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Preventative Meds For Migraine


Katybug
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Hi folks. My migraines have now graduated to daily and are becoming quite severe and medicine resistant. I am just starting amitriptyline as a preventative, so far with no success, although it is helping me sleep better so that's a plus. It's only been a week so I'm willing to give it more time. However, if it doesn't work, can anyone think of things I haven't tried as preventatives. Here's what hasn't worked:

Neurontin/gabapentin

Topamax

Depakote

Prednisone

Lyrica

(And I won't do botox shots)

Any thoughts? I'm really struggling to even feed the dog with some of these bad migraines. I'm desperate to find something that will work. I ended September with 20 days of migraine but that includes the last two weeks of the month everyday and each day of October so far. :-(

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Hi katybug

8 Years ago I had a neurologist who tried me on every preventative available at the time. As of a couple of years ago I ran that list past a new neuro andhe told me nrothing new. But there could be by now. With the first neuro The only med that really helped me was periactin - cyproheptadine - an older generation antihistamine (somehow not surprising that it worked given my allergies and sensitivites). I started on 4 mgs at night for 3 nights, then I upped it to 8mgs for 3 nights if I remember correctly. Then 12 mgs in total taken at night. It was a kast ditch thing and i was blown away when it worked. I got great relief from it for about 3 months then it stopped working for me. The neuro told me to have a 'holiday' from it and try again. I did (can't remember how long the break/holiday was) up until 4 or so years ago I went on and off it more than a few times and got great relief each time. Last couple of times I tried it, it was not successful but I am thinking of giving it another go in future.

I knew of another potsie that got great relief from it. Downside is it made me more constipated. And caused hunger - I gained weight- a lot. It is given to teens for migraine btw (I think it says that on the box).

I think it is worth running past your doctor, at any rate. Worth having a look at

Darn, my tablet is dying and wont recharge so I wont even try to correct the autocorrections.

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Hi Katybug

Tyler has been in this situation for awhile. I asked about a meds the other day for him when he had an appointment. with the doctor. Our doctor looked up the meds (Sodium Vaporate) and he was tried on this medication when he saw the headache specialist several years ago. Tyler has been tried on about everything and our doctor is being extremely careful about adding any new meds at this time. However, I will be asking about the medication that Blue mentioned. Tyler does not have bad allergies but high histamine levels in his system. So I am wondering if this other medication might be worth trying.

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Hi Rachel

I just thought I'd add that my niece was prescribed this med for migraine a few years ago. She was in her late teens. She used it when she had migraine, not as a preventative, I believe. It was successful for her. (I tried using it when I had migraine instead of as a preventative at one point, but it was like water off a ducks back for me - I needed to have it in my system in order to prevent migraine).. But you may want to talk to Tyler's doctor about trying it that way.

blue

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I suffer from migraines as well. I am npt sure if this works yet because we have not found it yet but my neurologist told me to try 400 miligrams of vitamin b2. also a tip is to avoid processed foods with meats that have nitrates in them, try to avoid chocolate and food with msg or aspartame. I noticed if I eat lunch meat more often I get migraines more often.

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Thanks everyone. I am on a low histamine diet which includes all the foods that are considered migraine triggers. I am already on B complex supplement in part for my migraines. I have recently found an herbal tea that is for headaches which helps but it has white willow bark in it (amongst other things) so I'm afraid to drink more than one cup a day since white willow bark is what aspirin is made of. I don't want to cause myself bleeding problems because I'm trying to get rid of my migraine.

Looneymom - just fyi, sodium valproate is the generic of Depakote.

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Sorry you are suffering :(. Have you tried beta blockers for migraine prevention? Found a good article here:

http://umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/migraine-headaches

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Thanks, IceLizard. I have done bb's for POTS. They didn't help my migraines. Then we found out I have MCAS and figured out the bb's were making my breathing even worse than just POTS alone, no more bb's for me.

I hate asking a question and then being like "nope sorry, been there done that". But I have tried a lot of treatments. I guess I'm hoping for something out of the ordinary, which is hard since my neuro is a headache specialist.

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Sorry, that does make sense. The article I posted goes deep into the different treatments and preventatives. It even recommends herbal supplements. Maybe you can find something useful there?

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Ok..this may be silly but I tried some migraine prescriptions in the past (have had them sice I was about 14 or 15 years old and none of them worked for me. But, when I take Excedrine Migraine, it works! I'm sure you have tried this before but I just thought in case you haven't, it may be worth a try! Worth a good mention any way.

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In case it helps anyone, the doc and I talked today. We are increasing my amitriptyline and wil increase again in a week if I continue to have no ill side effects. He said I can take Excedrin Migraine 2 days per week (no more than that to avoid rebound headaches. ) He is calling in a script of diclofenac which is an NSAID for abortive help since my Maxalt has stopped working completely. If the amitriptyline alone doesn't work, we are going to work with my cardiologist to increase my verapamil to a dose considered therapeutic for migraine. Currently I'm on a relatively low dose to help my POTS. Fingers crossed.

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A friend of a friend suffered from migraines all of her life. She was given Lamictal for bipolar disorder and was very happy when she realized that she stopped having migraines. I looked it up and it is indeed used off-label for migraines: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16291905

I think it can cause some serious side effects but it's one of those ones that is definitely not first line.

My mom has some luck with gralise which is a slow release form of gabapentin. I realize that is already on your "done that" list but apparently keeping a steady blood level can be very helpful.

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A couple of the newer generstion antipsychotics in small doses may help too. Zyprexa and seroquel are the names I can think of. Both these can have very significant downsides though.

Ergotamine was effective as a rescue med for me but I was taken off it as it can have concerning side effects on the heart. It is still prescribed in australia I believe, but no longer available from a normal pharmacy - I used to have to have a compound chemist make it up. I was advised at age 50 that I needed to stop it. I had not taken it for that long but potential for heart or valve damage (am now vague about which part of the body) was seen as problematical given my age. The doctors also thought it had caused me rebound migraine but when withdrawn, and after many monghs, they saw the rebound theory did not apply in my case. I was now a 'chronic daily migraine' sufferer. I kind of remember that the ergotamine tablets also contained dypenhydramine and caffeine. Due to tachy I had to have it made up without caffeine as I found as my body could not tolerate it at the time (I can now have one or two half strength coffees a day - yeah! And they can help me a little with migraine pain sometimes.)

I have a list somewhere katy, of all the migraine preventstives I've tried. I just cant find it (I'm hopelessly disorganized) but if I do find it I will post the list here.

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Thanks!

I went 2 1/2 days without migraine! Yay! The first day was after we upped the amitriptyline. I got one this evening but I suspect it was because I did some stuff around the house. It seems like any activity will trigger the headaches these days. The first day w/o migraine, I still made myself lay around because I wanted to give my body a break. Yesterday I walked the dog for about 20 minutes and made a run to the grocery store for just a coupke things so I was in and out with only 2 grocery bags. Today I really tried to do some housework that has been waiting several weeks due to the headaches. About an hour after I finished and was resting it started. While this isn't the only reason I get migraines, there is always this pattern when it comes to activity. I am not wealthy enough to have a maid and personal assistant to avoid the housework and errands. I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place on this because if I get a day without migraine then I end up having all these things to do that are backlogged because of the headaches. When I try to get something done, then I trigger a headache. I know to pace myself. I know there's no good answer...I'm just thinking out loud.

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