different antidepressants for migraine treatment

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different antidepressants for migraine treatment

Post  charmed quark on Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:38 am

Because my health insurance, after seven years, cut off the one drug that has really worked to stop my migraines without any side effects as well as helped with my spasms and neuropathic pain, my doctors want me to try some of the antidepressants I haven't really given a chance.

In the past I have tried several different tricyclics - elavil, nortriptalyne, etc. with moderately good results, maybe a 50% reduction of my migraines but no real impact on my other symptoms. But in each case the side effects drove me off.
I also tried a couple of SSRIs but had little success with them and a good bit of side effects.

One they want me to start with is Cymbalta - thinking it will help with both my migraines and the neuropathic pain and tingling I have. I tried it briefly a while ago and didn't notice any changes other than it made me faint. But they think I need to stay on it at least 6 weeks to get any results.

I'm unwilling to go down this route again, with the side effects and maybe being disabled for weeks while I wait for the next drug to possibly start working. I'm thinking of paying out of pocket for my old drug instead. Expensive but I can probably afford it and at least I'll be able to continue working and have a life, which is really an almost priceless result.

But I should maybe also look at these newer drugs. Has anybody had good success with Cymbalta when the other SSRIs didn't work?

I should point out that my migraines don't really cause a lot of pain - only my neurpathic myelopathy symptoms really hurt - but instead the migraines cause a lot of central neurological symptoms: vertigo, tinnitus, vision problems, brain rot, temporary numbeness, etc. Actually quite disabling but not painful.

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cymbalta

Post  lentils on Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:18 pm

I tried to take cymbalta, but couldn't get past the side effects. The deal breaker for me was nausea. I only took it two days, though and my doctor suggests that I give it another go. I really need to take an antidepressant, but I can't seem to find one with tolerable side effects.
I'm curious about the drug you took for seven years, what is it?

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Re: different antidepressants for migraine treatment

Post  estre004 on Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:32 pm

Amitriptiline - not long enough to know if it is going to help but so far so good. No side effects for me except good one - sleep really good.

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Re: different antidepressants for migraine treatment

Post  30yrsofheadache on Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:55 pm

If I had something that really worked, I would stick with it if at all possible. Sometimes if you stop and then go back it is not as effective (at least in my experience).
Hugs,
Cindy
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Re: different antidepressants for migraine treatment

Post  charmed quark on Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:42 pm

lentils wrote:I tried to take cymbalta, but couldn't get past the side effects. The deal breaker for me was nausea. I only took it two days, though and my doctor suggests that I give it another go. I really need to take an antidepressant, but I can't seem to find one with tolerable side effects.
I'm curious about the drug you took for seven years, what is it?

Wow- I didn't get the nausea in the short trial I did. That would definitely be a deal breaker with me as I lost a lot of weight when my migraines were bad due to near constant nausea.

I've been on Marinol, synthetic THC for roughly 7 years. Not only did a small dose almost eliminate my migraines, it helped with my spasms and neuropathic pain, at least at night when I normally took it. So I could get a decent nights sleep.


Last edited by charmed quark on Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: different antidepressants for migraine treatment

Post  charmed quark on Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:44 pm

estre004 wrote:Amitriptiline - not long enough to know if it is going to help but so far so good. No side effects for me except good one - sleep really good.
All the members of this class made me sleep like I was dead. I was a little afraid I wouldn't wake up if the house caught on fire:-) The side effects didn't really start up until I had been on them about 6 months. Most of my side effects were minor - seeing stars around lights and dry mouth. But the constipation kept getting worst and worst. I had no idea how bad that can get ...

Too bad, as otherwise I thought it was a good drug. And dirt cheap.


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Re: different antidepressants for migraine treatment

Post  estre004 on Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:09 am

charmed quark (BTW how did you come up with that user name?). Anyway, it is strange how we all react differently. I wake up just as I would if I wasn't on the meds if there is a noise, etc. and then go right back to sleep. Perfect sleeping aide for me. Don't know if they are going to help the migraine. If they don't, I'm going back to the lower dose just for sleep.

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charmed quark

Post  charmed quark on Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:41 am

The charm quark is the third most massive of the quarks, elementary particles that make up most matter. It goes along with the strange quark.

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Re: different antidepressants for migraine treatment

Post  estre004 on Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:52 am

charmed quark - gotcha

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questions

Post  lentils on Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:25 am

When you took marinol, did you have to increase the dosage, or did the dosage stay the same throughout the years that you took it?
How are you planning to taper off the drug?
I have tried marijuana as an abortive, it works fairly well, but the migraine will return the next day.
No doctor has ever mentioned marinol as a preventative to me, I don't know why. It is available in Australia.
'


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marinol

Post  charmed quark on Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:54 am

Marinol hasn't been tested as a preventative, so it is unlikely most doctors would want to prescribe it off label.

I was in a brief cannabis for migraines trial and was very impressed with the results. I asked if there was any legal drug that would replicate cannabis and the doctor I entered the trial through wrote me a prescription for marinol. Because I already had a successful history with marinol, my pain doctor was willing to continue me on it.

Sadly, I think it is easier to use medical marijuana in those place that have legalized it than to get a Marinol prescription. But ask your doctor. There's quite a bit of research that suggests cannabis is efficacious for migraines, so if you dig that up and present it to your doctor that might help. There is very good research, including several double blind cross-over studies, showing it works for neuropathic pain better than other available drugs.

I've been using the same dosage the full time I've been on it. I find a small dosage works better as a preventative than as an abortant.

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Re: different antidepressants for migraine treatment

Post  lentils on Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:35 pm

Did you experience any side effects while on marinol?

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side effects

Post  charmed quark on Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:27 pm

at the dose I use (1.25 mg a day), just a little sleepiness. But I take it at bedtime. Originally I took a higher dose but it caused anxiety, unlike the whole cannabis of the trial. But I eventually found that the lower dose worked for me, at least for migraines. I would like to use a higher dose for my spasms.

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