What if you can't take meds?

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What if you can't take meds?

Post  doximom on Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:49 am

Hi everyone - I hope I am not the only person with this problem.

I cannot take most meds because my stomach is ruined from years of taking Advil and Tylenol for headaches. Imitrex made me feel very weird, like someone was standing on my chest and I felt panicky, unable to swallow.

Last month I had a severe migraine that lasted 3 days. I teach a class at a community college and it came on so suddenly and so hard that I stood in front of the class stuttering. I finally explained that I was getting a migraine and had to leave. Luckily they were really understanding (and probably wanted to get out of class anyway). That migraine was so painful, it was scary, and lasted 3 days. I really didn't feel like myself for about 5 days. Severe. I can't help but think if I could have taken something to just take the edge off the pain, it might not have been a 5 day ordeal.


Do you have any suggestions on other meds that could bypass the stomach (inhalants, injectible, patches?) I am desperate. Going to see a new headache doctor next month and would love to be able to say hey, what about...

Thanks for being there.

doximom

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Re: What if you can't take meds?

Post  dcook60 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:35 pm

so sorry for your situation. many of us here are sensitive to drugs, but likely with another "issue" than the stomach ones you mention. (my issue is sensitivity to the excipients, aka 'other' ingredients in the drug)

both imitrex and zomig (two of the seven triptans) come in nasal sprays. imitrex is the only injectable. since you had such a scary reaction to that in pill form, your new doctor may have more information about whether it would be safe for you to try the other forms.

best of luck to you, and hope you like the new doctor and that he/she LISTENS. dianne
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Re: What if you can't take meds?

Post  Seaine on Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:42 pm

Is there any sort of medicine you can take to help your stomach? I work at a zoo and a tiger recently had stomach surgery, and they gave her a pill that was supposed to "coat" the inside of her stomach to protect it.
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Re: What if you can't take meds?

Post  sailingmuffin on Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:57 pm

Hi,

I am so sorry to hear you are having a rough time. It is horrible to deal with the pain, the treatment, and possible long term effects of the whole thing. It certainly sounds like a scary episode.

Can you take Nexium or Pepcid with the medications- this helps me tremendously. Tums also help.

Zofran is a pretty strong anti-nausea med and that is taken sublingually- dissolves in moutn. I think that they make a maxalt like this as well. There are injections of imitrex. If you do take pain meds- you might want to ask about either a liquid form or a suppository.

Pain free days,
sailingm
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Re: What if you can't take meds?

Post  Seaine on Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:39 pm

Yes that is right about the dissolvable Maxalt, I used to take that. It tastes minty.
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Thank you

Post  doximom on Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:44 am

Thank you all for your responses. I'm going to mention a lot of your comments to my new doctor when I see her in a couple of weeks. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much!

And how cool that you work in a zoo, Seaine! I love animals. In fact, during that awful migraine episode my dog sat, awake, next to me all night. What a comfort Smile


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Re: What if you can't take meds?

Post  sailingmuffin on Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:01 am

Hi,

Yes, Seine- the zoo thing sounds really cool.

Animals are amazing. I have a medical alert service dog for fainting, but she picks up on migraine stuff too. This morning, when she was telling me it was time to get up, I noticed that she was nearly on top of me- then I felt the headache- pretty bad 9/10. She was definitely alerting. She is a great comfort to me and has helped a great deal.

I hope the new neuo is open to other ideas.

Pain free days,
sailing
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Re: What if you can't take meds?

Post  KnittingBunny on Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:25 pm

Although I'm brand new here, your post caught my attention.

First, you're not alone in not being able to take meds. I have a dizzying list of health problems, and one or two of them mean that many meds are totally off limits to me. For example, I can't take any NSAIDs (advil, aspirin, and prescription type), no opiates either. There ONLY pain med I'm allowed is tylenol (acetaminophen) - which isn't ideal for various reasons.

I've only seen my neurologist a couple times, but he is working with me as best he can. I'll share a couple topics he touched on for me:

First, females who get migraines can NOT be on estrogren-based birth control pill. Not only will it increase migraines, but we migraineurs are seriously in danger of having a stroke on those pills. I gave mine up very unhappily, but it did decrease my frequency and severity a little. Plus, I don't like the idea of a stroke!

Second, consider some basic minerals and vitamins. My GP had already approved me taking a balanced B-complex daily. (Mine is liquid for better absorption and less weird ingredients for sensitive me!) I'm definitely worse without it. I forget which of the Bs make the difference, but taking only a few of the Bs and not all can get your body out of whack, so a full spectrum B complex is best. Magnesium. I haven't taken this one yet - buy my neurologist said to try it. I've just been inundated with other medical issues and haven't gotten around to it yet. Watch out for certain types of magnesium, however, as some have a stronger laxative effect than others.

Third, he told me about a scientific study (a real one) about the herb called Butterbur. (Butter bur? Not sure) He said it worked at least as good as prescription meds, but was tolerated MUCH better than prescription meds. I've been chicken about trying it with all my sensitivities and allergies - but I may do so in the future. Just passing that along - as FYI.

Have you done all the usual stuff? Get on a good routine for yourself? Meaning, sleep at the same time every day, eat regular meals all day long around the same time, watch out for trigger ingredients in foods? Those were REALLY important for me.

You can do this, I know you can. Don't let the med thing worry you. There are ways to cope. We just haven't unearthed them all yet. Very Happy

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No meds for the weary

Post  doximom on Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:40 pm

Thanks for your reply, KnittingBunny. I have tried a lot of the things you mentioned and I believe they do help, especially the B-complex and the getting enough sleep! So important. I took butterbur in the form of a supplement called Petadolex for about 6 weeks, with no good or bad effects.

I would not touch estrogen-based birth control. My hormones are a mess as it is, why take the chance?

I am really good at prevention, but despite my efforts a migraine can still knock me out. When this happens, I feel so helpless because I can't pop an Advil or an Excedrin... my latest neurologist told me to try Frova, that it may not give me the same bad feeling as Imitrex. So that's what I'll do... try Frova and keep my fingers crossed!


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