Celebrex for migraines?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterby, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I had a brain MRI yesterday to rule out MS, which it did to a 90 - 95% degree. However, it showed "subtle nonspecific white matter changes", which can mean a lot of things (it would normally be seen in someone in their 80's as a normal occurrence, means more when it's found in a younger person).

    I have headaches almost daily. They often get pretty intense. I haven't had any vicodin for a while because I haven't been having diffuse body pain that warrants it - so I haven't asked for it - and that is what I used to take for them. Now, I've been taking 600mg of ibuprofen, then 2 hours later 1,000mg of Tyelnol, followed by 600mg of ibuprofen in another 2 hours to try to knock it back to bearable. It doesn't get rid of the headache, but brings it down to a dull roar.

    So, my physiatrist is calling it chronic migraines (one of the possible differential diagnoses for the white matter changes) and put me on celebrex. He said celebrex is safer for my heart than ibuprofen. But, I've never heard it used this way. Anyone else take celebrex for migraines? I have to say, it has helped today, but it could be that it just wasn't going to be a bad one today. I'm to take it everyday, starting at once a day then increasing to twice a day. But, I'm now on two medications, the other being mestinon, that tear up my gut. If you take celebrex, is that something your body adjusts to?
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I'm actually very surprised he said it's safer for your heart than ibuprofen. I would definitely double check with- your cardiologist on that one.

    Doing a google on Celebrex and migraines, it did pop up that it is sometimes used as a migraine preventative. It's an NSAID though, so I guess I would expect it to be rough on the tummy.

    Weeburt was on cyproheptadine (Periactin) for several years for migraine prevention. It did wonders for him, with no side effects. He used to get monster migraines that came on in literally seconds and would have him throwing up in a matter of minutes. Our neuro's take on migraines was that while pain management was necessary, he really felt it was essential to try to stop the onset of the pain. He said that when you get into the cycle of pain, then treatment, then pain, then treatment, it is actually encouraging the cycle to repeat. The cyproheptadine was to stop the onset of the headache. It took probably a year or so for Weeburt to actually break the cycle completely. He's only had 1 migraine (knock wood) in the last 3 years or so.

    Topamax is also supposed to be good at prevention.

    I have to take high-dose ibuprofen for my back more often than I'd like - I worry about frying my stomach, so the thought of an NSAID daily just freaks me out, LOL. But that's just my own little neurosis there - if the Celebrex works for you and you can deal with- the stomach side effects (and your cardiologist knows you're taking it) then I'd go for it.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I recall taking this for a period of time for mine and it helped.
    Would agree, Topamax has helped many with- reference to migraine prevention.
    As you probably know...taking a of Ibuprofen...might be making your migraines worse.
    You are fortunate to be able to go to a physiatrist. Believe it or not, there is not a single one in my immediate area. A friend of mine once told me that one of these specialists helped her significantly w her migraines. Sending you goood thoughts. I have had to do many, many things and struggle much to get help for mine. I take medications, many vitamins and control my stress....all helpful.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    be SURE to call your cardiologist about the celebrex. Jessie has some to take for period pain, but it doesn't work well for her. I took it years ago for fibro and it did NOTHING for my migraines, not even when I was at the highest allowable dose. Is there some reason the doctor doesn't want to work through the triptans instead? Do they have you on a preventative? If you have more than 3 migraines a month you should be on a preventative. My docs (ALL of them) and Jessie's docs (not just her current neuro who is our state's pediatrician migraine doctor, but even her pediatrician) have all said that for years now. There are a LOT of different types of preventatives, starting with the very cheap beta blockers which can be as low as the $4 rx lists or lower (the last one I took was $1.50 per month) and have been available a LOT longer than celebrex and have much safer and milder side effect profiles than celebrex has.

    NO WAY would I take celebrex for migraines. It simply isn't designed for them and has a LOT of risks. These risks are NOT bad if it is taken occasionally. If it has to be taken daily it should be for very short periods of time. None of my docs would rx it for as long as a month. I asked them after Jess was given the prescription because I just wasn't sure I was comfortable with it. Even my rheumatologist said he wouldn't rx it for more than a week a few times a year. He was NOT against rxing medications to control pain. He felt that celebrex had too many problems for the results it gave for even short term use.

    Ask the docs to give you a preventative. If you cannot take triptans ask about midrin (can only be taken for 3 days a week because otherwise it will give rebound headaches), a muscle relaxer, or vicodin. Fioricet/fiorinal used be given for migraines, as did a medication called norgesic forte. It is orphenadrine and tylenol I think. Not sure about it, just know that the headache doctor gave Jess an rx for it. She took it twice and threw it up both times. But it was for her migraines. Not sure if the medication made her get sick or the headache though.

    IF the doctor suggests treximet, ask him for an imitrex prescription and take it with 2 aleve. Treximet is imitrex plus naproxen sodium. If beta blockers don't work to control it, calcium channel blockers, anti seizure medications like depakote and topamax work, and there are other classes of medications that also work.

    Celebrex for someone with a very premature heart attack like you seems like a VERY risky medication choice.

    FWIW, if imitrex doesn't work completely ask the doctor to give you .25 mg of xanax to take with it and aleve. Xanax makes the imitrex work better, and so does aleve. Taken occasionally for migraine relief the addiction risk is very low. I took them together for about 5 years with no withdrawal, or addiction symptoms. I only stopped because I had a lot of medications and there were just too many of them that made us targets for a few specific people to try to rob.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Contact cardio and ask about the medication change.

    I popped into this thread as poor katie is in the middle of a severe migraine and misery doesn't touch how the poor girl is feeling. Her medications are imatrex and topomax......but the topomax gives her severe shakes and I don't think she's been taking it. But she's out of medications so it's a mute point anyway. Trying to talk her into the ER, but she is hesitant as she's so miserable she doesn't want to move......ect, can't say I blame her. Our ER is not so hot........and easy child's hospital ER would be a grueling long trip to endure for treatment.:(

    I'm wondering what some good prevention medications are that others have tried, especially those with hx of seizures? I'm thinking hers are triggered by allergies, stress, some foods which she does avoid, and 3 difficult children (lol).
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Yes. I'm not sure what ingredient is in it that works but here is an article of yes it worked; no it didn't. http://www.revolutionhealth.com/drugs-treatments/rating/celebrex-for-migraines

    For me? Topamax and Relpax with ice is about it. Weather is a trigger - sunny days stink. And hormonal fluxuations due to periods are awful - never can tell if I get the headaches before or after. Just depends on my body. But ice? Ahhhh.
  7. Raven21901

    Raven21901 Guest

    Topamax for me for the most part. I was diagnosed with exercise induced migraines.

  8. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I can't tolerate topamax. All I do is sleep on it and I wasn't even able to get to the therapeutic dose.

    So far, it seems to be working. I'm taking it once a day and can increase to twice a day if needed, as a preventative. I missed it yesterday and paid for it.

    I feel comfortable with this doctor saying that it's safer for my heart than ibuprofen. He's very conservative about treating me because of my heart, which is why they still won't try anything for fatigue.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Raven -

    If you have exercised induced Migraines - does the topamax help with weight? As in weight gain?
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Topamax is a very expensive medication that can prevent migraines but has a LOT of side effects. There are a TON of older, better known medications that are vastly less expensive that will prevent migraines. Beta blockers are where docs should start with preventatives unless there are seizures or something that makes all the other types of preventatives unwise. Heck, even cheaper older seizure medications work as preventatives for lots of people. Tegretol is I think the name of one that works very well for migraines and seizures (there is some thought that migraines are a type of seizure activity and that is why seizure medications work. Not proven yet, as far as I know).

    Lisa, if she can get to a doctor she needs to ask for atenolol or another beta blocker. They will likely cost a couple of dollars for a month, maybe up to about fifteen if they rx one of the most expensive beta blockers (there are a TON). Atenolol cast me $1.50 the last time I took it. For a month worth. I think it is on the $4 list now.

    I think the docs hear a lot about topomax from drug reps so they rx it instead of one of the older, safer medications. You will likely have to ask for the least expensive one they have to get atenolol or another beta blocker. She will likely be tired the first couple of weeks on it, but her body will become adjusted to it in about ten days.

    Hugs. Constant migraines are terrible. I totally understand how awful she feels - with-o preventatives I have 5-7 migraines a week.
  11. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I'm already on a beta blocker which is counter indicated with mestinon as it is. I can't take another one.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    As far as Katie....Topamax has a PPARX program for medications. I was on it when I had no insurance. Also doctor offices will give you samples. I dont take it for migraines but I am on a very high dose and cant be without it.