Migraine Headaches

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  • I have suffered from migraine headaches for about 15 yrs. I have tried a lot of different medication, but the one that has worked out best has been Imitrex pills and injection. Sometimes the Imitrex is not even effective. There are newer drugs on the market today and I'd love to hear from someone who has tried them and how they have worked. These headaches will sometimes last for days and sometimes keeps me bedridden. I also take Pamelor on a daily basis to help lessen the frequency which has helped slightly. Any ideas?
  • Hi gardngal,

    I haven't heard of pamelor, but I'm taking a migraine preventitive called Topamax.

    It's actually a drug used to prevent seizures. It has recently been approved to treat ( prevent ) migraines, and as an anti-depressent, and I'm having wonderful results with it.

    I was having daily headaches, cluster headaches, and basilar migraines (where the world would just spin) ... it was awful.

    I take the Topamax daily, and haven't had a serious headache in months. Also, as the dosage increased incrementally, there was a pleasant side effect of the drug...weight loss. (LOL).

    I know how debilitating the headaches can be. but this sis working for me for now.

    Good luck finding relief.
  • Hi lifestar,

    Thanks for the info. on Topamax, thats one I haven't heard of before so I will definetely look into that. Also glad to hear that you are finally getting some relief.

    Take care,
  • I get headaches just about every day. A lot of the time they occur behind one of my eyes and spread around the side of my head. I usually take ibuprofen, but they don't always work and I end up taking more than the daily dose trying to stop the headaches. Is this a form of migraines? I've never seen a doctor for it so I was curious.
  • Lissa,

    There are all kinds of headaches, and many different causes. Migraines are one class of headache that is usually thought to be vascular in origin. The cause of these headaches is is not clear, but they are pretty classic in their presentation. But then there are headaches that are called a-typical migraines too...

    Classic migraines are usually one-sided, and are accompanied by other symptoms like light sensitivity, nausea, or tearing of the eye on the affected side. Classic migraines are also usually preceeded by an aura of some kind; usually a visual aura, but not always.

    Then there are what are called thunderclap migraines, and basilar migraines and all kinds of other a-typical migraines. They are all usually vascular in origin, (rather than tension type headaches. I think that's the hallmark difference.)

    I would recommend you see a neurologist for an evaluation of your headaches. Some neurologists are also sub-specialists as "headache specialists". It's better to get a neuro-evaluation and then get some specific treatment for the type of headache that plagues you specifically. Don't try to second guess it, or try to find a diagnosis here on these pages.

    I know doctors have told me that a complaint of headache is one of the most complex presentations they get.

    Best of luck to you in getting some relief!
  • Dear Friends,

    I know firsthand how bad migraines are. I didn't always know it, and suspected some of malingering, but since developing them myself in the last few years (hormone-related:mad: ), I regret my lack of sympathy.

    I have a prescription for Imitrex which I have never taken due to fear of it- certainly unfounded. When I feel a migraine approaching I take two Excedrin Migraine, an OTC medication that has been helpful to many migraine sufferers of my acquaintance. Again, this is effective- maybe- if you take it when you first feel the headache coming on. Of course many people have headaches that are much beyond the reach of any OTC medication, but please try it if you haven't. No one I have talked to expected it to work at all, but many have had good results.

    My next suggestion may be of help to certain people, especially those who do not eat meat, which I do not. I had read some offhand remarks about people taking a B vitamin supplement, specifically B12, and finding their migraines improved. I am not a vitamin/holistic/ homeopathic girl at all, but I figured what the hey-I probably do have a deficiency since I am a vegetarian. What could I lose? So I started taking a B complex ( with 50 mcg B12 )and a B12 (1000 mcg) in addition to my multivitamin. This was about 5 months ago and I have not had a migraine since. I am completely amazed, as I did not expect any effect at all. I reported my experience to the WebMD migraine message board
    (a good site to check out- very informative) and the doctor who is the monitor of the board replied that there is evidence that B12 supplements can prevent migraines in some people. I still can't believe it, but I never miss my daily B12. My 17 year old daughter also has migraines and has only had slight beginnings of headaches since taking B12 daily (she is also a veggie).

    I hope this helps anyone who is in need. Again, it may be a partial preventative or it may not work for you, but it cannot hurt to try. Good Luck.

  • Lifestar
    Thanks for the info on Topamax!

    I have suffered with migraines for more years than I can remember! My mother also suffers with them as did my grandmother.

    However, I can not take the medicines like Imitrex due to a heart problem I have. Also, I can't take Ibuprofen due to my allergy to aspirin.

    Usually, I just have to suffer it out in a dark room with a cool rag on my forehead and taking Extra Strenth Tyleno like candy! When I get an exceptionally bad one, I take a general pain pill, Ultram.

    I have a doctor appt in two weeks, I think I will ask if I can take the Topamax. If I can, it would sure be worth a try!

    Thanks gain for the information!
  • Hi everyone,
    I can identify with migraines, I've had them all of my life since I was a small child. Back in those days they were called sick headaches. Anyway over the years I've had just about every test and scan on my head and the only thing that comes as a diagnosis is Migraine Headaches. I've tried most of the drugs for them EXCEPT the last new one and the best that works for me is the Imitrex pills. I did the injections for awhile but got tired of giving myself the shot. I first was on a low dose and it didn't work very well so I went on to a higher dosage and it works good for me. The nasal form did not work at all.
    Noone knows how painful they are unless they've had them too. I've heard people say "oh, she has a headache" like it is such a minor thing. I wouldn't wish even just one on a enemy.
  • On the different variations of migraine . . .
    I've also had migraines all my life. I get about 3-4 per year.

    After a really bad one about 5 years ago that put me in the ER for relief, I saw my doctor. We talked about it extensively, and he suggested that my migraines might be tension based, since I didn't see spots or get that halo effect before I got one.

    The one that I had seen him for had lasted 4 days and I just couldn't kick it, even when they gave me Compazine in the ER (an anti-nausea drug that apparently sometimes help with migraine). I finally took Sudafed and Ibuprofen, and the combination, after 4 days, worked. Let me make clear here that my headache had nothing to do with my sinuses -- it's just that the sudephredine in the Sudafed seemed to work in my body in such a way that it kicked the headache finally for good (that time).

    I have an old college friend who works for Glaxo, so he got me some Imitrex to try. It did nothing for me -- again, probably because my migraines are tension-based. I passed this along to my doctor, who prescribed something called Fiornal. Fiornal is a big-guns addictive pain killer. It contains a barbituate, caffeine, aspirin, and acetominophen. I also started trying to nail down the things that possibly brought my migraines on.

    I figured out that I can't eat M&M's anymore. It's the combination of sugar and dye in the candy that just do me in. Now don't get me wrong, I can have a few. But I know I will pay dearly if I eat an entire package, especially if I'm tired and have been stressing out. Ice cream also works against me in the same way -- if I'm tired and getting worn down, I shouldn't have ice cream. It's the milk/sugar combination that will trigger a migraine and just do me in.

    Sometimes my migraines come out of nowhere. I've learned to recognise one; it's the kind of pain that comes from the back of my head and settles around the back of one eye on one side of my head. And it's a different kind of ache than just a regular headache. I've found that I can head off a migraine if I take ibuprofen at the outset. But I'm in serious trouble if I think that this is just a headache that will go away without doing anything. I have had my Fiornal prescription refilled just twice in 5 years. When you get 3-4 migraines a year, that's pretty good. I try and really limit the times I take it to only when I really, really need it. And I go to a dark room where it's quiet and there is no light, and I lay down. The last one I got was last December, and I was in a wedding. I spent about a half-hour laying on the floor of a church nursery with a heavy winter coat over my head. Everyone was elsewhere -- it was quiet, dark, and I was as good as new in about 30 minutes. That's record time for me kicking a migraine! The Fiornal did its magic once again.

    Doctors in general do not like Fiornal because it is a narcotic that is so highly addictive. But used wisely, it has really, really helped me not suffer. And one last thing -- I had a spinal headache after the birth of my youngest daughter (after the epidural), and when I balked at a "blood patch" (essentially another epidural), they told me to go home, drink as much water as possible, and drink caffeine once per hour until the headache subsided. This worked, and has continued to work with any headache. Drink as much as you can, and make it water, not soda or tea. This flushes toxins out of your system and really helps speed the process of healing along.

    jen in california
  • "headache" behind one eye
    i had these behind one eye headaches for over a year that were treated unsuccessfully as clusters/migraines.. turned out to be what is called optic neuritis which is inflamation of the optic nerves caused by MS.
    be sure you've had an mri of the brain before they treat you for your headaches..