Self Medication

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 12/12/2005 3:39 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been to the ER 3 times now in the past 5 weeks for shots for migraines that my axert and imitrex did not stop. I have had about 8 headaches total in that time, and the meds worked. I just saw my neuro on Thursday and he prescribed a new preventative that will take a while to kick in, thats if it does at all. (Nortryptline)

My question is this, Do those of you that have migraines that the meds won't help with have something to self medicate to help with the pain? I can't keep going to the hospital all the time. I can't handle the bills and copays and the waiting just about kills me. I got lucky tonight, in and out in 2&1/2 hours. They took lots of blood for tests, but I don't know the results or what they were testing for.. Maybe drug tests since I have been there so much in the last few weeks. I got a host of meds again today to include Phenergan, Toradol, Diluaded and something that stops the swelling of the blood vessels (can't remember, but it had a steroid in it I know)

Do they make a pill form of Diluaded? or something else? I am taking hydrocodone again for my back, and I didn't take any of it today for my head, and was laying down all day so My back didn't hurt. also, I have tried it before and it didn't do a thing and since my Pain Management doctor is so "non-narcotic" and only gave me a 5 day supply, I don't want to waste it on things it won't help.

Anyone have any idea? I am going to call the neuro again tomorrow if anyone comes up with anything that I can ask for. I know it will take a few weeks for the Nortryptline to start to help, but there should be something that I can take at home to put me to sleep and make the pain go away.

As you can see from this post, I left the hospital at 12:30 a.m. this morning at it is almost 4am and I am still awake. A little groggy, but still up. I am having a heck of a time sleeping and that is what is causing the migraines.

Any help would be appreciated.

Diagnosed UC october 2004
Asacol 3x3 daily
tried Rowasa enemas (hated them...burned like crazy)
Ccurrently in remission.... no blood or D...

Sleep Apnea
bulging disc in lower back causing me tons of pain from car accident in July
currently in PT for back... not helping.. (2x week)
Seeing new Chiro now, Hope to get some relief
right hip 1 inch higher than left (think me standing on the brake during accident caused this)
left shoulder lower than right

Glucosamine for pain in back (doc said try this in addition)
TENS unit for home... seems to help some when I am standing for long periods of time
Facet injections 16 (8 on each side) didn't help)
Lumbar Medial nerve branch injections (didn't help)
Radio Frequency ablation on right side 12/7/05 (still waiting on outcome)
Zonegran (nerve pain) for back

axert (migraine abortive)
Imitrex for migraines (injections only work)
Nortriptyline 25 mg at bedtime as migraine abortive
Amitryptiline 50 mg at bedtime for sleep

xanex as needed for "those days!"

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 12/13/2005 4:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Since no one has any answer, I called my Neruo today and he is prescribing Ativan to take when all else fails. His idea is that it will put me to sleep (something that I am having huge difficulty with right now) when I get a migraine and that it will go away when I wake up. I sure hope so. most of the time that I am sleeping (or trying to) with a migraine, I am aware of it, or dreaming that I am having a migraine and get no sleep. It hurts even when I sleep.

Hopefully this will help.... don't know what to do.. I can't keep going to the ER once a week.


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 12/13/2005 4:42 PM (GMT -6)   

Dear Tracey,

Have you tried Midrin?

My doctor gave me a prescription for that and it seems to make a big difference when I take it.

It says on the bottle that you can take up to FIVE for a migraine.  That is a lot seeing as just one seems to make a big difference for me.

You might try it.

I should have told you earlier so you could ask when you went to the doctor.

You mentioned Nortryptaline...Is that the same as Amnitryptaline?  Because I have a good friend who has been saved by Amnitryptaline.  I talked to my doctor about it yesterday and he said he doesn't love it because it has been linked to heart problems....I don't know.

But I might push for it at some point if things get worse because I have heard wonderful things about what it can do for headache sufferers.  I heart it can also make you gain weight.  So maybe I won't take it.  Ummmm I don't know.


PS are you not sleeping because of the pain or do you have insominia?  If you need something for the sleep I would highly suggest Ambien.  It is my life saver.

For some reason when I sleep my headaches usually go away.  There have been a few that haven't but usually a good nap or good nights sleep does wonders for me.

Unfortunately we aren't always able to just take off from work and go home for a good nap.  That would be the life though wouldn't it!!!

Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 12/13/2005 11:03 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Tracy,

Have you discussed a pain management plan with your neurologist?

When I first saw my neurologist he gave me samples of each of the triptan medications to test and figure out which worked. Once we had identified a couple he gave me a prescription for those. I find the sublingual or nasal sprays best.
Then we went to non-narcotic pain killers - Toradol.
We also try Toradol, Ativan, and T3 when nothing else will work.
For me it's a process. I take the triptan first, then try Toradol or Aleve, then proceed to the combination. For this to work we had to be sure that rebound headaches were no longer a factor. Slowly I weaned off pain killers (T3s) so that now when I do take them they work and I don't take more than 4 a week.
I also try non-medication therapies, ice paks, baths, relaxation CDs. I find if I can get myself relaxed the medications work a lot better.
Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
Fall seven times, stand up eight.
                 --Japanese proverb

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