What migraine preventative do you take?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterby, May 18, 2011.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Topomax is definitely a no for me. I tried it - not for migraines, but can't remember why I trialed it - and the side effects are too much for me.

    In October, my physiatrist put me on Celebrex 200mg for migraine prevention - to take once or twice a day. I had never heard it used for that, but it worked very well. I only took it once a day unless I had a breakthrough headache, then would take the second dose. It hasn't been cutting it for a few weeks now.

    I know I tried nortriptyline a long time ago, but it didn't do anything. I'm just wondering what people are using so that when I talk to my doctor, I'm a little more prepared.

    TIA. :)
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I don't take any preventative, other than staying away from aged cheeses and red wine, which I don't like anyway.
    Unfortunately, regular cheeses, nuts, dark chocolate and avocados are on the no-no list and I love them all. :)
    I also get regular chiropractic adjustments to my neck (cervical spine).

    I take Imitrex when I feel a migraine coming on and it helps a lot.

    Wish I could help with-a preventative idea. Others here will comment.
  3. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    We are doing a lot of different things for my daughter's headache. She takes doxepin, a tricyclic a/d for headache. Her doctor said he has seen it work better than Elavil for pain.

    Her headache is finally gone most of the time and it is less severe when she has it. It is hard to tell for sure what part the doxepin plays in that but it might be worth looking into for you.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have taken so many different migraine preventatives that it isn't even funny. Esp since I had them for 20 years before anyone told me that there were medications that could prevent/control them! I had been treated for them for at least 15 of those years!!!

    Anyway, most people start with a beta blocker. These are blood pressure medications so if you have low blood pressure this may not be an option for you. They will make you tired for a while, but it goes away. Propranolol was long considered to be the most effective migraine prevention medication available, according to four of the neuros who treated me over the years and some research I did way back when. There are a TON of beta blockers and you may tolerate one more than another. One really great thing about beta blockers is that they are dirt cheap. Propranolol used to be one of the more expensive ones, but my dad took atenolol for years and the retail price of it was about $2 for a month worth.

    Calcium channel blockers like verapimil are the next step that the docs took me through in trying to control my migraines. They are also heart medications. I didn't take it long because it didn't help and upset my stomach.

    Tricyclic antidepressants like doxepin, amitryptilene, etc are often used. these knocked me out so I could only take them at night. I have an aunt who took amitryptilene for years and it mostly stopped her migraines. It is also good if you have chronic pain as it is helpful with those also. many people got upset when docs would rx these for migraines, thinking the docs were telling them that the migraines were not real, that they were really just depressed. It wasn't true because the dose that treats anxiety etc... is far higher than the dose used for migraine prevention, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, etc.... Very small doses are often all that is needed for migraine control. At one point I used doxepin liquid and took between .5 and 1.2 ml per night - the size dropper used for infant tylenol was what I used to measure the medication. It changed based on how the fibro was doing that day because it helped iwth both.

    The final type of medication that I am familiar with is antiseizure medications. depakote, tegretol, neurontin, lyrica are all helpful. I refuse to try depakote because I have seen how it just balloons weight in many people. i struggle enough with that and it also has a lot of other serious side effects. I took lyrica for years with excellent results. not so much for the fibro and pain, but for the migraines it was one of the best. Topamax is in this category also.

    I hope this helps. I did not list all the medications in any one class of medications. just soem that I am aware of. You may want to search for names of medications in those classes. Check to see which of those are on the Walmart cheap rx list and how much the ones that are not on the list cost. NO sense starting off with the most expensive medications unless it is necessary, Know what I mean??
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I'm already on a beta blocker (metoprolol, closely related to propranolol) for my heart. It has been a long time since I tried nortriptyline, so I may try it again - or try doxepin. For some reason that I can't remember they don't want me on calcium channel blockers. Or maybe I'm thinking of something else. I've tried so many stupid medications, I can't remember them all or what they were for. Neurontin made me intensely suicidal within 3 days on the lowest dose, so my doctor won't consider Lyrica - which is good cause I'm not in a hurry to go through that again. LOL

    Phenergan is supposed to help with headaches, but I don't know if it's prescribed as a preventative. I found that out by accident when I took it for nausea from a migraine and it calmed my head. Told the doctor about it and she said it's good for headaches. I have a script for it because I have so much nausea. I took it this evening for nausea and the migraine has become manageable. Sometimes it does that, and sometimes it does nothing. When it just absolutely won't go away - cause it would stay for weeks before I started Celebrex - I'll get a toradol shot, and then do 5 days of toradol pills (you can only do 5 days because it can really mess up your stomach), and that would knock it out. Imitrex is supposed to be non-drowsy, but it knocks me on my hiney - dead to the world for hours.

    If I was having a breakthrough every now and again, I could deal with it. But, I'm having them more often than not the past 3 or 4 weeks.

    Thanks for the tips. Now I'm prepared for when I see my GP. :)
  6. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    I was taking topamax. It took away the migraine, but the side effects were terrible. I began to have these buzzing sounds in my head like the rewinding of a tape recorder. Scared me as to what was being erased. My Dr. calls it dopamax. Really drugged feeling. A Dr. Suggested that I also leave the artifical sweeteners alone and I have and I haven't had a headache even, with the exception of a sinus achy feeling here and there. I feel much better since not consuming any artifical sweeteners, my test are better, I feel better and am not sleepy, my fibro is better most days. I guess everyone has a different trigger for migraines. I can't eat ham, lunch meats, salmon, or anything mango, and now artificial sweeteners are definaely a no no.
  7. Star*

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

    I've tried ALL of them - they all made me violently ill or didn't work. So I take Topamax and Relpax. Relpax works when the Topamax doesn't. (that time of the month and the days when it was sunny for days on end) Usually people get headaches when it rains and the barometric pressure ENDS - I get it when it's SUNNY.

    Relpax is expensive but WORTH it. However you can only get a script for 6 a month. More than that I'm told and you are due for a review for a breakthrough monthly medicine.
  8. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I used to take Imitrex. It seemed to stop the migraines in their tracks, but made my head feel like it was asleep (like the feeling when you lose circulation in your hand or foot, but all over my scalp -- very weird).
    The other thing that worked very well was therapeutic massage. With your pain levels, I'm not sure whether RMT is helpful for you, or whether it would aggravate other painful areas -- but it really worked well for the headaches.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont know any of the other preventatives but I did take something called frova or flova or something near that for migraines right after I got out of the hospital. I cant remember the exact spelling because I dont have the script anymore. Billy takes the old one with butal in it...cant remember the name either. Do remember I am not having the best memory days right now...lol. Oh, I did take midrin years ago.
  10. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I've had a massage twice in my life. I don't know what kind they were, but it wasn't the pleasant, relaxing experience everyone talks about. LOL I didn't realize then that it was because of my pain issues. I need to look into it more because I know there is more gentle massage that is done.

    I don't have anything to stop a migraine once it starts, so I should get something for that. difficult child was given something called Maxalt (sp?). And I was just thinking that she got something and I've had daily headaches and frequent migraines for years and I don't have anything. But then I realized that they've been part of my life for so long that I usually don't mention them to the doctor. The only reason I was put on Celebrex for migraines is because my brain MRI showed "subtle white matter changes", which can be indicative of a lot of things, one of them being chronic migraines - which fit. So, I think maybe I'll stick to the Celebrex because it has helped and get something for when I get a migraine anyway. Duh. Don't know why I didn't think of that. I remember you talking about Flova, Janet.

    I can't get this one under control. My doctor is out until next week. I'll probably go to the ER later and get a toradol shot. If I go now, I'll just wait for several hours. I'll go late when there's no one there. Can't deal with noise.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Subtle white matter changes ... hmm, didn't know that.

    Best of luck with-everything. I know how you feel about the noise.
  12. Star*

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

    You can ASK for Relpax - and see if that HELPS. It's strong, and most times if you use it THE SECOND you think you have a headache? It will work. If you wait and go - WEll these pills are $36 a piece - should I shouldn't I? You've waited too long, then you just take it, pack your head in ice and fall asleep - and literally tinkle the headace out.

    I can, and do use it for the OMG not now -Lord if I just had something to stop this NOW kinda pains. And you know the difference between - THOSE and the 'well I think 3 exederin migraines with a blast of cafeine will do it'.

    There is ALSO a liquid prescription out. The stuff was almost 100% caffeine - tasted so bad I used to say I'd lick a skunks butt to get the taste out of my mouth, but by golly! It worked so good - and then? That idiot doctor said "MMMm me no wannum you take caffeine." and took me off of all caffeine. ALL of it. Any migraine doctor would know what it is......it's awful - orange colored. YUK.....but works like (snap)

    Also - you can ask if Feverfew is in your realm of things I can try.....and Butterwort. Those are supposed to be herbs migriane sufferers can take to stave off headaches daily. I haven't tried them -

    just a ps. Dude can't take the Relpax - makes him sick as a dog. Most people can't. Just FYI. They're very strong. I can take them like candy - but I can't take Imitrex and Frova almost killed me - it put me in the hospital. Go figure. Frova was the one that was marketed actually for hormonal flux migraine sufferers. I thought yeah finally -something I can take 6 days a month - and NOPE - not at all.