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Persistent headaches

(23 Posts)
SeriousSteve Sun 27-Mar-16 08:59:54

Six years ago I was put on Propanalol for migraines with aura. Back end of last year the headaches have grown more frequent, no warning, last hours/days and are often accompanied by a "zapping" feeling.

There's a history of high blood pressure on the male side of my family going back generations. Not sure if relevant.

Guess I need go see my GP don't I? Zaps related or potentially coincidental. I self weaned off various meds - fed up of being zombiefied and weight gain, so just taking Omeprazole, Propanalol and codeine (240mg a day) at the moment.

Any help appreciated!

MeadowHay Sun 27-Mar-16 12:47:38

Yes, visit your GP. Do you take an antidepressant as well by any chance?

Definitely see your GP anyway, there are various other medications they can try you on. I get a lot of headaches too but not as often nor as severely as you, must be horrible flowers

HyacinthBouquetNo1 Sun 27-Mar-16 12:52:24

could it possibly be medication overuse headaches? I note you are on codiene

SeriousSteve Sun 27-Mar-16 14:05:14

I was taken Duloxetine for nerve pain and depression but weaned off it.

I switch between Tramadol and Codeine to reduce tolerance and limit chances. Have always had headaches - four eye operations sorted them in the past. Thinking about it I'm having some of my old eye symptoms too.

PotOfYoghurt Sun 27-Mar-16 14:59:05

Have you had any MRI/CT/MRA scans?

Has any form of neuralgia been investigated- is trigeminal or occipital?

SeriousSteve Sun 27-Mar-16 16:08:10

Never had any scans, or neuralgia investigated.

triballeader Sun 27-Mar-16 23:00:28

Some with migraine need to swap their preventative drugs for an alternative after a period of time as they cease to work as well as they used to resulting in an increase in headaches.
Def worth seeing your GP to check your health over in case of blood pressure issues.
Codeine based drugs can cause pain if they are overused so again chat to your doctor about when and how many times a week you should be using pain relief and ask if they could suggest any alternatives that might help.
Hope your doctor can help.

PotOfYoghurt Mon 28-Mar-16 13:54:50

Definitely something to mention to your doctor then.

What medication have you tried?

SeriousSteve Mon 28-Mar-16 15:04:47

Was just put onto Propanalol. Then codeine/tramadol, pregablin, Duloxetine, Omeprazole, hydroxyzine, naproxen for other things. Just taking Propanalol and codeine for now and pain levels really high.

Am thinking of definitely asking for a scan.

DoughNut12345 Mon 28-Mar-16 15:59:04

I take Propanolol too but also Amitriptyline for prevention. It's an anti-depressant in higher doses but works well on headache prevention in smaller doses. I take 10-20 mg per day. Do you not take Sumatriptan when you have a headache? It's brilliant for me and kills headaches in 20 mins! You really need to avoid codeine... it's very addictive and 240mg a day is a massive amount!!

SeriousSteve Mon 28-Mar-16 16:20:21

I tried Amitryptyline - didn't do anything for me.

Am going to transition back to Tramadol from Codeine, being honest I should just take everything and give zero shits about the weight gain. Have put on 30 kgs over six years though, very annoying!

PotOfYoghurt Mon 28-Mar-16 17:20:46

Have you tried Topiramate?

Luckily for me one of the side effects is not feeling hungry! People who aren't overweight need to be careful however as it can lead to them forgetting to eat and losing too much weight too quickly.

Other weird side effects include not sweating and all carbonated drinks tasting flat...

secretsignal Mon 28-Mar-16 18:19:58

Seconding sumitriptan, v effective for me, but downside is can only have it twice a day in injection form. You can also get it in a nasal spray. I take indometacin, but it's for a very specific headache type. Don't know if it would help, you need to get your headache properly diagnosed (easier said than done). If it's a real problem I would suggest getting a referral from your GP to see a neurologist with a specific interest in headaches. Some hospitals have headache/migraine clinics too. I avoid codeine, and any opiate based pain killers, at all cost...always give me a headache!! Good luck

SeriousSteve Mon 28-Mar-16 19:22:17

Interesting about Sumatriptan, will be raising that with GP. Have decided to just take everything and fuck the weight gain, even though going from a great slim weight to borderline obese is very depressing - if I can reduce opiates as a result it can't be a bad thing.

Topiramate was mentioned as an alternative to Propanalol years ago - might be worth revisiting too.

All advice has been great, will make an appointment when the surgery reopens tomorrow smile

LivingInMidnight Mon 28-Mar-16 20:11:46

I would try and stop the codeine too if I were you. Sorry if I missed it but when did you stop taking the Duloxetine? Did coming off that coincide with the headaches worsening?

I'm not sure how one gets referred for it, I was lucky enough to have a fantastic professor/consultant who did all the legwork, but Botox is a flipping miracle worker for some types of headache.

Dangermouse80 Mon 28-Mar-16 20:15:43

Sumatriptan is amazing, always take it at the first warning sign of a migraine. Also take amitryptline but at a higher dose of 50mg nightly. Also see a chiropractor. Now only get at most one migraine per week.

LivingInMidnight Mon 28-Mar-16 20:19:45

Ah that's a good point dangermouse, my dose had to be higher too.

girlandboy Mon 28-Mar-16 20:25:21

I was on Sumatriptan, which was great although I did get some side effects with it (numbness down the whole of my left side) but they were temporary.

I got sick to death of taking loads of drugs, so I bought a Cefaly device which you wear on your head like a headband. I use it twice a day and I've only used ONE Sumatriptan in a year. I occasionally take otc drugs (ibuprofen or paracetamol) when a headache strikes, but the migraines have virtually stopped.

SeriousSteve Mon 28-Mar-16 20:31:05

Stopped taking Duloxetine in September. Didn't make a difference.

Am going to book an eye test tomorrow too, and eye department checkup. Been a while and wouldn't be surprised if there's a link.

Sumatriptan sounds great though - what if I have a bad headache and not a migraine? Will it still work?

triballeader Mon 28-Mar-16 21:17:18

Sumatriptain is a 5HT atagonist and it is only prescribed for migraine and cluster headaches. With the exception of Cluster sufferers, for whom the risks of the actual attacks outweigh the risks of the drugs. its generally recommended not to use more than twice a month. If you need to use it more than twice preventative drugs should be explored further and a referral to a Neuro or Headache Clinic requested. It comes in tablet, nasal [thats like inhaling a sixth form chemistry sink] and auto-injection forms. Tablets are cheaper for the NHS to prescribe. You normally need a letter form a headache clinic before a GP will prescribe an auto-injector of sumatriptain. [Imitrex; sadly Sun have not made any of their pens for a few months]

Its a pretty heafty drug and not suitable for simpler headaches as it will cause a rebound headache and possible other health problems.

Always seek medical advice about suitability and side effects before using any triptains.

triballeader Mon 28-Mar-16 21:19:14

Secretsignal; would you also have that prescription of sumatriptain for clusters?

secretsignal Mon 28-Mar-16 22:29:33

Paroxysmal hemicrania sad. Episodic form though, and no sign of it at the moment grin. Hope the docs sort you out Steve x

gramum Mon 28-Mar-16 22:47:12

Steve my husband suffers from cluster headaches took four years for him to get diagnosed now takes Verapamil tablets usually given for heart problem and also has oxygen which he takes when feels headache starting, thank goodness and touch wood has helped him no end used to get headaches up to six times a day totally debilitating saw neurosurgeon at Queens hospital Romford ( they have centre of excellence there for neurology ) hope you get sorted

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