"PREVENTATIVE" meds - what helps? what doesn't help?

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hopefulmigrainer
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Date Joined Oct 2006
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   Posted 1/14/2007 1:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
 
Please share your experiences with the "preventative" drugs your doctor has prescribed.  Did they help?  not help?  side effects? 
 
I'm desperate to learn from your experiences.
 
Thank you.
Kelly


"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen."
 
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Post Edited (hopefulmigrainer) : 1/14/2007 4:41:32 PM (GMT-7)


mommyto3
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 1/14/2007 5:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kelly,

I take several so I think it is the combination of them that works for me....I take Topomax (which I'm sure you have heard plenty about and probably don't need to hear anymore from me about).

I take Verapamil, which is in the blood pressure/heart medicine category. It is also used to treat migraines (and clusters--which is originally why I started on it)...I take it for several reasons-migraine condition, blood pressure, and clusters. I take a pretty high dose of it and have been on it for awhile and the only side effects I have had so far are: constipation. However, if I remember correctly when you go on this medication you have to have an EKG done to monitor your heart...

Also, I take Pamelor (generic is Noritryptyline), it's in the tricyclic anti-depressant family. I take it before I go to bed, because it does make me drowsy. I started this med a couple of months ago, and it does seem to have helped....Haven't noticed any other side effects. I don't know about the weight issue when it comes to this med, because I take Topomax, which has caused me to lose weight! When I asked my doctor, he told me this one wouldn't cause me to gain weight, but hey you just don't know!! Oh yeah, it's cheap!!!!

I take another one, but its not commonly prescribed...

Tried:

Ampitriptyline: increase in anxiety with this med, no difference--stopped pretty quickly
Periactin: tried for clusters, not sure if used for migraines---made me very drowsy all the time


Take Care, I hope this made sense--brain is a little boggled...Maybe just some ideas to look up, and see what doctor thinks or if he has suggestions--there are lots of choices of medications in the same category just a little different!

Post Edited (mommyto3) : 1/14/2007 5:15:58 PM (GMT-7)


ttwarrior1
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 1/14/2007 10:13 PM (GMT -7)   
none helped ever

ttwarrior1
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 1/14/2007 10:14 PM (GMT -7)   
ampitriptyline is for anxiety , not headaches, so not sure why this happened and supposed to take before bed

mommyto3
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 1/15/2007 7:04 AM (GMT -7)   
It was protriptyline(it was awhile ago), I'm sorry I was wrong--one of the side effects of this med can be an increase in anxiety (which was what happened to me)...However, I didn't stay on it very long, so don't let me discourage you from trying anything, everyone's experiences with medications can be very different.

Ampitriptyline can be used for migraines (it was offered to me)....The headache specialist I go to uses it frequently, and I have seen it listed as a preventative on websites for migraine preventatives. There are tons of medications out there that are used off label for migraines/other types of headache conditions. 

I jumbled the two meds together, thanks for pointing it out ttwarior..

Take care!!

Post Edited (mommyto3) : 1/15/2007 7:21:04 AM (GMT-7)


hopeful82
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   Posted 1/15/2007 9:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I was also prescribed amitriptyline for headaches, so no its not just for anxiety. In face the tricyclics are rarely used for their oringinal purpose and are much more commonly used for chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and headaches. Amitriptyline helped slightly, but the weight gain from it was too much for me so I stopped.
Ali
 
Moderator for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


hopefulmigrainer
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Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 902
   Posted 1/15/2007 10:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
 
Thank you for your responses.  I've tried at least one in each category thus far.  Amitriptyline, Pamelor (tricyclics), Norvasc (bp), Topamax (anti-seizures).  They want me to try Lyrica and Neurontin but I don't like the side effects (cognitive & weight gain). 
 
I wish that more people would come to this site to share what has worked for their migraines.  It's frustrating that we have to live with this affliction.
 
Anybody else out there? 
 
thanks,
kelly
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen."
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/


ttwarrior1
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 1/15/2007 2:03 PM (GMT -7)   
you gained weight from Amitriptyline? Why and how does it do this? thanks in advance for an answer. i take mine before bed because of restless legs i was taking and helped me sleep , at least i think

hopeful82
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 1/15/2007 3:05 PM (GMT -7)   
my pdoc referred to amitriptyline as a "dirty" drug, and i think by that he meant that it has several chemicals in it that can produce unwanted effects, moreso than the more modern antidepressants. it might be a characteristic of all tri-cyclics, who knows. he didn't really elaborate though. it did help me sleep though for the first month i was on it.
Ali
 
Moderator for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


AngMichelle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 1/15/2007 6:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Tried:
Topamax,Depakote,Lamictal, keppra, zonogram(sp?)Neurotin(sp?), Lyrica and other anti-seizure
Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline
Prozac, Lexapro, Effexor, Cymbalta
Verapamil, Propanalol
Imitrex, maxalt, zomig, amerg,.....
DHE NS and INJ

And too many others to remember. The best for me was Topamax, but it caused kidney stones, and cognitive changes
Now taking Lexapro and Klonopin, and ImitrexPRN, PhenerganPRN

mommyto3
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 1/16/2007 6:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Kelly,

I agree with you that I would like to hear others experiences with meds. There is a category of medications out there prescribed for migraines (I believe it is a last resort) called MAOI and I don't know if all doctors use them, but I know the specialists I see do. However, I have heard there are alot of strict implications with them--dietary, medication interactions, etc. (you should wear a medical alert bracelet that you are on one)...

Again, I have no first hand experience with this medication at all and am wondering if anyone has ever used these medications for migraines or other types of headaches? Did you have any success with these medications?

hopefulmigrainer
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Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 902
   Posted 1/16/2007 8:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, everyone, for your input.

Mommyto3, I have not had anyone suggest the MAOI to me. I thought that these were some type of anti-depressants. ?
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen."
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/


mommyto3
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 1/17/2007 4:03 PM (GMT -7)   
It is a type of anti-depressant, however they are using it for migraines/other types of headaches. I wish I knew more about them, but I really don't. It may be something to ask your doctor about, but I just don't know much.

There is an article/guide that a doctor has put out that talks about an MAOI (Nardil) being used for migraine prevention, however I am not sure if I am allowed to post the link on here...I have not seen this doctor (I have heard he is a very good doctor, but don't know first hand), but it goes through all different types of preventions, etc....I just thought it might give you a little more information on this preventative and others in general...

Let me know if I am allowed to post the link or tell you how to get there.

hopefulmigrainer
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Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 902
   Posted 1/18/2007 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you. I went to the pain doc today and told her that I would likely be going off of insurance and have to use the county and was worried - do they give you Immitrex? She gave me some samples of FROVA - didn't even touch my migraine - took double the dose - nothing.
 
Yes, you are allowed to post the link.  :)


"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen."
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/


mommyto3
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 1/19/2007 6:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh Kelly, I'm sorry--it sounds like you are going through a very hard time right now. My doctor keeps samples of Immitrex, but I don't know about the county. The makers of Immitrex--Glaxo Smith Kline (I believe it is), I can do more research have a program where they will help you out with the medications (they have several different ones available). Let me do some research and I will come back and post the links also to those, maybe you will qualify for that?

I haven't tried Frova, I can't use triptans anymore...

The website is www.headachedrugs.com, and go down to headache 2006-2007, click and open. This particluar medication is talked about on page 23, but there is tons of information throughout!

Take Care!

mommyto3
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 1/19/2007 6:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Here is the information for Glaxo Smith Kline the makers of Imitrex and maybe some of your other meds (who knows)...They have several programs, I'm sorry I don't know how to post direct links..

http://us.gsk.com/health/prescriptionprogs.htm

It's worth a shot, maybe there is something there that can help. One of the programs will help you find the program that best suits your needs, its called PPA...Good Luck, I hope this helps some.

hopefulmigrainer
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 902
   Posted 1/20/2007 3:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mommyto3, I tried the url address but it said "page can't be found."

I appreciate the advice.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen."
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/


mommyto3
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 1/20/2007 3:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, sorry I tried it first this time, here it is:

http://us.gsk.com/health/prescription_progs.htm

Computers, maybe someday I will figure it out! I still think you are going to have to type it in, even though it looks like you can click on it!

Post Edited (mommyto3) : 1/20/2007 3:48:52 PM (GMT-7)


hopefulmigrainer
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 902
   Posted 1/20/2007 8:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, I just bookmarked the page.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen."
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/


AngMichelle
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 1/23/2007 1:41 PM (GMT -7)   
funny, I've never had to pay for my imitrex, even the injections. I just always ask for samples and they have them. I'm sorry for yours not having any.
Just interested in what else your pain doctor had to say...usually we go to pain doc b/c stuff like imitrex doesn't work

CRANKY 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 1/29/2007 12:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Gang,
 
Been there, done that with practically every "preventative" Migraine medication out there.  FYI - Imitrex and Frova are both "abortive medications", not preventatives.
 
Like I said, I've been through pretty much every preventative, in every catogory.  Nothing ever worked for me.  However, I am taking Cymbalta (90mg/day) for depression, but has the added bonus of helping chronic pain.  It has not, however, stopped my migraines.
 
As for preventatives, let me highlight a few experiences I've had.  I tried the blood pressure meds.  I have a naturally low blood pressure, so meds like amitryptaline, were awful.  Every time I moved quickly or stood up too fast...instant "room zooms".  I was light-headed very frequently, and actually started to enjoy it, but it was not good for me.
 
I took Depakote for about eight months.  It didn't help my migraines, but it did help me put on eightly pounds...bad news.  Even worse, it gave me wicked dry mouth, which no one warned me about, and totally rotted all my teeth.  I spent $4000 out of pocket, working with a dentist that turned out to be really lousy, then found a wonderful dentist who is redoing my whole mouth, which is now twice as bad, for a fraction of the cost.  He has had to redo everything the last dentist did.  AND, it made my migraines worse because the first dentist kept aggrevating my TMJ continuously for a year.  TMJ is one of my worst migraine triggers. 
 
I took Topamax for a while, but the side effects were stupendously bad, and which I've never fully recovered.  Between my PCP, a pain specialist, and my Neurologist, I ended up on 400mg per day.  I was practically comatose.  I lost most of my mental function, had no short term memory, couldn't form sentances, lost my train of thought in the middle of a sentance, couldn't remember dates, couldn't remember words or used the wrong ones, etc...I was basically a mental midget, and I still have not completely recovered all my mental faculties.  My short-term memory is still pretty fuzzy sometimes, and I quit the medication over two years ago. 
 
I've still not found an adequate preventative, but I'm scheduled to see a Migraine Specialist at the University of Virginia Medical Center in March.  I think in the meantime, I'm going to look into Migranol as an abortive, since I currently don't have anything to use.
 
Wish me luck.  Hope this helps someone.
Leigh Ann cool

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

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