daughter (12) with migraines since head trauma 5 years ago-are narcotics safe?

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HEIDIBELLS
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Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/25/2007 9:00 AM (GMT -7)   
My daughter sustained a severe head trauma 5 years ago and has suffered with migraines since.  Recently her doctor(neuro) told us that the headaches probably weren't related to the injury anymore and took her off the Nasal Imitrex and told us to use regular Ibuprofen instead. The Ibruprofen isn't working, shes been home for 3 days in a dark room with ice packs. Yesterday our family doctor wrote a prescription for acetominophen #2.  I looked it up & the description said "narcotic pain reliever".  I trust my doctor but, is it safe to give a child narcotics?  She is miserable but I want her to be safe.  Anyone ever had to give this to a child before??????

Sugar9486
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/25/2007 9:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I was given tylenol 3 when I was little when I had mono because my tonsils were so swollen I couldn't eat anything because it hurt so much. Migraines are also a lot of pain, so I would imagine it would be pretty useful. Make sure she takes it with food, the codiene can give you an upset stomach. Although that probably wasn't much help good luck to you and your daughter!

korbnep
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 10/25/2007 1:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Children can safely use narcotics so long as the dose is carefully monitored. However, I believe that your neurologist was irresponsible in taking your daughter off more traditional (and working) migraine meds, just because he/she discovered that the headaches were probably not currently caused by trauma. This makes it seem like the neurologist is not particularly a specialist regarding headaches, but more of a neurological trauma specialist. I recommend that you see a headache specialist if you have not.
DX: NDPH, Recovered CRPS
RX: Lamictal, Abilify, Verapamil, Provigil, Clonazepam, Rozerem, Emsam
PRN: Haloperidol, Zyprexa, Lodine, Thorazine, Zofran, Oxycodone


headache detective
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Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/26/2007 10:23 AM (GMT -7)   

I have suffered from headaches most of my childhood and some of my adult life.  My son started to suffer from severe migraines starting at age 4.  The number one thing we learned; most medication used to relieve headaches can - and will - cause rebound headaches when used too much. 

When you daughter took took the Imitrex, was it more than once or twice a week?  If so, your daughter is likely suffering from rebound headaches (headaches caused by not having the drugs). The number one rule for using medication for headaches is not to use it more than 1 - 2 times in a week. 

I understand you want to take your daughter's pain away.  Talk to your doctor about rebound headaches and see if it is wise to hold off a week or so without giving any headache medication.  I know your child is in pain, I've been there.  My son had severe headaches for 3 - 4 consecutive days after we stopped giving him pain medication.  He cried and pleaded for me to give him some pills.  I felt horrible by telling him he couldn't have any.  One day 5 his headaches lessened.  Within a month he started to revert back into a normal child with fewer and less severe headaches.  Three years later he only has a few headaches a year and OTC medication usually takes care of them withing 25 minutes.  

If you would like to find out more about childhood headaches please visit theheadachedetective.com.  There's good information for you to look over and resources you can use to help control your daughter's headaches.     


korbnep
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 10/26/2007 12:45 PM (GMT -7)   
A doctor concerned about rebound would talk about his concerns regarding potential medication overuse and keep the patient on effective headache medication. He would not tell the patient to use a much less effective but equally rebound-causing headache drug.

So, while you should be cafeful that you don't cause rebound headaches by taking the same type of drug more than 2-3 times a week (yes, 2-3 is a safe limit), remember that that does not rule out the possibility of taking different types of medications after that. Also, ideally you'd be relying more on a medication that you can take daily to prevent headaches than a medication that can only be taken a few times per week to abort them. Either way, you ought to consult a headache specialist.
DX: NDPH, Recovered CRPS
RX: Lamictal, Abilify, Verapamil, Provigil, Clonazepam, Rozerem, Emsam
PRN: Haloperidol, Zyprexa, Lodine, Thorazine, Zofran, Oxycodone


korbnep
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 10/26/2007 11:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Also, I forgot to ask: Are you a licensed Headache Detective?
DX: NDPH, Recovered CRPS
RX: Lamictal, Abilify, Verapamil, Provigil, Clonazepam, Rozerem, Emsam
PRN: Haloperidol, Zyprexa, Lodine, Thorazine, Zofran, Oxycodone


headache detective
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/27/2007 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   

I started out taking Imitrex when I was 26 years old.  In the first few months I took 4 – 6 pills a month.  After a year and a half I was up to 25 – 28 pills a month.  Even with the medication I was still having severe migraines with sensitivity to light, vomiting and etc. 

 

After a 1 ½ years on Imitrex my family physician recommended preventative drugs in place of the abortive type drugs.  Our drug trial took 6 months before we found one I could live with the side effects (I even passed out driving on one drug).  However after using an anti depressant for two years it stopped working and I was asked if I wanted to up the dose.  By the way it caused me to gain 45 pounds.    

 

I also tried a headache specialist at $400 a visit.  I was prescribed 22 different prescriptions over a three month period.  These drugs kept me up at night and caused me to throw up more in a week than I had in the past year.  For me it wasn’t worth it.  However I would never recommend not seeing a specialist if there is any concern. 

 

I should also mention I was also a child headache sufferer.  I can remember being recommended to take over the counter sinus medications.  These worked at first but made me tired.  After a while when those didn’t work I started to take prescription sinus medications.  I became so tired in school my grades went down.  I was taken out of my accelerated classes and put into mainstream and some lower level classes.  I don’t want to see anyone follow in my footsteps.     

 

I made the no headache drug recommendation because I have tried it myself.  It works.  After it worked on me, I tried it with my son (with my physician’s approval).  It worked again A family friend tried it with her two daughters. It worked again.  For those who may question this practice please read “Heal your Headache” by Dr David Buchholz.  I think you would be hard pressed to find any book on Amazon that has as many 5 star reviews.

 

To the replier, at no point did I say prescription drugs are no good.  I just said they can cause problems.  And to let you know not all doctors believe in rebound headaches and there is no consensus between specialists on how much is too much.  Again, I recommend “Heal Your Headache” by Dr Buchholz.  It’s my opinion if this mother could get by without medication she would be saving herself and her daughter a lot time and possible pain.  It was a suggestion to help.

 

 

As for the Headache Detective thing, Headache Detective is a way to empower parents to identify possible dietary and environmental factors that trigger headaches.  It’s not a cure all, but it has made it easier for parents to help their children.   If the replier was open to finding solutions they may not be quick to provide an unecessary smart comment in their follow up post.  By looking at their key words I would question if they have a biased investment with drug companies.  

 

Best wishes and good luck

John         


korbnep
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 10/27/2007 5:13 PM (GMT -7)   
"By looking at their key words I would question if they have a biased investment with drug companies." Hahahahahahaha.

Personally, I do not recommend "Heal You Headache" by David Buchholz. His essential claim in the book is that any migraine issue can be fixed by changing one's diet. He makes very bizarre claims like saying that PMS is a form of migraine (in fact, every headache is a migraine) and that one cannot take triptans or other abortives more than twice a MONTH. Neither of these statements is supported by research or accepted by the community of headache researchers. His explanation of the mechanism of migraine formation is very dated (relying heavily on the vasodilation theory). The crux of his program is to eliminate several dozen very common foods from one's diet leading to a migraine diet that many other doctors have discribed as nearly impossible to follow. He then spends a lean 5 pages describing what to do if this treatment fails or why his program might. He essentially says that people that do not respond to his diet keep their migraines going psychosomaticly.

about.com reviews the book so:
"We should never blindly accept everything written in any book. While he makes some good points, including the importance of identifying triggers, he also makes some very rash statements that are in direct contradiction to large bodies of proven medical evidence and the experience of our own readers and forum members."

Getting back to proper headache treatment, it IS important to try to identify possible headache triggers. For some people that may heal their headaches. But for the majority of us, even if that is some help, further treatment is necessary. Migraine medications can be difficult to take sometimes, but realistically they are most commonly the best and most effective option.

John, I looked at your website. You sell a migraine workbook with credentials of being a headache sufferer with a son with headaches, along with using "weighted averages testing techniques" from the automobile industry. Just remember that, because you and your son did not need headache meds doesn't mean that, for the majority of people, it can be their best hope. For this mother and daughter following the advice of a qualified headache neurologist is probably more wise than the suggestions of an automotive researcher.
DX: NDPH, Recovered CRPS
RX: Lamictal, Abilify, Verapamil, Provigil, Clonazepam, Rozerem, Emsam
PRN: Haloperidol, Zyprexa, Lodine, Thorazine, Zofran, Oxycodone

Post Edited (korbnep) : 10/27/2007 6:17:37 PM (GMT-6)


Sugar9486
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/27/2007 8:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm so glad that "headache dectective" was able to "cure" his and his son's headaches, but that is not going to be the cure all for everyone, if it was I'm pretty sure no one would have migraines. Unfortunately things that seem so easy (I'm not saying that what you did wasn't hard, I mean that it's an easy concept) for some people are not always easy for other people. For some who have problems with rebound headaches, I hope that some of them can find relief in the ideas that you recommend, and even some who do not have rebounds, however it is not that easy for all of us. I have went through extensive elimination of foods, different birth control, all sorts of things to find my triggers and quite honestly after 3 years of the constant journaling and keeping track I'm pretty sure my body just decides its mad at me (for no reason) and wants to put me in horrible pain :-P! As for the original message in this thread-- Heidibells, if he doctor thinks this is an appropriate treatment for your childs migraines and there have not be occurances of rebounds in the past from other kinds of medications it should be perfectly safe. Although we would all love to cure our migraines we also do not want to (or want our children to) sit in unbearable pain when we know that there is something else that can be done.
Diagnosis-- Chronic Severe Migraine with daily headache usually caused by tension
Medications-- Daily: Topamax 100mg & Welbutrin 100mg
                    PRN: D.H.E. 45 Injection or Migranol, Phenergan, Ultram, Fioricet 

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