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Migraineurs Support Community
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768044 tn?1294227036

Preventative Migraine Medications

If you take a preventative/prophylactic migraine medication, what type are you currently taking? Feel free to be more specific by replying to this post stating which antidepressant or anticonvulsant or betablocker you are currently taking. Also, feel free to let us know if you think what you are currently taking is working.
16 Responses
768044 tn?1294227036
I am currently taking Topamax and a betablocker called Nadolol. I am also taking 300mg of Coenzyme Q10 a day. I recently got botox injections too.

I think that the topamax might have helped with the chronic pain. And, I think that the botox helped a bit too. I don't know if the nadolol has helped at all... but, I am going to keep taking it for a few more months before I make up my mind about it. I also don't really know if the Coenzyme Q10 is working at all either, but... I am going to keep taking it for a little while longer (at least a month or two more) before I make up my mind about it too.

I have currently run out of magnesium... for a few months now! But, I usually take that too. And... I have lots of B2... but, I haven't been taking it lately... I feel like it's just too many pills that I have to take... so, I'm giving myself a break from the B2, since I wasn't really sure if it was working for me or not anyway. I will probably go back to the B2 after I finish the CoQ10 that I have at the moment instead of buying more CoQ10, since I already have the B2 at home.
764912 tn?1322715443
Hi,
So glad you told me about this group..........Thank you!  I take Nadalol, magnesium, fever few, b complex, and a herbal migraine relief with many things for acute migraines.  As you can see I try it all ...LOL :)
Tracy
768044 tn?1294227036
Hi Tracy,

Oh! We both take nadolol! I don't think I'd realized we both took nadolol until just now! I knew that we both use zomig (right?), but I didn't realize that we both use the same betablocker. Small world!  

Does the nadolol work for you? I've only been taking it for about a month and a half now so I don't know yet if it is working for me. The neurologist said it could take up to 3 months before I would know for sure if it was working or not.

The funny thing about the nadolol is that I used to have SUCH a fast heart beat/pulse. My friends used to tease me about it... because it was always over 100 beats per minute. They would say I had a hampster heart (because hampsters always feel like they are having heart attacks when you hold them) or tease me that I was going to run out of heart beats!! Now my pulse is always around 50 beats per minute. So slow!!

I also take topamax too. The neurologist didn't take me off of the topamax when he put me on the nadolol, because the topamax did slightly decrease the amount of headaches, but not to under 15 a month which is the eventual goal.
681148 tn?1437665191
Thanks for telling me about this group.  I have these headaches everyday and can use all the help I can get.  It looks like I'll have to stop using Naproxen all together.  It's not really super effective on these headaches anyway.  I just had an endoscopy and the GI said that he found a couple of areas of concern and took a couple of gastric biopsies.  It's too soon to know what the results will be, since I was told it could take at least a week and a half to get the results back.  But, the fact that he found areas of concern in my stomach and because I also have GERD, that makes me think that I probably have an ulcer.  I guess I'll find out if there is H-pylori later.  In any case, this does make me think I won't be able to use any NSAIDS any more.  And, I have intolerance to all the narcotic pain medications.

The neurologist just changed me from Nortriptyline to a related medication called Desiprimine as the prevenatative.  He is thinking that he will start me on a beta blocker, since I seem to be pre-hypertensive, too.  My PCP is hesitant about that one.  She thinks it's better to use it for the headaches, but she disagrees about using high blood pressure medications just yet.  But, a couple of nights ago I was back in the ER with a migraine that just wasn't getting any better with home treatments and my BP was higher than I remember it ever being.  Obviously, there is a connection, but then when a person is in pain the body responds with higher blood pressure.  I don't remember what my pulse was, but it's often fast when the BP is high.

I am also using magnesium, B2 and feverfew.  I don't think it really helps me any.

The doctor hasn't mentioned using Topamax yet.  I don't know if he will.  I've never heard of Nadolol.  I'm still learning about medications that can be used to treat migraines.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, but I'm one of those people who isn't able to use the narcotics.  I just have to live with the pain.  I found out that my cousin has Fibromyalgia (FMS), too, and she has the same problem with the pain medications.  Like me, she has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).  I read on the FMS forum that there is at least one other person on the forum who can't tolerate the narcotics for the pain.  I know sometimes these medications are used for treating migraines, but for me they actually aggravate the migraines.

I'm in the middle of fibro flares and really bad migraines, so the fatigue and pain are really bad right now.  From what I understand, just having migraines will cause this fatigue, too.  Many of the symptoms will overlap between the fibro and the migraines.  I think the endoscopy triggered the fibro flares I'm having right now.
764912 tn?1322715443
Wow, I tried topamax too, Marileew :)  Sounds like we are on the same program LOL.
I know I just started the Nadolol but it does lower heart rate and bp, which mine is already low, maybe I need hamster meds.?  Plus it counteracts my Asthma meds and I am having trouble with that now.  So I doubt the Dr will keep me on it.  

Topamax had too many side effects, the tingling kept me up at night and was so severe I had to walk to relieve it...and I can't do that 24/7 plus I fall when I walk ...heheha great combination huh?

FurballsMom, they hung magnesium at the hospital when I had a silent migraine for me that is why I take it.  Not sure about the others helping, but when I take magnesium with my zomig it seems to help more.  So on bad days I take extra of the herbs.  Wish I knew also if they help and how much.

Now my migraine tracker is down, did it catch whatever Marileew's had? LOl
Nice to know we aren't alone.
768044 tn?1294227036
oh no! Sorry to hear that your migraine tracker caught what mine had! LOL our migraine trackers must have migraines, hahaha. Or maybe they have the swine flu, LOL.

But seriously, I've spoken to a few people at MedHelp and they said that they are working on fixing all of the migraine trackers. They should be back up before Sunday I think? Hopefully sooner!
768044 tn?1294227036
Hi!

Thank you for joining the group. Nice to meet you!

Sorry to hear that the naproxen has caused so much trouble... it can be pretty harsh stuff on the stomach, especially if you already have GERD or a tendency to get ulcers or stomach bleeding. I take the naproxen too and I am trying to be careful not to take too much of it because I'm worried I might get stomach bleeding or ulcers if I keep taking as much of it as I have been taking.

Also, sorry to hear that you have an intolerance to all the narcotic pain medications... although, I've heard that narcotic pain medications actually don't work to stop the pain for most migraineurs anyway. They work really well for me for some reason, but... I think that might be unusual, according to the stuff I've read and what one of my neurologists said... so maybe it's not so bad that you can't take them for your migraines, because maybe they wouldn't work anyway.

Have you ever tried triptans before? Since you can't take the NSAIDs or the narcotics... are triptans (migraine medication) an option? Has your neurologist ever mentioned them before? Sometimes they are not an option... like, people who have hemiplegic or basilar migraine are often advised to not take triptans by their doctors. But, for most regular types of migraines, triptans can stop migraines really well. If you've never tried them before and your doctor has never mentioned them before, it might be worth asking about them next time your see your neurologist. They might not be appropriate in your case, but, it can't hurt asking if you haven't before.

If you think that the magnesium, B2 and feverfew aren't helping much... there is one other type of supplement that has been shown effective in scientific trials. It's Coenzyme Q10 @ 300mg a day. Have you tried that before? You should ask your neurologist about it if you haven't tried it yet. I am currently trying it because I tried the B2 and the magnesium too for a while and so now I am trying to CoQ10.

Sorry to hear that you have to put up with both the Fibromyalgia and the migraines... that is a lot of pain to deal with. Especially since you can't take the narcotics and just have to live with the pain, hopefully you will find a non-narcotic medication that will control the pain soon.

And, yes, migraines can really cause fatigue! I know what you mean! I was in bed since this afternoon after a migraine. I call them migraine "hang overs" because after a migraine I sometimes just feel sort of hung over and fatigued. All I can do is be in bed.

I hate the way that some medical procedures can trigger attacks (migraine attacks for me) ... when I get shots during medical procedures, I always get migraines. I hope your fibro flare stops soon.

Let us know how the new Desiprimine goes... and let us know if your neurologist ends up putting you on a betablocker and which one. Keep us posted. Feel better soon!
681148 tn?1437665191
I had 12 doses of Imitrex this month, since I had my last neurologist appointment.  It works, but I've already gone through all twelve doses.  And, insurance doesn't cover any more Imitrex than what I've already used.  The directions said not to take more than two in a 24 hour period, which I didn't.

I have a migraine right now, but my stomach is already burning, so I don't think it would be wise to use any Naproxen right now.  Migraines cause me to be dizzy, as well as fatigued.  I don't get flashes of light with the auras, but the neurologist said that the dizziness was part of the aura.

I have never taken CoQ10 before, so I'll have to ask the neurologist about that.  It doesn't seem like the magnesium, B2 and feverfew combination is making any difference.

I have a feeling the neurologist is still going to end up putting me on a beta blocker, since it's clear that I'm pre-hypertensive.  But, my BP isn't always high.  It does seem to be high when I have a migraine, though.

The verdict is still out on the Desiprimine.  I haven't noticed any difference whatsoever.

Since narcotics do such a number on me, I have a hard time understanding how people could ever deliberately take illicit narcotics.  The GI should've used Zofran with the Fentynal.  I thought that nausea was the nausea that I usually have, but it wasn't.  It was the kind of nausea I get with narcotics.  I can understand people using narcotics medicinally, but I sure can't understand people wanting illicit narcotics just to get high, since the legal stuff makes me feel so sick.
768044 tn?1294227036
I know what you mean! The grossest I thing I have ever felt in my entire life was when they gave me too much pain killer once at the hospital (twice as much as they'd ever given me at the hospital before and 16 times as much as what i normally take at home)!! It was such a horrible disgusting awful feeling, it was almost worse than the migraine... well, it was worse in a different kind of way. The doctor came to see me after they'd given me the medication and the pain was gone... and asked me how I was, and I said "well, the pain is gone but we are under water now and you are invisible. Can you please give me something to make the medication go away now?! Please????" And he laughed, but in a nice way, and said "I'm sorry, you'll just have to wait that out. Sorry you feel weird, at least the pain is gone. I guess we gave you too much medication... I'll make sure we don't give you that much again." And, I just sort of prayed that I wouldn't throw up all night and I tried my best to stay as still as possible and not fall off the bed... I had to go pee in the middle of the night and I couldn't walk at all, and the nurse had to help me pee, but I was so dizzy and unstable on my feet that she had to bring a rolling potty to the side of the bed and even then she had to hold me up so I wouldn't fall over... and, I just felt so dizzy and awful and I couldn't see anything and I felt like I was under water and drowning and oh my gosh it was the worst feeling I've ever had on medication ever!! It was even worse than when I had an allergic reaction to CT Scan dye and it got difficult to breath... it was worse than THAT!!!
764912 tn?1322715443
So sorry you feel horrible.!  Naproxen tears my stomach up, usually it is cast iron.  Maybe a beta blocker would work for you?  The depression meds they usually use for Fibromyalgia and migraines didn't work for me.  Nadolol helped some, but it counter acts the asthma meds.......

Frustrating isn't it.  Hang in there.  The migraine itself is what makes me dizzy I am told.
My sister had terrible migraines while undergoing Chemo, so her Neurologist suggested Magnesium, b complex, fever few, and a few others I can't recall.

Keep us posted on what helps. Best wishes on your appointment.!
Tracy
Avatar universal
None of the triptans (and I've tried 6 of them) stop my migraines, although Relpax does seem to take the edge off a bit, so my doctor recently started trying me on preventatives.  First we tried propranolol, a beta blocker, but I reacted badly - nasuea, cold sweats, stomach cramping, which she thinks might be because my heart rate and bp got TOO low - it dropped below 50 several times.  I do think that another beta blocker might be worth trying as for the few days I was on it my headaches seemed a bit less.  

Now I am on 20 mg of amitriptyline taken two hours before bedtime.  It seems to help the dailies somewhat, but I haven't been on it long enough to determine if I'll have fewer migraines (I have had one since starting it two weeks ago).  It makes me super groggy in the morning, but that's an okay tradeoff if it works.
Avatar universal
Forgot to mention - I also take magnesium supplements, but have not tried B2 or CoQ10.
768044 tn?1294227036
I tried amitriptyline as the first preventative migraine medication I tried, and I had the same side-effects as feeling very groggy in the morning... which is why I went off of it. But, you are right, if it does make your migraines go away, I think that being groggy in the morning is probably a worth-while trade-off.

Also, wow as for the acute medications! 6 triptans!! I think that is all but one of them... and one of the triptans is actually a weird long-lasting preventative triptan for menstrual migraines so that was probably the one you haven't tried, right? So, basically, you tried ALL of the acute triptans!! Sorry to hear that they didn't work out for you.... but, they just don't work for some people. Currently a new class of acute migraine medication is in clinical trials... and it is based on a better understanding of migraines then the triptans were based on... the triptans were based on a flawed theory of migraines and happened to work because they happened to do some other things too and because the flawed theory does play a role in migraines even if it's not the cause. So... that's why triptans don't work for all migraineurs and also why they don't work for every migraine... because, they're not really the "perfect" medication, since the ways in which they work best, well, they were never really meant to work in those ways in the first place (blocking misfiring neurons from firing to the trigeminal nerve system and effecting the serotonin fluctuations is how they really stop the migraine... but, they just happen to do that, they weren't invented to do that, so obviously since they didn't try to make them do those things, they're not going to do those things very well)... they were just meant as vasoconstrictors when they were invented, so that's what they do best, which is important for stopping the pain part of a migraine, but... it doesn't really prevent the underlying chemical processes that are causing the constriction and subsequent painful dilation in the first place. But, at least the good news is that there is going to be a new class of medication out at some point which works better than the triptans.

The one thing I wonder if you've tried triptan wise though is sumatriptan by injection? Imitrex makes an injection and there are also a few generic sumatriptan injections on the market now too I think. For some people if all the triptans don't work then sumatriptan by injection will work for them, even if sumatriptan by tablet and nasal spray was useless to them. Let me know if you've tried it before... if not, might be something to ask the neurologist about at your appointment... especially since usually only neurologists will prescribe the injections.
Avatar universal
I've tried Sumatriptan in both pill and nasal spray form (man, does that taste bad!), but not as an injection.  As a former vet tech, I have no fear of needles, so that would definitely be worth trying.  
Avatar universal
hi!  i'm brand new to this group, and i feel like i've finally found my people!!!! lol!  i'm 39 and i've been getting migraines my whole life.  i can't wait to talk to all of you and get to know you!!  i'm so glad i found this group.

so here's what i take:

inderal (beta blocker) since i was 12 yrs old
topomax
cymbalta

i used to take various prescription painkillers, sumatriptan in the shot and then the tablet, but had what they thought were a couple of minor strokes with my migraines, and took me off of the sumatriptan right away, as that is contraindicated.  over the years i've tried depakote and other meds that i can't recall the names of right now.  i was quite young when i was on some of them.

if i get a migraine now i usually take naproxen sodium and a large dose of caffeine.  i don't take any prescription painkillers.  then i put the heating pad on my head and call it a day.  

i'm really glad to be here with people who understand.  it rocks :)
681148 tn?1437665191
Hmm, I am just starting a study on low dose Cymbalta for its effectiveness on Fibromyalgia.  I was going to ask if this might prove helpful on the migraines.  I'll have to wait and see, though, since this is a double-blind study.

I haven't used Topomax or Inderal, but I am using Sumatriptan (Imitrex).  I will keep in mind what you said about the minor strokes (also known as TIA's) and Imitrex.  My father had a couple of TIA's right around the time he was my age and I have been told I am pre-hypertensive, too.  Thankfully, I have an appointment with the neurologist coming up soon, so I can tell him that the Imitrex may not be a good idea long-term.

I am unable to use any NSAIDS at all, because of the gastritis and the GERD.  This also means I have to watch the coffee.  The neurologist only wants me to have large dose of caffeine when I'm having a bad migraine and stay off of caffeine all together the rest of the time.  I wish I could use the Naproxen, because I also have Bursitis in my left shoulder.  I use the heating pad when I first go to bed.  It seems to help a little in my shoulder.  I find it frustrating that there are so few things I can use to treat any of my symptoms effectively.

I'm glad I found this group, too.
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