted 3/21/2006 9:22 PM (GMT -7)   

Bonnie,

I suspect you will be very pleased.  As soon as I have everything sorted out pertaining to all my various "symptomatics," and I ultimately end up needing an anti-depressant, rest assured ... Cymbalta it will be!  It's good to feel confident when trying out a new med, Lord knows, I've taken so many that didn't work ... and I later had a lot of regrets.  Usually preventable, and mostly due to my own lack of research and questioning as you have.  Live & learn.  Even if it doesn't work, the bright side is, you'll know it; at least you aren't trying something that is "probably" ineffective for you.

Prayers for you, hope this does it for you.  After your six-week-introduction period, please post again and let us know how you're doing!  I'm sure your experience will benefit others that will be traveling the same path.

(((hugs)))

~ Cindy


Psalm 3:5;6;7;8
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;"
"in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
"Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil."
"This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones."


heretohelpothers
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/10/2007 6:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I would never recommend Cymbalta and here is why. My doctor believes withdrawel from Cymbalta caused the daily headache I have had for the past seven months and running. Yes, I have had a headache every day, non-stop since February...varying ranges of pain...some so incapacitating I can't go to work, I lay in bed and cry, and not much helps. I've tried all the triptans (migraine medicines), various painkillers, etc. I never had a problem with severe headache or a migraine-like headache before. Just the occasional tension headache like most people get. There is no history of migraines in my family either. This came on within days of my Cymbalta wean.
 
I'm seeing a top headache specialist who has diagnosed me with New Daily Persistent Headache and we are still experimenting with meds to find out which one will make the headache go away. We've found one that will for the most part make it manageable except on some days, but I still do have the headache. Yes the Cymbalta did successfully treat my depression from a car accident and chronic pain, but it wasn't worth it. I don't think enough is known about this medication.
 
Has anyone else had problems with withdrawel? Any other headache sufferers out there like this?

bob-o
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 9/10/2007 9:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I started taking Cymbalta BECAUSE I had a non-stop headache.  (Turns out I had Occipital Neuralgia - pain from the nerves in my head)  Within 30 minutes I could feel some of the pressure ease up just slightly.  Six months later I'm still taking it and can't imagine the pain I would be in without it!!  I don't know how it is with depression, but it works wonders on my nerve pain!!!

heretohelpothers
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/11/2007 3:43 PM (GMT -7)   
That sounds interesting that you mention Occipital Neuralgia. Nobody mentioned that to me. I did some reading on that and it sounds like that could be causing the headache I have. Everything I read seems to fit my experience and perhaps the Cymbalta masked a headache that would have developed sooner due to the whiplash from my car accident. I called my doctor today to see if occipital neuralgia could be the cause based on the research I did, and to see about the possibility of diagnostic tests at my appointment in two weeks, but according to a receptionist, the doctor will only talk to my on my appt. date and will not discuss this theory with me until then. I only got to say that I had a thought on my condition, and they didn't want to hear any more than that. I don't imagine that they would run any tests that day so that just means more waiting. I continue to feel like no doctor cares that I'm in pain. Isn't it their job to heal? I've had repeated problems with this doctor's office, only it's the top headache clinic in my state.
 
Can you tell me more about your experience with occipital neuralgia? How did they diagnose it for you? Have you had the nerve blocks? Do they hurt? Is there no way to get rid of your headache now that they know what is causing it?
 
 

bob-o
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 9/11/2007 5:58 PM (GMT -7)   
No one has ever officially diagnosed me as having occipital neuralgia - I had to come up with that on my own!  For 4 months I spent several hours a day searching online for anything that sounded like what I was experiencing.  During that time I had tests on my sinuses, an MRI on my head and later on my neck, had 2 weeks of physical therapy (which made it much worse), and I saw a neurologist AND a neurosurgeon.  Neither of them had a clue what was wrong with me!! The second one acted as though I was either depressed or crazy.  (I was telling him how it hurt my head to look down even slightly, and as an example of how it happens I told him that filling out all the forms in his office had made it really start hurting because of having to look down.  His response?  "That may be, but sometimes when we fill out forms like that it reminds us how sick we are and makes us feel even worse."  Of all the nerve!!!!)  At one point, like you, I thought I had New Daily Persistent Headache.  All this time I was in terrible pain 24 hours day.  Then one day I read a post from someone on this website that sounded a lot like me, and her dr. mentioned a certain condition (I can't remember now what it was)  In researching that condition, I kept seeing "occipital neuralgia" pop up, so I researched that.  That is when I diagnosed myself!!  There was a man on this website who had it, and he had tried a nerve block, Neurontin, and lots of other things, but nothing helped until he tried Cymbalta.  The next day I went to see my dr. (she's a nurse practitioner, but she wouldn't stop looking for an answer until I got some relief!)  I told her what all I had read, and she thought the Cymbalta was a good idea and worth a try.  I took one while eating lunch, and I can honestly say that within 30 min. it felt like a tiny bit of air had been let out of my head.  (One of my many symptoms was feeling like my head was being blown up like a balloon, getting bigger and bigger.)
I've been on Cymbalta for 6 months and have not been back to a neurosurgeon or any other kind of dr.  I did have 2 sessions with a massage therapist, and that really helped, but my insurance won't cover that so I haven't been back.  I really think a chiropractor might help, but I just can't find the time to go!  After I try that, I think I'll go to the neurologist with my diagnosis and ask what can be done about it.  I'm thankful for this medication, but I DON'T want to be on it forever!!!!  I want to find the cause and fix it!!
Sorry if I'm telling you more than you want to know, but I have found so many people online that are experiencing the same type of weird symptoms as me, and no one can tell them what's wrong - sometimes I go a little overboard, because I want to help someone else the way that woman helped me find a name for my problem and that man helped me when he recommended Cymbalta.   By the way - mine started last Nov. when I had a terrible sinus problem, and there were 2 nights when I coughed violently all night.  I've had the headache ever since.  ON (as I've seen it abbreviated) can be caused by a sharp blow or jarring to the back of the head, and an accident would certainly come under that category!  I'd be interested to know what all of your symptoms are.  If they're like mine, there's a long list that makes people look at you kinda funny when you tell them about it!!!!  I'll be praying for you that you'll find some relief!
Nancy

fancyface681
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 10/5/2007 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
This is my 3rd day taking Cymbalta and this has what I have experienced. (Let me mention also that I am not used to taking pills) This is what I have experienced I am very hiper, shaking my legs while I am sitting down and walking constantly, can not stand still.. This happens all through the day but today I panicked. I went to eat out and afterwards I was dizzy, hiper and short breathed.. I felt my heart and it was beating fast I thought I was going to have a heart attack.. This did not feel this way yesterday allthough I was extra hiper.. I actually like having more energy and I do sleep well at night!!! I sleep so good but yet I awake with energy and I love it but what happened today was a little scary. I suffer from chronic fatigue and I am usually always tired so it is nice to have a medication that works well. I have also had constipation a little and large pupils.. I freaked out when I looked in the mirror today and saw a large black circle in ym eye.. The pupils are normal right now at the moment but that is kind of freaky too.. I am also taking Lyrica in combination with the Cymbalta. My doctor prescribed both of them together and also Remeron but I am not taking it yet, I have to get the prescription filled but he told me to take all of them. I am anemic also and taking iron Repliva from the doctor but it is almost normal now so I will probably be off the iron shortly. The doctor said that it is safe to take together. I must say that I usually eat small meals but today my meal was a little large and I had sweet tea so this made me very dizzy like speed..

fancyface681
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 10/5/2007 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   
ALSO... The Cymbalta AND Lyrica has drastically helped with pain. My feet have never I mean never felt this good. I used to cry after working at a gas station standing on my feet which were swollen from arthritis and possible Lupus un-diagnosed. This stuff works! The Lyrica is also used for Fibromayalgia and Arthrritis as well as other stuff also including Diabetes pain. I am going to stay on the medication and talk to my doctor about being too hiper because it really helps with pain and I feel so good on it. I feel energetic without feeling to hiper.. This was the first bad experience when I ate a large meal. I am going to eat smaller meals from now on and see how it works.. Other than that I feel great and I feel like I can lose weight from Cybalta and Lyrica... Xo, Brandy

1grndchild2parents
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 10/7/2007 7:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I think Cymbalta is wonderful. I actually look forward to taking it each day! Is that *sick* or what?

migraines. ummmmmm, ice packs on the head works wonders along with a totally dark quiet place, especially the minute you feel one coming on. Are the triggered by something unknown? Allergies can trigger headaches (migraine) food preservatives, dye in foods esprcially red, orange, purple. Learn to read labels and try to due without anything that is not fresh. No leftovers, choose frozen over canned, soups are terrible for migraine triggers. When I feel myself clenching my teeth, I tell myself "Self open your mouth". This has worked also, I try constantly to keep my teeth apart, hard to learn, worth the effort.

ArsenicJulep
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/8/2007 9:29 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear FancyFace/Brandy--

You have been experiencing a common initial side effect of Cymbalta. When I first started taking it back in February, I also felt very hyper and "speedy," and it seemed as if I could feel my heart racing in my chest. I told my doctor about it, and she prescribed 0.25 mg Klonopin (clonazepam) twice daily. I took the Klonopin for a week or so, along with the 20 mg of Cymbalta, and it helped me to adjust. I gradually increased the Cymbalta to 40 mg, and then to 60, and have not had the speedy feeling since my initial adjustment period. Talk to your doctor about it if you're still having the symptoms--benzodiazepines may or may not be right for you, depending on your specific drug interactions/allergies.

JS


CRANKY 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 10/9/2007 3:46 AM (GMT -7)   

Geez... I can't believe I started this thread over two years ago and it's still going.  Cymbalta didn't end up helping me at all.  I quit using it a long time ago.  It didn't help the frequency or help with the pain of my migraines.  I ended going back to my old Primary Care Physician(who originally treated my migraines in 1978), and he's let me go back on my mild narcotic meds for my migraines.  Only problem with that is he will only prescribe enough medication for about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks worth.  I'm supposed to "stretch it out" for a month.  What a stupid treatment method!!!  How do you decide which migraine is "worthy" of treating, versus not using my preventative and having to suffer through the pain? confused

Problem now is that I have major back pain to deal with, and my pain management doctor flatly refuses to give me any medication that could give me back some semblance of a decent quality of life.  He's a "shots only" kind of guy, and said he can't give me any more shots this year.  He told me to increase the level of nerve medication I haven't been on for over a year.  Boy, that's paying attention! nono

And the pain wheel keeps on turning....

Leigh Ann cool


Basic info:
  • On Disability for: Chronic Migraines, serious Back and Knee problems (will need surgery eventually), moderate Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder, TMJ 
  • Divorced, 42, no children
  • Surgeries: Gastric Bypass, Gallbladder Removed (followed by a week in the hospital for a Blood Clot), Kidney Stone Removed, Broken Ankle, Major Dental work(four molars pulled, multiple cavities, root canals) 
  • Current Meds: Lexapro, Klonopin, Wellbutrin, Stadol Nasal Spray, Lortab, Trazadone, Buspar, Nexium, Skelaxin, Tramadol, Phenergan, Chantix PROHIBITED FROM ALL NSAIDS
  • Current Problem: Internal Bleeding, possible ulcer in location of Gastric Bypass
 
"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett
 
 


fancyface681
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 10/11/2007 9:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you I will ask my doctor about that! I have been on it about a week now and the Speedy feeling has deminished some like I am getting used to it.. I still shake my feet some while sitting but I can sit still now and I don't feel like I am too speedy, just a little more hiper than usual... Maybe I am getting used to it!! I will ask my doctor about it though and your suggestion that sounds great! Thank you!!

mnkei
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/25/2007 5:04 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, I am new and was looking for advice to get off my antidepressant, Cymbalta, and came across your post.  I have chronic migraines and have for about 30 years.  about three years ago my dr, after years and years and years of trying, found that Gabapentin (not approved for migraine maintenance yet) works.  I went from having 2 - 3 aura migraines a week to 1 -2 a month.  It is my miracle.  I have Zomig for my acute migraines, and that works about as well as any other one has over the years.  Just a thought I wanted to share since I have been experimenting with migraine meds for over 30 years.  Cybalta has done NOTHING for my migraines.

Be well, and Merry Christmas.


korbnep
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 12/25/2007 10:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Mnkei,

You're right that Gabapentin (Neurontin) is not FDA approved for migraine prevention but it is very commonly used for that purpose off-label. It's a GABA agonist (it's quite like the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain) in that it produces relief from stress, anxiety and has an anti-convulsant effect (as do more popular migraine medications like Topamax). It generally is very effective for the treatment of neuropathic pain and listed as one of the VERY few drugs that New Daily Persistent Headache sufferers--like myself--do well with (though I, personally, did not).

I'm very glad to hear that your migraines have drastically reduced!

In regards to Cymbalta, my understanding is that it can be effective in pain management but typically moreso for peripheral somatic (bodily) pain rather than neuopathic (although there has been some success). Personally, I didn't not feel like Cymbalta worked particularly well as either an antidepressant or a pain management drug. However, as serotonin has such an important role in headache stimulation, it logically has the potential to be rather useful, as with other SSRIs. I wouldn't expect too much headache relief from most antidepressants if you're more resistant to most drug treatments. However, as depression can be an important cause/effect of migraine, it's important to treat that aspect. The only thing I've been able to find that works well for me are the 12 mg Emsam patches (MAOi). MAOi's are most often not used unless other antidepressant classes have failed, however.

Leigh Ann-
You write that your doctor won't give you anything that'll improve your quality of life but I notice that you're on three potent opioid painkillers: Lortab, Stadol and Tramadol (opioid-like). What exactly is it that you're looking for? I can't imagine that you haven't tried muscle relaxants yet, but just in case, I'd recommend Skelaxin (Metaxalone)--it's quite effective and induces far less drowsiness than most drugs of it's class.

Good luck all,
Ben
DX: NDPH, Recovered CRPS
RX: Lamictal, Abilify, Provigil, Clonazepam, Ambien CR, Emsam, Namenda
PRN: Haloperidol, Zyprexa, Lodine, Zofran, Oxymorphone, Skelaxin


CRANKY 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 12/26/2007 2:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Ben,
 
I re-read my post and realized I was typing "preventative" instead of "abortive".  Ever since I took Topamax a few years ago, I've had permanent problems with my cognitive abilities, especially short term memory and mixing up words.
 
I totally understand the difference between dependence and addiction.  I am dependent on narcotic pain medication to get any relief for my pain issues.  I am not addicted, and I am so sick of people not knowing the difference (not aimed at you, Ben).  Frankly, if taking narcotic medication on a daily basis is the only way I can live with some quality of life, then so be it.  I have pursued every other avenue I could find, but I've ended up here.  Statistic quoted on WebMD, "According to rough estimates, between 3%-16% of people who suffer from chronic pain and are treated with long-term opioid narcotics have a prescription drug addiction."  That pretty low if you ask me.
 
I take Stadol Nasal Spray as my migraine abortive.  This only works if I catch the migraine when it's starting.  If I wake up with a migraine, the Stadol won't make it go away.  I'm supposed to use the Lortab for breakthrough pain, but it's not strong enough to kill the migraine.  I average 2-3 migraine episodes a week, where I have to use the Stadol, but usually one migraine a week requires a pain shot.  I am not currently on any preventative because, in the last thirty years, I have tried and failed with ALL of them.  I've also been through all the abortive catagories as well.  I would list them all, but that's just too much typing.  I'm also to the point where I don't get any reaction to muscle relaxers.  I've used Flexeril, Skelaxin, Robaxin, etc...  They used to work, over maybe the last twenty years, but not anymore.   I wish they did.
 
I also suffer from a seriously messed up back.  I can't sleep in a bed comfortably, and haven't in years.  If I do try to sleep in my bed, I can barely walk the next day.  I spent the last few years dealing with a local Pain Management center, which only had one doctor.  He was strictly an epidural shot/nerve block kind of guy.  These did not help, although I gave that type of treatment much more time than I should have.  I've done physical therapy several times, but it's difficult for me to continue my program on a regular basis, because getting there is a major effort.  I'm going to another PM Clinic at the University of Virginia Medical Center.  They have me going to a chiropractor twice a week and using a TENS unit.  Neither has any lasting pain relief.  They insist that my primary care physician write any needed prescriptions for me.  My PCP sent me to them so he would have to write the prescriptions.  I've been tossed back and forth from doctor to doctor because nobody wants to be on the hook for prescribing narcotics for me, since I am that rare patient that doesn't respond to other forms of treatment.  Thus, my PCP only prescribes a very low dosage of Lortab, which he will not increase.  He also does not give me refills on any of my pain meds, so I have to go through the hassle of getting the prescription renewed through my pharmacy every week/month, depending on the medication.
 
I'm sorry if I've been redundant, but my life is pretty much hell on a daily basis.  I'm stuck on SS Disability, and have had to give up my career and pretty much my entire social life.  I can't even afford to have hobbies that cost money.  My medical co-pays and prescription costs are mostly paid by my parents, who are using up their retirement nest-egg, because I can't work and support myself.
 
Basically, my life just sux, and it's everything I can do to get through the day. 
 
I'll stop whining now.  It's time to take my nightly meds and try to get some sleep.
 
Leigh Ann cool

Basic info:
  • On Disability for: Chronic Migraines, serious Back and Knee problems (will need surgery eventually), moderate Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder, TMJ 
  • Divorced, 42, no children
  • Surgeries: Gastric Bypass, Gallbladder Removed (followed by a week in the hospital for a Blood Clot), Impacted Kidney Stone Removed, Broken Ankle, Major Dental work(four molars pulled, multiple cavities, root canals) 
  • Current Meds: Lexapro, Klonopin, Wellbutrin, Stadol Nasal Spray, Lortab, Trazadone, Buspar, Nexium, Tramadol, Phenergan, PROHIBITED FROM ALL NSAIDS
  • Current Problem: Internal Bleeding, possible ulcer in location of Gastric Bypass
 
"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett
 
 

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