Headache medications wt gain, wt loss

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by TerryJ2, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    A while ago I posted that my dr. had mentioned that one medication has the side effect of wt loss. I found out what it is--Topomax. I will start on it next mo. I can't wait!
    In the meantime, I'm supposed to dbl my dosage of Amiltriptyline, since I had 3 migraines this mo., and we'll see if a higher dosage works. (I highly doubt it.) Amiltriptyline's side effect is wt gain. That actually makes me feel better, since I weigh more now than I ever weighed at my heaviest in HS. I'm not fat, but I'm not happy. I want to feel good. I'm 5'3-1/2 and 120#, which is easily 10 more lbs than I'm used to. I refuse to buckle into the middle age-middle age spread myth.
    Last night I had another migraine--it woke me at 11:30 p.m. After that I fell asleep but had nightmares all night. Arrrgh! Trying out these medications is a pain.
    I'm also doing chiro adjustments and massage, which helps, and trying to walk 2-3 mi. a day.
  2. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I take Topomax... started it for migraines. I had tried the others that had the weight gain also. Hated them. I like Topomax. I had the Dopomax side affect in the beginning and it does make me not really want to not able to drink very much... but I am not a big drinker anyway.

    Accupuncture has helped me in the past also. I went to the headache GURU in Chicago, If you lived closer I would tell you to go se him... I had a 2 week migraine and he helped me and was my savior!!!

    I also have as emergency medications- Dexamethasone,Hydroxyzine,Baclofen and Bellamine... various medications for blood vessel swelling, naseau, and pain... I would call doctor and he would tell me which and how much to take.
    Knock wood, I have not had to take anything for over a year... Topomax has mellowed them, I still get them but not to the degree that I did before.

    Good luck
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I had some luck with Topomax, but it was very expensive. We had to be careful in our timing of filling the prescription as husband was still in grad school.

    Is amitryptiline the first preventative he started you on? Tricyclic AD's can help, but sometimes work better with beta blockers. Or other migraine medications.

    Have you tried beta blockers? Talked about them with your doctor? I ask because they are the oldest, most relied on migraine preventers. It seems strange that you have not tried several.

    Often if a medication is not working another medication in the same class will work. We found this with beta blockers. I sometimes had to switch them to get relief.

    Beta blockers have more info on side effects andproblems, msotly because they have been around so long and were prescribed to men for blood pressure issues. It is an unfortunate fact that medications that are targetted to males get better research and more research.

    Topamax has so many side effects, and it is a fairly new drug, so there just isn't as much info on it.

    I hope migraines stay away. Sounds like you are coping well.


  4. Star*

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

    I'm glad you will have some relief.

  5. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I hope you're feeling better soon!!! WFEN
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all your input.
    Memory issues? Ack. I have those anyway! I'm hypoglycemic and can get very spacy, similar to people with-diabetes, only low- instead of high-blood sugar. Some days I'm spacy all day.
    I will definitely watch out for that.

    No, he never told me about beta blockers. I will ask. I have an appointment. in 3 mo's. and am supposed to call in 1 mo. to report on the increased amitriptyline.

    I don't mind the side effect of not wanting to drink. I think that's a good side effect, since a typical glass of wine is 200 calories and gives me heartburn, LOL!
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    Many docs prescribe the newest drugs first. Mostly because it is what comes to mind. The pharmaceutical reps really push the medications. And, many times, patients with financial problems can get the new ones free, but the older medications are not sampled.

    Everything I have learned about migraines and headaches leads me to think that beta blockers are a reasonable choice, especially before a major pschyo-active medication like Topomax.

    The most I ever felt with a beta blocker was abit more relaxed and less uptight.

    Others have had other problems.

    I do know that a month of propranolol (generic Inderal) is on the WalMart $4 list. And Topomax is several hundred dollars a month.

    It is important to ASK your doctor about other medications, esp if the medication they are wanting you to use is such a new one.

    ( I liked topomax for the most part, it just didn't work for very long for me. Many people have great luck with it. I do not mean that it is a BAD drug, not at ALL. But I do think that starting with a discussion about more conservative medications is also a good thing. Many times my doctor will say, I forgot those were a possibility. Let me check, sounds like it might be a better choice. This is why I do research.)

  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow. That IS expensive!
    I will talk to him about it.
    My blood tests came back today ... all normal, incl. a good cholesterol level. I was very worried about all the Halloween candy I ate ... LOL!
  9. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Tried everything for my migranes. Topomax..I was on for a while, I was looking forward to the weight loss aspect. Doctor informed me that would happen with much higher doses, not what I was taking.

    What works for me, always is Fiorinal or Fioricette.

    comes with or without codiene. Non condiene works wonders for me.

    I have had rescue medications. Fiorinal with-codiene..Staydol(nasal spray), actiq (sp???).
    Staydol (sp?) totally put me in another world. First time I tried it I followed directions. 20 minutes later easy child asked me if I was high. I told him I was beyond high. Had to go to bed. Unable to function. Did take headache away, but I was not able to even speak. Never followed directions again. If I needed it I did very, very little and went to bed.
    Actiq is a sucker. comes in all different strengths.

    all those are narcotics, so be extremely careful taking as well as storing with difficult child's in the house.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Fiorinal is a combination analgesic medication consisting of aspirin, the barbiturate butalbital and caffeine. Some formulations also contain the opioid codeine. It is indicated for the treatment of tension headaches and is often used off-label (without FDA-approval) to treat migraines. The mechanism of action is not well understood. Since butalbital is habit-forming, using fiorinal daily can lead to dependency. Fiorinal #3 contains: 30 mg codeine, 50 mg butalbital, 40 mg caffeine, and 325 mg aspirin.(This is from Wikipedia)

    Fiorinal is known to cause rebound headaches/migraines. It does work. Dependency or tolerance is an issue for some. Rebound headaches come when it wears off.

    This being said, so many medications can cause dependency or tolerance (I DID NOT SAY ADDICTION). It is commonly used by addicts, have known quite a few who wanted it for the barbiturate.

    Reading the description over, I think it may help headaches for much the same reason anti seizure medications can help or prevent migraines.

    Migraines are thought to be a type of seizure activity. Not well understood, but more is learned every day.

    I do well on lyrica for prevention and phenergan and imitrex for treatment. Lots of other ways to prevent, and I went through most every one before I took lyrica. It was given because I really needed to control nerve pain and the migraine thing was a lets see if it helps. The success of it for the last almost 2 years is astounding to me.

    Personally, I have wondered if Jess might be more respondent to fiorinal than her midrin. Imitrex adn the like medications are not a good option for her at this time (so says the neuro - he had reasons, but they flewout of my head a while ago).

    Glad your labwork was good, this sets the groundwork to figure out what will help keep the migraines away. (It isn't apples. I tried. Didn't even keep the doctors away. Sigh.)

    Hope the info helps, or at least doesn't make you crazy. If you have prescription drug coverage, ask the insurance company for a printed copy of hte drug formulary - what they cover and how much of it. If they cover a set % of the drug price, then shop around.

    It is a false economy to get prescriptions at several different pharmacies. The pharmacist is your first line of defense against drug interactions. Often they catch stuff the doctor doesn't know about. So if you are price shopping, look at conveinece, emergency help (my pharmacist will come down and open up if you get out of the hospital on a sunday or late on Sat, or if something happens and you get an urgent care visit after hours. He is a sweetie, as are the other pharms on staff)


  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Migraines are thought to be a type of seizure activity. Not well understood, but more is learned every day.

    Really? Wow.

    Susie, I used Fiorocet, too. It works on me for tension headaches but not well for migraines. Imitrex works for those.

    It's a pain trying all these out, but better than not having anything at all.

    I occasionally read in Nat'l Geographic or some such place, where people who lived 5,000 yrs ago sometimes had holes drilled in their skulls to relieve headaches. Sounds barbaric, but frankly, if I lived 5,000 yrs ago and there was no medicine, having a hole drilled in my head would be the least of my worries!