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Migraine and Medication Clarification

Jun 20, 2009 - 14 comments
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Did not see a place to clarify in my tracker .. so wanted to make a note here.

Migraine - early am - Was high intensity and used hydrocodone.

Migraine - evening - Was one step lower in intensity and used tylenol with codeine

Migraine - continued evening - One step lower yet in intensity and chose Advil.  Hoping that going to sleep with Advil will help it go away .. hate to use prescription meds unless I have to .. it's always a gamble at this point.

Ranae's Migraine Trigger Tracker
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168348 tn?1379360675
by ChitChatNine, Jun 21, 2009
I hope you are feeling better.  Nothing is worse than a migrane.  My daughter gets all they symptoms .. she has to sleep it off for about 6 hrs . . . so I can understand.

Ouch

C~

579258 tn?1250652943
by Ranaesheart, Jun 21, 2009
Woke up with one ... and did end up treating with tylenol with codeine both last night and this am.  The intensity is going down ... and did get plenty of sleep last night.  The drastic weather changes we are having is a huge trigger .. and I believe the primary cause for this round.  Sun and hot, rain and cool, sun and hot, rain and cool ... big changes day to day.  

Thanks for your note .. and hope your daughter was fewer and fewer .. they seem to decrease as we age and many researchers believe there is a hormonal link as well.  Do me a favor .. ask your daughter if the worst ones are the ones she wakes up with in the morning.  Those can change your plans for an entire day.  Sometimes I can only barely keep up with the pain, other times I just have to give in and cancel any fun plans to take meds, relax and lower any stress or "push" on myself.  However, being a single parent, I have learned to work with them .. at least until I vomit .. then I give myself "permission" to go home.  

Have you ever had to take her to the ER?  I've been there 4-5 times in my life.  During those times, I thought after I vomited it would be okay as I felt better and rested .. NOT.  It cycled and came back and vomited again .. that is when I head to the ER.

Would truly like to find some commonalities in those who suffer from migraines .. think how many people we could help if we made a scientific breakthrough!!!??

703362 tn?1427769928
by lucindamartinez, Jun 21, 2009
I have experienced the visits to the ER (not even sure how many) with vomiting associated with migraines.  The ER feels like the very worst place to be at the time and I avoid it at all costs unless I absolutely know that I cannot keep my seizure medicine on board.  They have bright fluorescent lights, lots of people talking in the waiting room (they are always crowded here), strange smells, crying babies, etc.  I won't go unless I absolutely must.  However, I agree, when the vomiting begins and starts to cycle and I can't stop vomiting no matter what I try....off to the ER I must go.  I must be driven, driving myself is not an option.  In the ER I have had some temporary success with various IV meds, although getting an IV going when you are already dehydrated from vomiting is no fun at all.  I learned from these experienced that I personally cannot tolerate the medication Compazine.  It makes me HYPER nervous beyond mortal belief and about 3 minutes after its administration I became so hyper and frightened that I yanked my own IV out and bolted from the hospital.  That was some seriously nasty bruising.  Thankfully after that it is no longer offered to me at these times, although if it is even mentioned I make sure to let them know that it reacts strangely with my body.  I have been given various medications via IV (has to be IV at that point because I cannot keep down oral medications of any type or even water for that matter) that are effective including morphine.  Unfortunately, I have also found that the heavier medications also tend to cause rebound headaches for me as well.  Tell me fellow migraine sufferers, when you have a migraine.....exactly what does it feel like?  I love Greek/Roman mythology and I usually try to convey the pain something like this:  Do you know the story of the birth of Zeus' daughter Athena, the one born without the benefit of a Mother?  Zeus had a tremendous headache which felt as if his head would literally split open.  In fact, eventually it did split open and out popped his daughter Athena, Goddess of War.  To me....that is what it feels like, as if there is something from deep inside my head that is pounding and applying pressure in an effort to be released.  I have yet to have a doctor not look at me strangely when I describe this....no matter, as it is usually between rounds of vomiting by this point and I assume that is already much less than attractive.  ; )  I also get great senstivity to light, sounds, and smell, and a huge decrease in balance and ability to be able to select certain words (usually nouns) with speech.  Thankfully, I have not been to the ER for more than two years due to a headache.  I attribute this to the change in my seizure medications to the combination that I am currently taking.  One of the two medications that I take for seizures, Depakote, is also known to help alleviate head pain.  I cannot say that I do not have head pain, I actually have pain in the head nearly every single day.  I can say that it is decreased to the point that I am able to manage it at home much better.

579258 tn?1250652943
by Ranaesheart, Jun 21, 2009
Miss Lucinda .. I read with great anticipation about your experiences with migraines.  Sometimes it seems we know we're not alone and that other people have them, but we do not get to exchange the nitty gritty details that we can each related to!  I Thank YOU for taking the time to do so .. it was very enlightening!

I, too, have found the ER one of the last places you want to go, especially due to the "lights, sounds, action" .. but our hospital has always been very good that when I come in with a bowl, looking down and sheltering my eyes with free hand ... and very quietly saying "I am having a migraine." ... they usually steer me to a quiet room, even if it is a "consultation" room.  The person taking information comes to get it and I am allowed to leave the light off and merely crack the door for some diffuse light.  I think the last time was about 5 years ago.

Think you are onto something with the Compazine!  I was treated with Compazine IV (one time ONLY) and will never allow that to be done again.  It felt like I was sinking and couldn't get up, panicky and NOT what I want to experience ever again.  Now, compazine injection the muscle works fine for nausea .. as do the compazine pills, which I had after my tummy surgery.  I am usually treated with Demerol and Visteril or Morphine and ? and have even been treated with Toradol ... all successfully.  At that point, I don't care what combination .. as long as it is not Compazine IV.

Your picture of "what is it like to have a migraine" really got me thinking.  I have most of the same sensations you do with having a great sensitivity to light, sound and smell.  Any light hurts and I seek refuge in a dark room with a cool cloth on my forehead (covering my eyes) and the back of my neck .. and snuggle into bed with blankies!  The cool cloth provides a little relief but makes me cold .. thus the blankies.  As for the sound, and how I explain a migraine  is ...

...I had a migraine and was in my room, all sounds off with both doors to my room closed (solid oak doors).  There is a living room separating my bedroom from the kitchen with oak french doors that was closed.  My mom was aware I had a headache and was being very quiet and washing the dishes.  As she turned on the water gently .. to rinse the dishes .. it sounded like a Waterfall!!!!    Also, the battery operated wall clock that hung in my bedroom that is normally silent .. I could hear every click the second hand made as if it were a Hammer striking an Anvil!!!  It hurt to move but the batteries had to come out!

The smells .. well let's just say I LOVE smells ... especially yummy candles!  EXCEPT when I have a migraine.  Then, those same smells will immediately bring on nausea.  ANY smells will.  I usually do not lose balance, but thinking, forming words and talking can be in various stages .. from being able to, to struggling for words and sentences, to not being able to talk without great difficulty.

Love your comparison to Zeus giving birth to his daughter .. and WILL remember that when people ask me "what" a migraine feels like.

Glad your migraines are doing better.  Mine have been extremely well up until this last week.

(((Hugsssss))) my friend .. always good to hear from you.  

483733 tn?1326802046
by TrudieC, Jun 21, 2009
Ranae, so sorry you are suffering today.  I had such awful migraines most of my life, ruining most weekends, and didn't realize until I had my tubes tied in my early 30's that the pill had a lot to do with it.  As I'm getting older I do get less and the ones you wake up with are the worse and generally just get before my menses now.  In addition to ibuprofin and Tylenol 3's I will often take gravol and I use either an oil called Japanese oil or something else with eucalytus in it that has some heat and put it on my neck, shoulders on my forehead and two temples and under my nose.  I find it really helps.  There is something at the drug stores you can buy here for migrain relief that is similiar and comes in a roll on.  

I was suffering from rebound headaches and was just about to go through the big withdrawal when I was diagnosed with Lupus/RA and must take ibuprofen every 4 hours around the clock.  As a result I'm getting no headaches as it keeps them away and my PPI's help my stomach to manage them.  

A gentle hug to you my friend!

579258 tn?1250652943
by Ranaesheart, Jun 21, 2009
Miss Trudie, the information you shared is most helpful!  I've never heard of gravol .. is it a medicine, prescribed or not?  Will definitely look for the Japanese oil or something with eucalyptus .. it sounds nice and I really appreciate the suggestion.  Think us migraine sufferers should write a book .. and do some research .. perhaps we could help find a cure!???  

After you mentioned the eucalyptus .. reminded me that the only smell thus far (haven't tried the eucalyptus) I've found soothing is lavendar.  I have a lavendar stuffed and lavendar oil infused eye pillow .. that makes the room "dark" and relaxes me with the fragrance.  But my cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin, jasmine, and other candles .... can not be tolerated when in the throngs of a migraine.

Am glad your headaches are under control, but sorry to hear it comes at the price of the Lupus/RA meds and diagnosis.  Rebound headaches are really tough and, from my experience, there is a fine line to walk.  When a bad migraine presents, I've found I must take meds and lie down and sleep .. however .. if I lay down too long .. the sleep brings it back in a rebound headache.  

I've learned to eat when I'm nauseated .. to get something on my tummy .. and at the same time take medication ... and then lie down.  The sound, light and smells are turned off immediately as soon as I notice the migraine.

Thanks for the gentle hug .. it is comforting and most welcome!  Love to you, my friend .. and the very best wishes for health and happiness ...

657315 tn?1319494987
by twehner5, Jun 21, 2009
Oh, Ranae...I, too, am so, so sorry you are suffering a migraine.  I have gotten migraines for YEARS (28?).  They are no fun, to put it mildly.  Before "migraine medication", I had tried EVERY pain Rx there was.  I don't even remember them all any more, but suffice it to say that NONE of them worked.  NO, NOT ONE.  Hydrocodone wouldn't touch a migraine if I was to be so foolish as to even quadruple the dose.  I quit going to the ER 15 years ago (when I was pregnant with my dau).  It was SO frustrating to sit in the waiting room for a couple of hours (in Orlando, that's how long it was), and then wait for the doctor for another hour or so.  THEN to have the shot NOT work 75% or more of the time....I finally gave up.  It was SOOO disappointing.  The doctor would tell whomever drove me there that I'd probably sleep for 12-16 hours.  NOPE.  I'd be wired PLUS still have the migraine.

ANY drug in the triptan class has given me a NEW LEASE ON LIFE!!!  These are NOT taken prophylactically, but at the onset of a migraine.  I'm here to tell you, THEY WORK, BABY!  I've taken Imitrex and Frova and another one (the name escapes me).  They work within an hour 90% of the time.  If I still have a migraine at 2 hours, I am to take another pill.  I have only had to do that 4 or 5 times EVER.  I'm sleepy and still at a loss for words when I've taken my migraine medication, but I am OUT OF PAIN!

The very first time I took Imitrex, I self-injected in my thigh.  NOT GOOD!  I had a scary reaction with palpitations and difficulty breathing.  It took me YEARS to get the nerve to try the pills.  Once my doctor convinced me they were safe, OMGosh!  Like I said, I had a new lease on life.  I haven't had to miss things or cancel appointments.

The descriptions you guys gave of migraines....YUP!  Pretty much me, too.  

I take a prophylactic medication that happens to be an anti-seizure medication.  I used to take propranolol (generic Inderol), but it lost its effectiveness.  I also did NOT need the BP-lowering - my BP was fine, and this only made me MORE tired.

I also started taking B-Complex *with* B12 (not all B-Complex has B-12).  In reading a recent blog on MH about migraines and headaches, it was interesting to note that niacin HAS been effective in treating/preventing migraines.  Niacin is a B vitamin.  Since my migraines HAVE been less severe AND less frequent, I am wondering after reading that blog if the B-Complex is helping.  B-Complex is good for stress, so it isn't hurting anything!

Well, this has been sort of random.  I hope there has been some helpful AND some encouraging information in here for you, Ranae.  Take care of yourself!!!!  I sure hope you feel better.

483733 tn?1326802046
by TrudieC, Jun 21, 2009
Perhaps Gravol is just available in Canada - it is an anti-nauseant you can buy over the counter and makes you quite sleepy which definitely helps with a migraine.  Its clinical name is Dimenhydrinate.

579258 tn?1250652943
by Ranaesheart, Jun 21, 2009
WoWWW .. do I really LOVE LOVE LOVE my MedHelp Friends!!!  ALL OF YOU have blessed me with friendship and such a wealth of knowledge!!!  It's odd .. but there is a strange kinship with a fellow migraine sufferer!  ;)

twehner - It is so WONDERFUL to hear from YOU!!!  I have missed you!  Need you to kick my butt about the sit-ups!!!  

Am sooo sorry to hear the "normal" pain medications did not work for you and am wondering if this was within the time of your pregnancy or both before and after.  Had a girlfriend that got horrible and frequent migraines while she was pregnant, but they returned to horrible and regular frequency (is there such a thing???) after her pregnancy.  

As for the triptan family .. am very glad you mentioned it.  Glad they are helping you to live a normal life .. it works for many people.  I, too, tried the self injection of Imitrex and had a mild reaction that I took Benadryl for .. wanted to error on the safe side.  However, after reading the product literature, I was concerned by it's action.  In a migraine, the blood vessels dilate and that is the pain we feel.  That's why, sometimes, pushing on a pressure point on the side of my temple feels good, however, that doesn't last long because that action will make me sick too.  Just no winning when the migraine is in full swing.  Anyway .. **got sidetracked** .. Imitrex works by constricting your blood vessels. The only problem I had .. and I discussed it with the doctor .. is Imitrex doesn't know it's the vessels in my head that are constricted and it is my understanding it acts to constrict your vessels in your body.  Therefore .. if you happen to have a clogged artery that has not been diagnosed .. and it constricts .. it can bring on a heart event.  With my age (still think and feel I am young ...**No laughing** ...) I didn't want to take it ... especially since the medications I was using controlled it well and did not have many side effects (as medicines go .. they all have side effects).

Until you mentioned the propranolol (Inderal), I had forgotten that I was on that too.  My blood pressure was fine then .. but I have borderline hypertension now.  My doctor switched me off the propranolol because (1) it can cause depression and I was having depression at the time (2) it can cause clotting issues - (she's the only doctor that ever did a clotting time test and I wondered ... why???? ... and then did my research on the drug and it is in the warnings.  She earned my respect and admiration that day .. and my faith and trust .. can't tell you how many other docs never even looked for this.)

The information you shared about the MedHelp blog is AWESOME!  Got to love those blogs .. you learn new things all the time!  No, I had not heard of the relationship between Niacin and migraines.  Guess that gives me a reason to take a B-Complex vitamin and/or multi-vitamin and look for the Niacin content.  Might also help deal with the stress I have .. lol ;)

YOU SUCCEEDED .. as you ALWAYS do .. to bring Helpful Information AND Encouragement .. and SUNSHINE!!!  Thanks bunches!!!!!

579258 tn?1250652943
by Ranaesheart, Jun 21, 2009
Hey Trudie - Just looked it up on the Internet and that is Dramamine to us in the states .. and it is over the counter.  I've used it for travel sickness, but never thought of it for a migraine.  Yes .. it makes you very very sleeeepppyyyyy ..

Thanks for the update!!!  ;)

My .. I have LEARNED SO MUCH from ALL OF YOU!!!!!   Many Many Thanks for the Info and for sharing your own experiences!

703362 tn?1427769928
by lucindamartinez, Jun 21, 2009
I have heard of Dimenhydrinate in the generic form in the states, the brand name here escapes me at the moment.  I shall look it up for you Ms. Ranae.  The anti-nausea med that I usually take when needed at this time is Phenergan suppositories.  I hate the method of delivery, but it is effective when the nausea is already out of control.  I have tried Imitrex before, but it was not effective for me personally.  The neurologist believes that to be because my headaches are caused by the damage from my previous head injury instead of the usual vascular contriction type etiology.  When I was much younger a drug (narcotic) that was effective for me was Cafergot.  It is not available in the US any more, but only in other countries.  I think that I will definitely look into that B-complex, as it is a vitamin at any rate and if it could be of benefit, I am all for it.  

I think that you are right Ms. Ranae......we need a book of collective experiences, "The Many Faces of Migraine Pain", perhaps?  : )

703362 tn?1427769928
by lucindamartinez, Jun 21, 2009
Oh yes....and the Compazine, LOL, my husband will still occasionally tease me about picking up a 'crazed woman' in the middle of the night blocks away from the hospital....dishelved and spazzing out!  LOL ...  I can laugh now, but I was frantic then....LOL.  I'm not sure if that's an actual allergy or what, but I would call it a 'sensitivity' at a bare minimum.....

Not glad that you had to go through the feeling as well Ms. Ranae, but so glad that someone has shared the same experience on that med.  Man was my arm a mess!  ; )  I literally yanked my own IV and fled the hospital out the back.....I guess I can now see why he teases me.  That seems an outlandish reaction if you haven't been there.

579258 tn?1250652943
by Ranaesheart, Jun 21, 2009
Well, Ms Lucinda .. don't know that you'll ever live that one down .. sure gives Hubby a "moment to remember" ... ;)  **NOTE TO ALL - NOOO Compazine for Ms Lucinda!!!** .. although .. **snicker, snicker** maybe that would help you keep up with the little dog!  **am bad, going to the corner**  **think I am copying Ms twehner ... hear she goes there a lot**  ((double bad .. now what???))  ;)

Yes, it was oddly comforting to know someone else had the same experience.  The doctor acted like I was a drug addict that only wanted the "good stuff" .. when in reality if he only knew I do all things possible NOT to take medications.  In fact, a doctor told me (and I had to really work on this for a while) .. that at the first signs of a migraine, I should take the Tylenol with Codeine .. that it would catch it quickly and stop it.  It is true and took me a long long time to implement that.  Still tend to try Advil first .. and if it continues, then take Tylenol 3.  However, no question when it is a morning one .. Tylenol 3 .. no doubts.

If I'm not mistaken, I believe Cafergot had a lot of caffeine it in .. but don't quote me.  Think if you look at the Migraine form of several over the counter medications .. like Excedrin Migraine .. you'll see Caffeine.

Love the title of the book .. and think perhaps we should!  We'll have to compare Migraine Trackers!  So .. everybody write down everything and check the boxes for what happened .. maybe we can find and share some new info!  

483733 tn?1326802046
by TrudieC, Jun 22, 2009
When I have a migraine I crave Earl Grey tea - must be the caffiene to help and the relaxing effect of the bergamot.  

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