long term probems with migraines

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mercyme
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 310
   Posted 11/20/2007 9:04 PM (GMT -7)   
 
  Hi, was just wondering what the long term effects of having migraines might be.
I was listiening to the new today and they mentioned the cortex of the brain is thicker for those people who have migraines. and it can cause problems with processing your thoughts.  any thought on that??   I pray having migraines does not do brain damage as seeing I have about 4 a week. 
 
  I'm only taking midrin, and execdrin when needed. I've had migraines for years, but they are getting worse.  Doctor sent me to a pain managment doctor, but there really isn't a answer. You just got to learn to cope.  I have some neck issues and I'm thinking that may be some of the problem.
 
 I've also had brain surgery for epilepsy, and Praise the Lord it was a sucess!  now to fight the migraines.  any thoughts?
 
  God Bless,
 
  mercyme  :)

holmesla
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 196
   Posted 11/21/2007 5:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Absolutely! Your migraines can very well be due to your neck problems. I was in a MVA back in December and a few weeks after that I began getting migraines. I ended up seeing a neurologist that specialized in migraines, and he said that my migraines were probably due to whiplash, which is what I got in the accident. He said many people who have migraines don't even realize it stems in their neck.
 
I will tell you from my personal experience, don't give up too easily! I have been to physical therapy, chiropractor, and massage therapy. I have been on multiple medications, and have had two series of cortisone epidural injections, a cervical rhizotomy, and trigger point injections. The point I am making is that there can be help out there to help you get better or at least be able to cope with the pain better. You shouldn't have to just deal with the pain.  The Pain Management Doctor can help you. If the migraines are from the neck, he can help you with that. There are many things you can try and do to cope.
 
I can't answer what the long term effects are, but I know it does get old. I am on 11 months of pain, mostly everyday non-stop. It does take a toll on life as you begin to pull away from life due to the pain. Depression can set in. The most important thing is to not let it take over your life. It is easier said than done, but you have got to maintain a positive attitude and not let it beat you. Good luck!

mercyme
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 310
   Posted 11/21/2007 7:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your reply holmesla, I'm trying to stay positive and praying that the pain will ease.
I thought I would get a jump start so I put my Christmas tree up today, did some wrapping just over did it , now I can barely move with my lower back pain and sciatica. I tell you I'm a basket case, lol with the migraines the back/neck problems doctors don't know what to do with me.

I am so thankful for my health. I'm seizrue Free since my brain surgery in 2002, and I know things could be alot worse, So I give thanks today for all that God has done for me.

Blessings,

Mercyme

korbnep
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 11/22/2007 11:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mercyme,
I can't answer with any medical authority, but I have read studies in the past that suggest that long term migraines can lead to some manner of brain damage and also an increased risk of seizures. Personally, as far as the former goes, it's been worrying me a bunch lately because I started having very noticeable cognitive impairment after I began taking drugs like Topamax and Zonegran at high doses. I originally attributed the slowness to the drugs, but since I've come off drugs with significant cognitive side effects, I've still been quite mentally slow (compared to years ago). I'm concerned that the effects of the constant pain may have caused long term (hopefully not permanent!) cognitive deficiency. I'll do some research and get back to you in a few days though with more empirical evidence.

Ben
DX: NDPH, Recovered CRPS
RX: Lamictal, Abilify, Verapamil, Provigil, Clonazepam, Ambien CR, Rozerem, Emsam, Namenda
PRN: Haloperidol, Zyprexa, Lodine, Zofran, Oxycodone

Post Edited (korbnep) : 11/22/2007 3:54:45 PM (GMT-7)


~Liz
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 11/22/2007 5:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Mercyme,
My doctor has told me that women with migraines, especially with an aura, are at a higher risk for heart attacks.  Also, he said memory loss can occur, but I assume that the memory loss is just when people become to focused on the pain that they don't fully take in what is happening around them.  I've also heard of cases where certain nerves get so used to firing pain signals that, even after the cause of the pain is gone, the nerves will continue to send pain signals.
I'm not sure of the validity of this message as I'm not a doctor and a lot of doctors disagree on the issues of migraines.
Just out of curiosity, did you have the migraines before your brain surgery, or did they start afterwards?
Best wishes,
Liz

mercyme
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 310
   Posted 11/22/2007 6:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Liz,

No the migraines were with me before the brain surgery, but seem to be getting worse the older I get. Maybe it's just a hormonal thing. I have migraines at least 3 times a week and sometimes daily. I don't take anything but midrin, or execdrin I try to stay away from as many drugs as I can.

I tried topamax for a while but it's got alot of side effects, so I dropped that one. I can't take imitrex or anything like it, it makes my chest feel really tight. But I am dealing pretty good, I've had the migraines for so long that I just manage the best I can and go on.

I see my neurologist in Jan but seems kinda a waste of time. There's not many more meds to try unless there is something new out there.

But for someone who had a seizure disorder for over 25 plus years, and has recovered from brain surgery, I'd say I'm doing great. It feels so good not to have to worry about having a seizure. Not to mention being able to drive again, nothing like having your Freedom!

God BLess,

Mercyme

korbnep
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 11/22/2007 6:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Mercyme,
You said that you've tried every migraine drug. Just to make sure that there isn't anything that some of us have tried but you may not have, perhaps you can list the ones that you remember being prescribed.

Ben
DX: NDPH, Recovered CRPS
RX: Lamictal, Abilify, Verapamil, Provigil, Clonazepam, Ambien CR, Rozerem, Emsam, Namenda
PRN: Haloperidol, Zyprexa, Lodine, Zofran, Oxycodone


mercyme
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 310
   Posted 11/22/2007 6:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I'll try Ben,

Imitrex, beta blockers, topamax, zonegran, midrin, fiorect, several more I just can't think of them right now. Neurologist also suggested botox injections but I haven't went that far yet. Not sure I want anyone else touching my head because of the surgery I've had in the past, my head is still tender from the surgery.

I'm currently on lamictal for seizure control, and will stay on it for the rest of my life probably. I'm scared to death to go off of it, because I know there is a possiblity I could have a seizure. Lord knows I don't want to go back there. Neurologist think it's wise to stay on at least one anti convulsant and I agree.

That's all the meds I can think of right now, but I'm sure there are a few more.

Thanks Ben,

Cindy/mercyme

korbnep
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 11/23/2007 1:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Here's something I posted a few weeks ago in response to a similar topic. It's an overview of many of the different types of migraine medications. Keep in mind that it's written as a response to someone else, so it make be written a bit awkwardly for this response:

"For example, I responded moderately well to zonegran, but not to topamax, even though they're both antiseizure meds. Then you also have bipolar type drugs like divalproex (aka valproic acid, depakote), lamictal, and lithium. Antidepressants and anti-inflammatory medications can also be used as preventatives, beyond cymbalta and ibuprophen, naproxen. There are tricyclic antidepressants like neurontin and elavil; SSRIs like lexapro, zoloft, paxil, and prozac; SNRIs like effexor and cymbalta; MAOis (quite strong) like nardil, parnate, and emsam; and others like Wellbutrin, Zyban, and others. As for antiinflammatory medications, ibuprofen and naproxen are fairly weak and are rarely advised to take daily. Some strong ones that are sometimes taken daily are diclofenac, etodolac (lodine), ketorolac, indocin, and relafen. There are a few other strange ones like methergine, mexilitine (oral lidocaine) and various herbal remedies. Muscle relaxants are sometimes used to treat migraine as well. Beta blockers and Calcium channel blockers can be used as well.

Also there are a variety of other triptans: Maxalt, Amerge, Zomig, Axert and Frova. I found that some work better than others. Many of them didn't work at all and a few helped a bunch more for me. And as for other abortives there are strong inflammatory ones like todadol, strong antipsychotics like zyprexa, haldo, droperidol. And things like DHE, lidocaine nasal spray, etc. You can try oral steroid tapers, since you said that worked. Plus Botox injections, nerve stimulators, etc."

Also, there are many inpatient IV infusion treatments like Lidocaine, Ketamine and DHE cocktails.

Anyway, if youu haven't heard of or tried some of these, I hope it shows you that you have more options than you might realize. Good luck CIndy, I'll be hoping for you.

Ben
DX: NDPH, Recovered CRPS
RX: Lamictal, Abilify, Verapamil, Provigil, Clonazepam, Ambien CR, Rozerem, Emsam, Namenda
PRN: Haloperidol, Zyprexa, Lodine, Zofran, Oxycodone


mercyme
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 310
   Posted 11/23/2007 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Ben, when you started nameing alot of the other medications, I did try some of them just could not remember the names of the drugs. memory problems sometimes, lol I blame it on the brain surgery.

I'm actually doing physical therapy right now, so hoping loosing up the muscles in my neck may help with the migraines. But thank you so much for your responses, I really appreciate them.

God Bless,

Mercyme/Cindy

1happygal
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/3/2007 3:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I'm new to the forum and I found a lot of great information in this thread. I, too, had a whiplash injury, and I have had migraines for four years. I usually get four or five a week. They are without aura. I've written down a few of the drugs you mentioned, Ben. I'll ask my pain management doctor about them.
I stopped Topamax because of the effect it had on my short term memory and word recall in conversation. Since I stopped it my memory has improved and I feel like I can think clearly again. The negative part of quitting Topamax is that now I'm having more migraines and they seem worse.
I'll check out the drugs you mentioned as preventatives. Right now I'm taking Zoloft as a preventative. I take Zomig with ibuprofen, or I take Lortab as abortives. If my neck is really hurting at the same time, take carisoprodol.
I take UltramER every morning in an attempt to preempt the migraines. If one breaks through, I take Ultram (regular dose) as an abortive. So I have three options for abortives. I only use Zomig twice a week...
I hope you get relief from your pain, Cindy. Thanks, Ben, for your informative postings.
1happygal/Bonnie

mercyme
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 310
   Posted 12/3/2007 5:00 PM (GMT -7)   
 
 
 
   I have never heard of ultram ER. I go to my painmangement doctor tomorrow morning I'll ask her about it.  Seems like I've tried about everything else.  I'm considering trying the topamax again who knows maybe it might work this time.  I took 25 mg one at night and one at bedtime, I'm wondering if the dose was to low to work??
 
   Anyway I hope you all find relief with your migraines.
 
   Mercyme  :-)
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