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Chronic daily headache xanax?
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Chronic daily headache xanax?

I've had daily headache for the past year, steadily, but slowly increasing in intensity.  Headache are always bilateral and pain moves--top of head, sides of head, back of head; pain varies from mild to moderate during the course of the day, mostly it doesn't throb, but sometimes it does, especially when I'm standing or speaking with someone; never have headache upon awakening; headache gradually "awakens", sometimes before I've had any food, sometimes 1-2 hr. after awakening and continues through the day.  I've investigated food triggers, and they don't appear to be the cause.  Neurologist has done MRI with and without dye, EEG, Ansar test, blood sedimentation test--all negative.  Tried the following, all of which made me dizzy besides the headache:  Inderal, Topamax.  I've found perfect relief with .25 mg Xanax, it does not make me feel relaxed or calm; it just makes the headache pain go away and I feel normal.  I've read all about the bad addictive qualities of xanax, so I'm fearful, but it works.  Should I just go ahead and take a xanax daily for the indefinite future?  Am I giving myself a future problem?  My neurologist muttered something about trial and error; I think he was referring to treatment for chronic daily headache, but he never explains anything or how to take a given drug.  Any advice?
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hi,
If you are getting relief with Xanax you have no alternative but to go with it for some time . Please consult another neurologist to find a safer alternative. Please try some relaxing exercises. Exercises do relieve headaches.Hope this helps you. Take care!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, I read your message and feel your pain.  I have similar symptoms but have been exacerbated recently by vigorous exercise.  The headaches are also causing anxiety and nausea and sometimes panic attacks.  I am also seeking a alternative solution and hope we both can find solstice.  Any synthetic drug cannot be good for the body for long periods of time due to dependency and side effects.  I will be glad to share info with you.  The more input we can all get the closer we can be to a solution!  All the best.
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Avatar_f_tn
I feel your pain too! My doctor has been treating my chronic migraines with 25mg Elavil everynight before bed (knocks you out withing 2 hours of taking it) and I also have fiorinal with codeine that I take for acute migraine attacks. It takes away my migraine or dulls it to a tolerable level in about 20 minutes. I am building a tolerance to both so he just told me I can increase my elavil to 50mg. and I'm up to 3 of the fiorinal with codeine for every migraine attack which is 2-3 times per week. I am also trying to manage stress/anxiety (what they say is the route of my headaches and migraines but I don't agree with!) by taking BuSpar 30mg twice a day. My psychologist also suggested I try something called binaural beats downloaded to my ipod by Dr. Jeffery Thompson. You listen through your headphones to some music and subliminally there are beats that tell your brain to relax. I am also trying yoga at home but when the blood rushes to my head it causes a headache when I bend straight over. I am a student nurse so I know my doctor probably thinks I'm such a hypochondriac (that's what I used to think of my stepmother's chronic pain) but migraines really destroy your quality of life. I hope you can find some relief. If your neurologist doesn't explain your medications to you ask his nurse or the pharmacist. Someone needs to answer your questions. But he is right, treating migraines seems to be hit or miss because everyone responds differently. Maybe try the fiorinal with codeine. It's been a lifesaver to me and I would be a mess if it stopped working.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your input; I seem to be sensitive to medications, so I'm not sure I'll try Elavil unless I'm really desperate.  The fiorinal with codeine is worth keeping in mind, but my neurologist said it's ok to take 3 ibuprofen (600 mg) if the headache is bad, but don't do it on a regular basis; occasional usage at that level is ok.  

About the binaural beats, there is a new book on anxiety written by a psychiatrist, which mentioned rhythmic beats as a way of calming down the nerves in the brain.  Next time I go to the library, I'll get the title and post it; in the book he suggested classical guitar music and also drums (don't know what type), but the idea is that the rhythmn helps the brain waves change for the better.

Actually, in terms of anxiety, everything I see written seems to be about relaxation and changing your response to stress.  But in my family, my aunt, my uncle, my mother all took valium/xanax for nervousness in midlife and old age, so I suspect heredity/psysiology is the root of my problem.  I don't feel anxious or nervous, and because of the headaches, I don't engage in a lot of outside social interaction, that I used to when I didn't have headaches.  My real concern is taking xanax, becoming dependent due to daily use, needing higher doses, and then trying to wean off.

Am thankful for your reponse and the other responses as well.  Let's keep comparing notes and advising if anyone finds relief.

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Avatar_m_tn
To to get relief from headache/migraine naturally, the full pranayam exercises are described below.
Initially do Anulom Vilom (as much as you can) for the fist few days and then start the full set of pranayam.This works gradually, so allow time (1 week upto 12 weeks) and concentrate fully on the breathing. Avoid cold drinks and drink warm water.

Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after 1 minute.
Kapalbhati -(Do it before eating) Push air forcefully out through the nose about once per second. Stomach will itself go in(contract in). The breathing in(through the nose) will happen automatically. Establish a rhythm and do for upto 15 minutes twice a day. Not for pregnant women. Seriously ill people do it gently.

Anulom Vilom -  Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 20 to 30  minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed.Remember to take deep breaths into the lungs.

Bhramri Pranayam -Close eyes. Close ears with thumb, index finger on forehead, and rest three fingers on base of nose touching eyes. Breathe in through nose. And now breathe out through nose while humming like a bee.
Duration : 5 to 15 times

Report your progress so others can compare notes and benefit.
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Avatar_n_tn
I started seeing a neurologist a few months ago and he recently gave me Xanax (1/2 during the day and 1 at bed) after trying a few other things that have not worked. And like you, I've done all the tests with and without contrast. I think the knows I am very wary of anything becoming addictive. I have tried natural methods to supplement his care: acupuncture, massage and recently a Chiropractic technique that seems to give instant relief for short periods of time.

I am not stressed out or feel the least bit anxious about social situations- Just 3 kids and the normal stress that comes with that I suppose!  I thought it was sort of odd but after a few days of this I am having less frequency of headaches.  I am 34 and mine developed out of the blue 10 mos. ago, no traumatic event or major life change. They are nearly continuous (they used to last from about 14-16 days of the month but now are going on 3 weeks. The good news is that I know my triggers and avoid those so I don't have the kind that are blinding.

Oddly enough it works better when I take it with Fiorecet. Otherwise I feel too drowsy taking it by itself. Also the Fiorecet minimizes the tremors and the pressurized feeling in my ears that I get. Best of luck, hope to hear more about how you are doing and if it's effectiveness wears off since I'm in the same boat.
Amee
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi!  I have been on the trial and error route for 2 and a half years now.  The drug that I have used for prevention that has made the most difference is an Alzheimer's Drug.  It is called Namenda.  I go to a headache center in Pittsburgh and they prescribe that.  They say that there is some research that it prevents mirgraines.  I have had pretty good success with it.  The only thing is that your insurance may not pay for it because it is not marketed to treat migraines.  When I get one I use Migranal Nasal Spray and 800mg of ibuprofen.  If it is not better in an hour then I can take 50mg of Benadryl, 8mgs of Zanaflex (a muscle relaxer) and 25mgs of Phenergan for nausea if needed.  I am only allowed to use this "cocktail" 3 times a week to avoid "rebound" (or medication overuse headaches).  Hope this info is helpful.
Kayleen
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Avatar_m_tn
Xanax is a wonder drug for me. I just discovered how much!

It help insomnia I have had all my life, decades of recurring nightmares, it calmed down a migraine from hell, it cuts down drastically on rumination, it decreases severe facial pain.

I am not going to worry about addiction. If I do get addicted and need to get off of it, you go through 3 days maximum and you are detoxed safely in a hospital setting. I think what they do is give you a different tranquilizer but I am not sure.

Your quality of life is so important.

There is so much misinformation out there. These doctors need to educate themselves although a few are. And it is particular to the US. It started with Reagan's war on drugs.

Instead of going after druglords, they go after doctors who usually get into that field to HELP people.

If the meds help you, by all means take them. Try to be careful but do not avoid them due to misinformation and over-reaction from uneducated people who can do little more than point fingers.
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1135275_tn?1326582465
oh my...i found this thread during my search for xanax for use in migraine therapy and i know its an old post...but the last response is so incorrect, i couldn't help by reply. a 3 day max withdrawal? thats a very uniformed statement to make. for some people, withdrawal from this drug can take months or even years due to the fact that they no longer are able to use GABA correctly.

please don't be so ignorant as to believe its ok to get addicted to this drug because you can get off it in 3 days. thats a very irresponsible statement. visit the anxiety or addiction forums and you're guaranteed to see what truth is behind xanax addiction. yes, it can be  a life saver.....but to say its ok to get addicted....many have said getting off xanax is worse than getting off heroin. keep that in mind.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am 26 yrs old and started taking Xanax for migraines 3 years ago. it was the only think that worked with very little side effects. I was able to work and get through the day instead of being confined to my bed in the dark.  Before I knew it I had built up such a tolerance to it that I was taking 4 mgs per day... and still was completely normal. No drowsiness or change in behavior. I wanted to get pregnant and tried weaning myself off of the drug before I did so. I suffered from extreme with draw and needed medical supervision because of the dangerous spike in my blood pressure. I had 2 seizures and was un able to sleep for almost 3 weeks. I had to take medical leave from work and was prescribed Clonodine to help me deal with the withdraw. At this point my migraines have never been worse and I have developed an anxiety disorder that I never suffered with prior. I say this to warn against becoming chemically dependent on this drug. It is dangerous and one of the most painful experiences of my life. Way worse then a migraine. I suggest Xanax to be used acutely when a migraine is intolerable... however the holistic approach is always the best. With diet and staying hydrated, yoga, music, meditation and acupuncture I've been able to find other means for pain management... I feel your pain! I wish you the best...
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Avatar_m_tn
ive never felt a worse pain in my life and oh ive had so many fleshwounds as an avid motorcyclist. about 3 months ago i was in a motorcycle accident where i was rear ended by a car and resulted in no serious injury other than "whiplash" that caused my back to experience pins, needles, and hot flashes. soon later i got the migraines, but physical therapy and muscle relaxers cured me...temporarily. now 3 months later im experiencing the same problems, but with furious migraines! they throb my skull and make a tough guy drip tears! feels like my head is going to explode as my heart beat echoes through my whole head! advil, tylenol, and caffeine barely do anything. head massages and stretches make it worse. after reading through forums i learned from multiple people that xanex has helped them. ive got some that i use as needed for anxiety that i get once in a while. i tried it and within 10 mins, the pain dissipated! i disagree about its addictiveness though. it really depends on the person and whether or not you have an addictive personality. for me, addiction is a mental issue not physical. i can smoke a few cigs and get a physical feening to smoke one, but all i have to do is think about something else and do it. distract myself for a week and the feening sensation is gone. some say tobacco is more addictive than heroin, but i believe that if you have a powerful mind then you can control your own actions.
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Avatar_m_tn
I to get severe daily headaches. Mine started about 5 years ago. I do not know what triggered them but I am tring to research the opposite direction you guys are going. Im tring to find out if xanax may be the cause of my headaches. About 6 years ago my neurologist prescribed me xanax for anxiety and panic attacks. When I started getting the headaches my Dr. prescribed me all the anti seizure drugs, preventives such as topamax ect. but none of them seem to help. i have tried all of the migraine drugs including Fiorecet and they do not help either. I started taking large amounts of over the counter pain meds like Tylenol, Advil, aspirins, ect. Aspirins seem to help the best combined with large amounts of alcohol. So it seemed like thinning my blood helped the best. I was given MRIs Catscans, nothing was found. I eventually stopped drinking and went through a DHE  treatment to detox all of the pain meds out of my system because my Dr. though I my be getting rebound headaches. That also did not help my headaches. March of last year I too got in to a motorcycle accident where a woman was texting in her suv and turned into my lane and hit me head on while I was at a stop sign. I got severe back damage out of the accident and went to a Chiropractor for 6 months but that didn't help my back or my headaches. I now go to a pain management Dr. who gives me steroid shots in my back and oxycodone for the pain. Finally i have some relief for my headaches but i do not want to be on these pain killers for long. i am thinking about tring to detox off the xanax as the next thing to try. That is my story.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm a CPHT ( pharm tech) been on Xanax for years (4 panic attacks) also tend to have bad headaches n certain seasons. i tried a .5 of xan which actually does help headaches. With tht said I've also had rx's 4 fioronal(which is also a narcotic along wit fiorocet w/codeine ) My husband who is a pharmacist & a few other rph's I wrk wit say its a lot easier on ur body to take a small dose of xan rather than those other narcs I listed. Like .25 a day thts such a small dose u prob won't have ne probs later dwn the line. I've been on Xanax for yrs n only take it when nec & at times have gone a month witout 1 & felt no side effects. This is wht my husband said "Rapid firing of excitatory chemicals and neurons calmed by Xanax inhibitory effect I suppose" is y xans tend to help not necessarily bcuz u have stress like I've noticed sum peop say.Moral of story you'd b bettr off takin a tiny dose of xan everyday rather than those other drugs(which r also addictive) I'm no dr but my husband has a docterate n pharmacy. This I'm hoping might help sum1 struggling w/ whether takn xan is a good or bad idea 4 them. Always talk to ur doc. But if wanna ask me nething feel free to comment. Hoping u all find comfort from these awful headaches! Take care -- Alisha D
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Avatar_f_tn
I had my hubby put it n lamen terms for me "Xanax overpowers the pain triggers, settling them down"  is wht he said-- Take Care -lisha
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi

I am a migaine sufferer and over the years I have tried to analyze, along with my Doctor, what are my triggers. Certain foods, stress and certain medications are my triggers.

As a migraine sufferer never allow yourself to stay hungry for extended periods, it is best to eat smaller portions more often than to have large portions after longer periods when you get too hungry.  My food triggers include orange juice (I can have the fruit itself once in a while but never the juice sold in the supermarkets); beers - due to the malt content; too much dairy products and high amounts of MSG in foods.

Xanax, though a wonder relaxant, it triggers my migraines so I have had to stop taking them. Now i use dormicum if i need a sleep aid or natural remedies such as chamomile tea or soursop leaf tea.

Excedrin migraine or extra strength works wonders for me.  If I happen to feel the nausea coming on I take gravol along with the excedrin and within 10 - 15 minutes I am fine and can return to some level of normalcy. A quick fix for me also at the onset of a migraine is a bottle of pepsi taken with aspirin or panadol 500mg - this combination has the same properties as excedrin.

You also have to stay relaxed as much as possible when you have a migraine attack. Listen to relaxation cds (like the ones they play in a spa when you are getting a massage), or i listen to anything that has water waves in it - i find water relaxing so go soak in a tub or take a long warm shower. I also find that yoga and walking are the best exercises for me, i cannot do aerobics or running  as that triggers my headaches.

I hope i helped a bit.
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