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Migraine preventatives

(40 Posts)
RollerCola Mon 14-Jan-13 16:41:29

I've seen a neurologist about my migraines who has written to my gp with a suggested management plan. She has suggested a couple of different drugs to try as a preventative & I wondered if anyone has had any experience of them.

Firstly I've stopped (as much as poss) taking all non-prescribed painkillers as I was taking too much which was causing re-bound headaches. I'm trying to limit my sumatriptan to only bad attacks & I've stopped drinking caffeine as advised.

She has suggested either Topiramate (anticonvulsant) up to 50-75 mg or Pregabalin 75-150mg (not sure what this is but dh takes it for nerve pain)

I have previously tried Propranolol (beta blockers) & Amitriptyline but neither helped.

Has anyone tried these and did they work? If so what were the side effects?

Many thanks for any advice, I feel like I'm going mad as these headaches have gone on for years now. I just want them to go away sad

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Mon 21-Jan-13 19:31:08

ooh this is interesting, if anyone's still around can you tell me more about Topiramate? Can you take it with a whole host of other drugs - Fentanyl, Amiltriptaline low dose and venaflaxine?

am just taking sumatriptan like they are sweets and can't get my gp to think any further about the migraines as i have another condition too, hence all the pain killers, so she doesn't want to prescribe anything more. Not terribly helpful as when I've seen a pain consultant he said the GP should really be addressing the migraines... I have about 1 a week at a minimum, and its hideous living like this.

Just butting in to say that Pizotifen is good, but it is also an appetite enhancer. My ds is 10 and takes 5ml of pizotifen nightly, and has put a lot of weight on.

The doc wants to put it up to 20ml as ds is still getting migraines, but I am worried about him putting more weight on, so we are going to leave and wait and see for now.

15ml, not 5ml

LadyKinbote Mon 21-Jan-13 19:45:28

<writes down Topiramate and makes note to see the doctor>

Mine have been terrible lately, 10+ a month. I've never had any luck with preventative treatments but will give this one a go!

Iceaddict Wed 23-Jan-13 11:26:04

Double, your go should be doing more. Pain killers are rubbish for migraine. I know sumatriptan is for migraine but have they discussed rizatriptan with you. If you can't have a preventative then surely rizatriptan would be better as you take one on the onset of a migraine and its gone within the hour. For me it is anyway. Only prob is I feel foggy and tired for a few hrs but its better than the pain.

Iceaddict Wed 23-Jan-13 11:40:56

Nutcracker, my doc advised 1mg pizotifen before bed for around 6 days when I think the hormones are kicking in. I've not tried them yet, I'm going to monitor my cycle and get it spot on for the best chance of it working. My leaflet advises maximum of 4.5mg a day for adults so its a low dose in also taking phentermine so hoping this will counteract the tiredness and weight issue.

Has your GP identified your sons triggers? Maybe you could try what I'm doing and take the higher dose but only during the time it's likely to happen. (Completely not sure about this but maybe an idea)

Sorry your son has migraine hmm how unfair. Poor thing, growing up is tough as it is

Iceaddict - UNfortunatly, my ds's migraines are pretty random. We've never managed to identify a food trigger at all. The only things that I knew can trigger one is anxiety, hot weather, over exctiement and too much screen time.

I tried lowering the dose in the last summer hols but they started back up again with avengance.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Wed 23-Jan-13 20:32:44

I tried rizatriptan once a while ago & for the first time I took it it was amazing BUT then my migraines came back with a vengeance & the rizatriptan didn't touch them. I don't know why & I wasn't offered anything else so begged to be put back on sumatriptan ... Which they give in packets of 6 and I get through those in about 5 days. Argh!

RollerCola Wed 23-Jan-13 23:11:21

Well I've been taking Topiramate 25mg on alternate nights since last Thurs & after initially being scared to death of the list of side effects, have had none at all! Not even the pins & needles or funny food taste that most people mention.

Up until today I had no headaches either. I got one this afternoon but it was my own fault for not eating properly. It's early days but at least I've not been landed with the side effects straight away. I'm going to up to every night soon & see how I go.

Mamuss Wed 23-Jan-13 23:19:20

I was prescribed pizotifen after getting a migraine every other day. I took 5 weeks to settle into my system and I had maybe 2 or 3 migraines in a year. I did put on 2.5 stone though! In a year! I've now weaned myself off them and have had 2 migraines since September, and the weight is falling off. I'd highly recommend it for the migraines if you can be very cautious about what you eat!

QueenOfCats Sun 03-Feb-13 23:39:50

Hi Roller - just wondering how you're getting on?

Have you increased you dose yet? How are you finding being on the medication?

Anyone else giving it a go? If so, let us know how you're getting on too smile

RollerCola Thu 14-Feb-13 18:42:38

Hi, sorry queen I've only just seen your post. An update - I've been taking Topiramate for exactly 4 weeks now, including the end of one period and now one new period and it's been like a miracle for me.

I've only had to take one sumatriptan in all that time, and that was in the first week. I've taken no other painkillers at all. I've been taking 25mg daily up until this week when I started to feel a bit headachey in the week leading up to my period so I upped to 50mg. The side effects have been nothing more than pins & needles in my hands & a strange taste to fizzy drinks.

So all in all a great success grin

IceAddict Sat 16-Feb-13 00:25:26

Hi, so glad its working for you roller, i just want to say thanks for starting this thread! Without it i wouldn't have gone docs for preventative treatment, since starting pizotifen intermittently at the danger times, i havent had a single migraine. Ive been taking half the dose to see if i get results with fewer side effects. The only thing i have noticed is the odd visual disturbance which was really not much at all and an odd heavy head feeling at times I'd normally have pain. Could be psychological though! Overall I'm made up so thanks for the advice I've had even though i didn't post it grinthanks

RollerCola Sat 16-Feb-13 09:13:08

That's great Ice I'm so glad you've found something that helps as well. It's such a huge relief, I can't believe the difference it's made to my life. I would urge anyone who has regular headaches & migraines to push for a preventative - it seems they really do exist & work.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Thu 07-Mar-13 11:54:25

oh how annoying, just went to gp to ask them to reassess the sumatriptan and all she did was take me OFF the pill and said they have to try that before trying anything else, even though i did say that I'd had the migraines far longer than i'd been on the pill, which I only went back on in the summer.

I'm sure its all true but ffs, why wont anyone do something about the migraines themselves? Grrrrrr.

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