For now I am so happy because it is so much better than the constant migraine I have had for 2 1/2 months..........so this is finally working.
I'm ok with my preventative treatment plan. I'm on 10 different Rxs and 4 supplements daily, (quite the cocktail) and that keeps me at a 6/10 or higher. While I don't like being on so much, whenever we try to cut back on something, I get much worse. However, I'm getting more 7/10 days than 6/10 days now, and I'm wondering what I need to change to get myself back down to regular 6/10 days.
My migraines started in my 20's with indescribable pain. I started herbal treatment then with quite a bit of success. However after so many years of use and even though I cut back I think I developed a tolerance. With numerous migraines I experience visual disturbances which really freak me out if I'm driving and otherwise disrupt my life in general. Just about every day I feel pain and the sun is way too bright. My doc put me on Anti-depressant (for sleep) and I think it helped eliminate head pain at first. Most days of every month I do avoid known food triggers and just started B2. I had MRI and cat scan done which revealed anomaly in forehead area.
Meyan- what sort of anomaly?
All- I believe the choice I picked was supposed to say- I do not have a preventative treatment plan- am I correct? While I do things to try to keep them from coming on, I don't take a daily preventative to stop them from happening, if that's what you meant, Marilee? I wear a TMJ arthritis flat planed positional splint to try to keep from getting worse jaw osteoarthritis and keep from getting nasty morning migraines from night clenching. I also often turn off my side when I feel a headache coming on. I lay on the pain trying to get it to go away/down. I might try to exercise to get the endorphines going to stave off a blossoming headache or take some magnesium hoping it might help stop the onslaught of one. But I used to take preventative RX after preventative RX (did you see my list?). I tried every class of preventative drug. Some worked somewhat for awhile. One worked the best for over two years, I believe.
Can anyone tell me a decent preventative without tons of side effects that I haven't tried (or tried its cousin)? Let me try to copy that list of migraine meds, etc..
To: marileewI tried verapamil, but it didn't work for a migraine preventative for me. I also tried Diltia XT. In case you or others might be interested, here is a list of some other meds doctors & acupuncturists' txs tried for migraines (typically generics when I list a name brand) and some OTCs I've taken for migraines (there are abortives listed here too):
Inderal (wheezing with this one)
Nortriptylin (tachycardia with this one)
Depakote & Voltaren combo (hair loss with this one)
Prozac (nightmare 2 weeks of migraine waiting to start the next thing after this didn't help enough)
Serzone (worked the longest of any preventative for me, but eventually lost effectiveness in preventing migraines for me)
Indomethacin for mense/PMS
Topamax (made me shaky, highly nervous and gave me a change in sound of voice)
Tamoxifen for mense- doctor had theory I had estrogen dominance
Effexor- stopped after three days due to nasty side effects
Melatonin- actually seemed to give me a headache
Botox- didn't stop the monstrous menstrual migraine, but did stop my eyebrows pretty much from moving
Relafen twice a day
Imitrex- injections only twice (horrible abdominal cramps second time), pills, and even tried nasal spray- but accidentally squirted eye and had horrible flavor when drained down throat, so quit the spray
Phenergan (migraine and nausea)
Zofran (supposed to help nausea, but didn't help mine)
Nubain (tachy with this one)
Orudis (tachy with this one)
Aleve (didn't work and had to wait 12 hours before taking something else!)
Extra strength Tylenol
Fiorcet with and without codeine- took both ways
Cafergot (heard someone raving about it on the radio, so got it prescribed for me, tried one, didn't help, tried a second one- still didn't help and got the shakes
Cayenne pepper drink- if you haven't already, don't try this one!
Emetrol (for nausea)
Feverfew (high dose prescribed by acupuncturist/herbalist proved too much)
Gravol (in Canada for nausea)- learned this was dramamine in the U.S. and took that too
Coptis Purgefire by HealthConcerns- (prescribed by acupuncturist/herbalist helped migraines for a time, but has high natural estrogen and probably made my endometriosis grow more, besides my hair)
Sounds like you have run the list of migraine medications and more. Do you see a pattern in your migraines? I do not do well at it but the migraine tracker helped me figure out a few triggers--don't look at mine LOL it isn't updated like it should be. :)
Also are you through menopause yet? My sister's migraines are almost completely gone now because of the change of life.
I take Diltiazem ( it is a blood pressure medication) as I have tried many, many of the same ones you listed and they haven't worked. So far this is the best success we have had. Zomig I use for acute migraines. Is there one that did work but maybe with more time, the side effects would go away, or even a lower dose as you seem sensitive to medication? Just some thoughts you probably have already had, but worth mentioning.
Please keep me posted
As my nickname suggests, I am in surgical menopause (complete hysterectomy 2006). I remember when my migraines first went chronic, and I had nearly daily headaches as well (formerly 5-6 times a year I'd get a menstrual migraine), I was told there was hope at menopause. Well, I have improved some in frequency since surgical menopause and often severity, but I still suffer from about 5 (sometimes it's been 6) average migraines a month (and other headaches in addition). I have TMJ problems, complete with arthritis that plays into the situation with the head, inability to handle stress well (stress a big trigger), and I did spend some time discovering various other triggers over the years:
sodium nitrate/nitrite, which eliminated my beloved beef bologna, ham, and most hot dogs, etc.. I also think MSG can be a potential trigger for me. I decided peanuts & peanut butter triggered migraines. Still not sure if tomato sauce or onion are the culprit in things like ravioli, some pizzas, etc.. I thought it was the sauce, but someone suggested I check ingredients for onion. I bought an orange tree (back when I lived in CA still) and discovered to my dismay another migraine trigger. There are still some things I don't know yet what it was I ate that cause the headache to come on. I've wondered about refried beans, for example.
Then there are things like the bright lights of doctors' offices & hospitals, too long on the computer or too long watching the tv, too much sunlight, too much heat, crying, changing my sleeping pattern, laying wrong while sleeping, perfumes and other strong smells, second hand cigarette smoke, and I think my postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome can be a trigger as well.
I've been noticing lately it seems every time I go to the doctor, the nurse is saying my diastolic is in the 90s. But I recently was trying verapamil for that and my heart rate, and I don't know how much 120 mg helped and when I got to 180, it knocked my BP so far down that I think it gave me a migraine.
I thought the depakote, voltaren combo worked pretty well for a while. But when I tried it again later, despite the hair loss that happened the previous time (felt like I lost 1/3 of my hair, as I recall, and was willing to try again later, even if it meant wearing a wig), it didn't seem to work as well. Serzone generic worked the best for the longest, but I started getting breakthrough migraines and it grew less effective, despite increasing dosage. I really think it was the best of all the ones I tried for preventing, though I gained a lot of weight on it. Keppra I wasn't on long at all, so I really didn't give that one much of a try (back in 2001). I was too stressed out at the time to continue trying the experiment.
I haven't tried Zomig, but imitrex 100 mg, which seemed to do the best of the triptans I did try, did give me squeezing chest pains & now with the tachycardia syndrome and a couple of valves mildly regurgitating, I'm not sure if I should go the triptan route (and not sure about menopausal women taking it). Plus I think I had some rebound problem with it towards the end of taking imitrex. I don't remember diltia xt really doing anything for me when I tried it.
At least I am to the point now where I don't feel like I want to die and be with God because I didn't know how I could live with the pain much longer- that's how bad the migraine situation was. Not to say being with God would be bad- actually so much better than this life, but I should want to wait until it His timing, not just wish for it now because I feel too miserable to keep living.
So, it is much better, even though the migraine frequency could stand improvement. Lately, I've been waking with headaches for some reason I'm not sure why. I am faithfully wearing my flat-planed TMJ splint and the last time I tried one night without it I got a colossal migraine.