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Preventatives for chronic daily headaches

(69 Posts)
awkwardsitch Sat 24-Feb-18 13:49:10

I'm reluctantly having to explore preventative medication. I'm massively phobic of this following a genuine life threatening reaction to citalopram.

I suffer chronic daily headaches. I can't take beta blockers.

I can't also take any head med that will make me drowsy. I am a pre-prep teacher; I'm responsible for a class of five year olds. I simply have to be "with it" which rules out a lot of these type of drugs.

Any suggestions?

LivingInMidnight Sun 25-Feb-18 16:11:06

Amitriptyline? Would make you a bit drowsy in the morning initially but it should wear off after 3 weeks or so.

LivingInMidnight Sun 25-Feb-18 16:12:01

Actually, botox could be perfect for you.

thUnderdog Sun 25-Feb-18 16:15:50

Yep, I've had both of the above. Still on Amitriptyline. Botox didn't really help me but totally worth trying. Amitriptyline would work great for a week or so, then I had to increase the dose, repeat, repeat, repeat and I'm now refusing to increase again (waiting on an appointment where I might FINALLY know the cause of my headaches). I might have to increase it if the appointment doesn't go well but I don't want to be on it long term.

wineandsunshine Mon 26-Feb-18 09:30:07


butterfly56 Mon 26-Feb-18 10:14:45

Try magnesium either in baths as Epsom salts. Or a half a teaspoon in glass of water. I buy food grade from Amazon. 2kg for about £8.50 and last for months.
This has stopped my chronic headaches.

I also take L-tryptophan an amino acid that helps with low mood which is so much better than any prescription drug.

Holy Basil capsules are great for anxiety and helps with sleep.

awkwardsitch Mon 26-Feb-18 19:16:44

I'm sick of having a headache. I get a few hours off then they're back. It's been five weeks now.

Previously my trigger was the contraceptive pill so I stopped it and it gave me months of headache Free bliss.

No idea what has triggered this episode.

thUnderdog Mon 26-Feb-18 19:34:50

I have also tried acupuncture and it works for me but only for a couple of days at a time. I can't afford to go 2-3 times a week. It's worth trying though as you might be luckier than me.

I've also tried magnesium tablets before which didn't help but I'm waiting on a magnesium spray arriving as that has good reviews and can't do me any harm trying.

butterfly990 Mon 26-Feb-18 19:38:29

Have you tried seeing an osteopath? My daughter's upper back and neck were out of alignment - stomach sleeper amongst other things. After 6 weeks of treatment constant headaches became weekly.

She also used Kool n Soothe patches at night for sleeping as they are non-medicinal.

LivingInMidnight Mon 26-Feb-18 20:00:41

Acupuncture didn't do anything for me. Botox did work (to an extent) for me but because of another condition I can't use it. 150mg of amitriptyline a night helps.

Tried feverfew? Could try CBD maybe.

bostonkremekrazy Mon 26-Feb-18 20:26:20

plenty you can try.
i have daily migrane & cluster headache.
i used topamax daily & the progesterone only pill.
botox every 12 weeks.

i am now headache free but still a few migranes a month.

awkwardsitch Tue 27-Feb-18 07:06:13

I want to avoid mind altering drugs. That said they're becoming chronic now which is debilitating.

wineandsunshine Tue 27-Feb-18 12:54:58

I do feel your pain - I'm now on tegretol and trying acupuncture.

I'm wondering if my hormonal patch is contributing?

sexnotgender Tue 27-Feb-18 12:57:04

How’s your diet?

My headaches are virtually non existent since I gave up sugar. I follow a low carb high fat plan.

LiveLifeWithPassion Tue 27-Feb-18 13:00:11

Hormonal or diet can be causes.
Keep a food diary and change hormonal contraceptives

KochabRising Tue 27-Feb-18 13:05:29

Topomax is not a mind altering drug. Amytriptaline can make you very drowsy in the beginning but with time that wears off.

If you’re taking any OTC painkillers then stop (wean gradually.) all cause rebound headaches if taken long term.

What you need to do is isolate the cause and treat that. I’d suggest:

1. A proper, full eye exam (not just a high street optician - if you have a university near you student opthalmolpgists do this supervised by senior staff.

2. Full workup of back/ shoulders and neck - any vertebral movement or degenerative disease? Trapped nerves? Muscular or skeletal issues?

3. Record EVERYTHING you eat, drink and ingest and see if there are any trigger items/food groups. Stop all alcohol if you drink it. Cut down on caffeine if you drink excessively.

welshmist Tue 27-Feb-18 13:08:48

Do you have this headache at the weekend?

Aprilmightmemynewname Tue 27-Feb-18 13:08:51

Is your bedroom window open during the night? I have had migraine for over 30 years and having the window open 24/7 makes a huge difference. Dh closed it last night due to snow warnings (?!) and I feel like I have a massive hangover, wooly head and can hardly function today.

awkwardsitch Tue 27-Feb-18 13:09:10

The health anxiety in me says brain tumour sad my gp will fob me off saying just anxiety.

Inthetropics Tue 27-Feb-18 13:23:51

I take candesartan and buspirone. My doctor sugested citalopram and clonazepam but i REALLY didn't want to take benzodiazepines, so buspirone was a good choice because it is and anxiolytic that's non-benzodiazepine. I've battled daily migraines that were sould destroying and i empathise with anyone who suffers from it. I also can understand not wanting to feel drousy, numb, sleepy, etc.

Inthetropics Tue 27-Feb-18 13:25:50

*Soul and not sould

KochabRising Tue 27-Feb-18 13:26:33

Yeah, do NOT take benzodiazepines if you can help it.

The chances of it being a brain tumour are fairly low - these tend to present with other symptoms rather than just straight headaches. It’s much more likely it’s stress, a physical /structural issue, hormones or diet.

You need to see your GP and get to the bottom of what’s actually causing it.

LivingInMidnight Tue 27-Feb-18 15:29:27

Agree about the bedroom window thing.

Is it stress related?

TheMogget Tue 27-Feb-18 15:39:05

Sounds odd but have you asked your Dentist. I suffered for years and years of regular headaches and migraines and it turned out to be that I clench my teeth (tension). I now wear a night mouth guard and they have finally gone!! Worth a check and no drugs required grin

welshmist Tue 27-Feb-18 18:35:33

I am down to one pillow, any more than that and in the morning I appear to have a blinding hangover. Also drinking too much water which I do if we have a night out has the same effect.

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