Help - Eliminating Rebound Headaches

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Help - Eliminating Rebound Headaches

Post  JenG on Mon May 09, 2016 3:23 pm

Hello all,
I'm new to this forum, but not new to migraines unfortunately. I've been on other abortive meds, but no preventives and my migraines have gradually increased over the years. I've been on fioricet the last 4 years and by the end of last year I was up to 15 a month. Now I am 16 weeks pregnant and have had a migraine almost every day for over 30 days. I think I've had 1 or 2 days I didn't have to take the fioricet. I plan to see my OB tomorrow and ask if it's safe for the baby to stop all migraine meds for the next 4 weeks to see if rebound headaches are the problem. I've been doing a lot of reading mostly, Dr. Buchholz's 1-2-3 Book, and as scared as I am to throw out the meds, I think it may be worth a try.

My question is: has anyone else done this? How long did it take for your headaches to stop? How bad were they? What did you take, if anything, while you were off the meds? I did see a neurologist and she gave me 8 imitrex for the month but I will be in the same place I am now with no meds if I just switch over to those. Any experience or suggestions would be appreciated. i'm feeling fed up, scared, and a little hopeless. I wish you all a headache free evening!

Jen G.

JenG

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Re: Help - Eliminating Rebound Headaches

Post  sailingmuffin on Tue May 10, 2016 9:34 pm

Hi,

Welcome to the forum!

I'm so sorry you are having such a rough time.

I was actually treated by Dr. Bucholz at one time. He is a good neaurologist, but I found that his plan, while helpful to many was not very helpful to me. I saw him shortly after my battle with New Daily Persistent Headache/Chronic Intractable Migraine began 19 years ago. The first thing he did was to take me off everything. He did put me on a few preventatives as well as imitrex and aleve for pain. It helped some. Dr. Bucholz is a huge believer in rebound. I know some chonic headaches are rebound, but many are not. Strangely, the worst case of rebound that I have dealt with was caused by imitrex- which he prescribed.

You mentioned that you were 16 months pregnant- Congratulations. What medications, besides fioricet are you taking for migraine? I'd definitely check with your ob and your neuro before changing anything. I know that coming off meds too quickly can be tricky and hard. you can do it and every once in a while, you probably need to. Do the triptans help at all? Changing the diet is definitely worth a shot at this point. Changing meds might not be a bad idea.

I hope this helps. Hang in there.

Painn free days
sailing

sailingmuffin

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Re: Help - Eliminating Rebound Headaches

Post  JenG on Wed May 11, 2016 8:53 am

Sailing,

Thank you for your reply. That's amazing that you were treated by Dr. B! He seems like he knows his stuff and actually cares, which makes me inclined to believe he knows what he's talking about. However, I saw my OB yesterday and she recommended I stay on fioricet and do not take any triptans during my pregnancy. She thinks it's hormones and they may level out in a couple months. The fioricet is the only medication I'm on and has been for years. I was on triptans years ago but they made me feel terrible and were very expensive. No generics were available then. I understand they are now, and I will be switching to imitrex and probably a preventive once the baby's born. But like you said, that doesn't solve the rebound problem. I have an SPG nerve block scheduled for next month and that's when I plan to stop the fioricet. I need to stop them before my 3rd trimester and I hope that will help ease the pain a little. If it doesn't help, I will have to tough it out.

For the future, can you share what, if anything, has helped you the most? Preventatives, alternatives, abortives? Anything? I have always considered migraine to be something I had to live with but I was used to living with 5-6 a month and controlling them with abortives. Before I knew it, it was 8-10 a month. Then 19-20. Now its every day. I miss a day here and there but they are few and far between. I started following the diet in January and finally have it down pretty good. That has helped quite a bit with the severity. If I am ingesting caffeine or MSG I can't function and the medication doesn't work, so I'm grateful to have that information. I was clueless until I began doing more research last year when they got really bad. Hope you're having a good day. No headache so far and it's almost 11:00!!! Can't believe it! Very Happy

JenG

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Re: Help - Eliminating Rebound Headaches

Post  Seaine on Thu May 12, 2016 7:08 pm

I had a neurologist ask me to stop all meds to stop "rebound" headaches.  It was horrible, my daily migraines were simply left untreated and I was unable to function until I started taking my triptans again.  There was no change, every day would end with me vomiting until I fell asleep. I'd wake up with no migraine and then the next one would come and repeat the process.  I personally do not believe that the majority of headaches are rebound.

My daily migraines have decreased to only a few per week with diet change -eliminated artificial food coloring (anything with a number ex. red #40), vanillin (can be under "artificial flavor"), and sodium benzoate (a preservative in some sodas, sauces and dressings), and MSG.  I believe many people with migraines suffer due to the modern diet, and that's why people often had fewer migraines 10, 15, or 20 years ago when fewer of these ingredients were used in foods.

I have also cut my triptan pills into smaller pieces and found them to actually work better that way and have fewer side effects, as well as save me tons of money.

Seaine

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Re: Help - Eliminating Rebound Headaches

Post  Migrainegirl on Fri May 13, 2016 8:01 am

I also agree that the fear of rebound headaches is way overblown. Doctors just don't know what causes them, so they blame the meds. It just leaves people to suffer needlessly.

Migrainegirl

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Re: Help - Eliminating Rebound Headaches

Post  sailingmuffin on Sat May 14, 2016 10:07 pm

Hi,

I haven't had much success with preventatives at all. There are only a few that seemed to help- those are: Zoloft, Tizanidine, Pristiq, klonopin. I know there are a few others, but I can't remember them. I have some degree of headache pain every day. Several years ago, my neurologist and I made the choice to focus more on treating the symptoms- managing the pain, keeping me out of the hospital than trying to prevent them. In 19 years, I have had two periods of remission where the headaches went frombeing daily to 1-3 a week. (Both of these periods coincided with radiofrequency to the neck and the implantation of a nerve stimulator.)

Rebound is certainly overblown.

I hope that the hormones level off and you can feel better. Migraines are tough and I hope you are able to get some good relief so that you and your baby can have a safe and healthy pregnancy. (I hope that didn't sound bad. I just mean I hope you don't get any really bad ones that are hard to treat so that you are not stressed and neither is the baby.) Is this your first child?

Good luck and remember that we are here if you need us.

Pain free days,
Sailing

sailingmuffin

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Re: Help - Eliminating Rebound Headaches

Post  flo_02472 on Wed May 18, 2016 9:13 pm

I too am on Fiorocet and have been slowly increasing the number of pills a day to at least 3 sometimes more as needed. My neuro has treated me for over 30 years with Fiorocet for daily headadhes and Imitrex for migraine. He does not worry about rebounds. He says to me that you have had these headaches before Fiorocet so if you stop they will only continue. He is a Harvard professor and doctor and is symphathetic and compassionate. I hate to think of his soon to come retirement and the next doctor to treat me.
Congratulation and wishing you a happy & healthy baby and an email invitation to me directly: flo_02472@yahoo.com as I am not always checking into this site. I do identify with your daily headaches. So hard to function sometimes. Mad

flo_02472

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Thank You

Post  JenG on Thu May 19, 2016 9:50 am

Thanks for your feedback everyone. Yes, this is my first child and I am also hoping for a happy and healthy pregnancy and baby. I'd also like better migraine control once I have a child to take care of. Thinking about the lack of sleep and changes in routine is a little scary as those sometimes bring on migraines, but I am hoping to find something that helps reduce them soon. They have decreased from daily to about one every three days which I am thrilled about. I didn't believe the OB when she said it was hormones because I've had this problem so long but it looks as if she may have been at least partially right.

It's good to know that not everyone is a believer in rebound. I was terrified at the idea of spending 4 weeks or more with a migraine and not being able to take anything. Not sure I would have made it to be honest. After reading about all of your experiences, and experiencing the decrease of my daily migraines, I have pretty much 86'd the idea. I've never been a big fan of suffering. I have an SPG nerve block scheduled for next month. Lidocaine through the nose to block nerves. Not sure if anyone's tried that, but I'll let you all know if it helps. Hope everyone has a great day free from headaches!

JenG

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Re: Help - Eliminating Rebound Headaches

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