Medication issues

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Medication issues

Post  HeelerLady on Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:25 am

What are others criteria for stopping a medication?

I've been on one for 2 weeks now, started out with severe indigestion. Doctor gave me a prescription to help with it...didn't work but has become more mild on it's own. I've begun to notice that my cognitive abilities are failing (gave the dog her medicine one night and 30 seconds later I couldn't remember how much I gave her) and it's spilling over into my work life (suffering from CRS - can't remember sh!t). Called the doctor and he said this would pass. I wake up with horrible leg cramps that I have no idea how to combat and I'm noticing my tremors are getting worse (these aren't new but are normally only brought on during high levels of stress). I'm also noticing depression issues - just really not myself. Sort of a mild case of the crazies - wanting to give up on things and walk away (which I don't really want to do).

It just seems like medications just keep getting pushed and appointments are so far apart. I did get in later this month but it just seems like I'm losing my mind. I am going on a road trip this weekend with others - we have adjoining hotel rooms shared between 4 adults, 3 kids and 8 dogs so I won't be alone at all. And things seem to be better when I'm not alone.

I'm wondering if I should stick out the meds another 2 weeks until I see the neuro, call him yet again or just give up on it. Just seems the longer I'm on this one, the more side-effects are showing up. I guess the only reason is that, other than the cognitive issues and the mental ones, the effects aren't so bad, just annoying.
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Re: Medication issues

Post  Andrew on Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:49 am

Hi
sounds like you're having a tough time at the moment. What meds are you on? With some its important not to cut them out suddenly, but to reduce your intake slowly. If you stop taking beta blockers suddenly you risk reflex tachycardia, for example.

It's always wise to speak to your doctor before changing your medication, but there is some more info on migraine meds at the following links. Hope it helps.

Migraine and acute drugs
Migraine and preventative drugs

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Re: Medication issues

Post  HeelerLady on Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:23 am

Hi Andrew,

I'm on the starting dose of Depakote (250mg). And I know not to stop taking something suddenly - that can have some nasty side effects. Evil or Very Mad The thing is my doctor is fully aware of everything up to the depression issues but given my reaction to some of the other meds, that's not unexpected and he shouldn't be surprised either. Sad to say.

The response I've gotten from him is to not escalate my dose (actually according to his schedule supposed to double the dose today) until the side-effects go away. Which at this rate is going to be when pigs fly...none of the side-effects have gone away and more seem to be appearing. And is it helping the M - nope. I still have one of the darn things everyday. Some days I really wonder about him though. Since I posted on the cold thread, I was curious and checked for interactions of previous meds. He knows I'm very sensitive to medications (ie high doses aren't tolerated well and I seem to be subject to most of the side-effects). I checked for interactions and if I was on 2 separate preventatives at the same time - yup there is a known interaction. I have a feeling when I go in to see him on the 24th this is going to be another to add to my bag of stuff that doesn't work. Then on to the next one...I think I'm just not in a good place today but I've been seeing him for 5 months and for the most part, things have not helped and made me more ill. Just gets old.
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Re: Medication issues

Post  Paradox on Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:33 am

At one point I was on 2000 mg of Depakote. I trembled so bad I couldn't keyboard, eat (I couldn't bring utensils to my mouth). The trembling didn't stop until I was under 1000 mg, but the Dr said that at that level it wasn't therapuetic so we discontinued it.

Personally, I would go off it. BUT, you need to wait til you see your Dr. so you can titrate down.

Like you I'm very sensitve to med's and their side effects and won't put my body and my mind through it anymore.
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Re: Medication issues

Post  HeelerLady on Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:52 am

Charlotte,

Do they have a lower dose than 250? I was told this was the lowest they could go but the max for me was 500. Hmm, well perhaps things have changed a bit since you were there or difference in doctor opinions (that would never happen Razz). Also the tremors...well they are genetic for me and they only occur on my left side (right now anyway). The hardest part is that even if my hand doesn't shake where you can really see it, all the muscles in my arm just ache from the constant firing.

I may give it through the weekend and then stop on Sunday (I'm off Monday) or give the long-shot a chance and see what happens. Although if things get worse, I'm not staying on it. Been there, done that and don't want to do it again.

Becky
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Re: Medication issues

Post  Andrew on Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:35 am

hi becky
seems your medications are only making things worse - I'd get in touch with my doc asap if I were you to get things changed..
I'm guessing you probably know/have tried these things already, but have you tried herbal/dietary alternatives? Current research suggests that the following may be useful in treating migraines, in decreasing order of preference: magnesium, Petasites hybridus (Common Butterbur), feverfew, coenzyme Q10, riboflavin, and alpha lipoic acid. You can get them in supplement form from a health food shop or maybe chemists, or google to find out which foods to increase in your diet.
Also studies have found that 'mind-body' therapies, such as taichi, qigong or meditation can help - could help with the depression and maybe the tremors too. Likewiese acupuncture, which is well worth a try - trials have shown it's as effective or more effective than drug treatments.

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Re: Medication issues

Post  HeelerLady on Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:23 pm

Hi Andrew,

Unless I'm bat guano crazy or the side-effects completely unbearable, he won't take me off. He's hoping the side-effects will just go away (which sometimes they do). He is a neurologist that specializes in the treatment of migraines.

I have chronic migraines - meaning I have one every day so a lot of the "light weight" stuff does absolutely nothing. I've tried magnesium (but my system can't handle that and the depakote, my insides completely rebel) and riboflavin. I saw zero improvement and gave up. I looked at butterbur and feverfew but with all the brain chemical altering substances I'm on, not going to risk an interaction. I have no food triggers (pretty hard to have them when you have an M every day) and the only trigger I know of is low pressure fronts that come through (this just makes the horrible).

The depression I know is purely a result of the meds (one of the side-effects) and has only descended in the last few days. I know it's due to the meds as I can sense it - I've been clinically depressed before and I never noticed it until I talked to a trained counselor. The tremors are genetically passed I have Essential Tremors and they only affect my left side. However as paradox pointed out is is related to the medication as well. My doctor knew this and put me on it anyway.

Accupuncture...well this is a topic that has been debated. I haven't tried it as it's cost prohibitive but others who have migraines similar to mine found only temporary relief at best and did nothing at worst.

I apologize if this is snarky but most of the people on this board are hard-core migranuers and the things you've cited don't often work for us. I can see your point as a lot of "sporadic" migrainuers probably do benefit from the remedies you suggested or those who have stress as a trigger. I'd be interested to see what clinical studies have shown what however (more so with the study subjects and whether they had occasional migraines or multiple per week).

Becky
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Re: Medication issues

Post  tecky on Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:16 pm

My doctor told me if you don't notice an improvement after 3 months on any type of treatment (meds, vitamins, supplements, acupuncture, anything), it can be discontinued. Usually some of the bad side-effects go away after your body acclimates to it, but I've often had to stop at less than 3 mos. because the side-effects were so extreme.

I hope you find something that helps at least a little bit without significant side-effects. Take care.

Becky flower
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Re: Medication issues

Post  milo on Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:27 pm

The supplements he suggested are what the top HA specialists are suggesting out of the Mayo clinic as the "most effective" current preventatives.
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Re: Medication issues

Post  milo on Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:32 pm

Epival does have some forms available in a 125mg dose and valproic acid can be administered liquid so the dose can be tapered even lower with that.

The side affects of anticonvulsants can be very bothersome, but for many they do lessen with time.

Please talk to a doctor or pharmacist before you start to decrease any anticonvulsant.
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Re: Medication issues

Post  Anna on Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:31 am

I believe we have to advocate for ourselves. Many medications can be dangerous. My sister who has severe developmental issues nearly died from this drug related to liver failure. She is unable to advocate for herself and her physician didn't notice the symptoms. It was caught in time by an attentive RN.

Just because something is approved by the FDA does not make it safe. It you feel unsure about a medication, please get help. Many, many people die due to medications properly prescribed by their physicians and correctly taken by the patient.
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Re: Medication issues

Post  Stillhurtin on Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:55 am

milo wrote:The supplements he suggested are what the top HA specialists are suggesting out of the Mayo clinic as the "most effective" current preventatives.

Yes...For the other 9 milliion people that have traditional migraine headache and are responding to those preliminary traditional treatments, thats fabulous. But I don't think any of us are blindly jumping to super invasive without trying non-invasive first, which is why that type of advice (no offense to you personally Andrew) can be so annoying.

I know people only mean well and want to help with those suggestions. It's just so hard to be so deep into a battle to feel better and have soemone suggest step one again.
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Re: Medication issues

Post  HeelerLady on Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:05 pm

Well I'm back home. One long but interesting weekend. I think I'm going to call again tomorrow. I'm running through daily depression (or at least mood-altering incidents) and I'm having a hard time coping with it and given my history, frankly I'm afraid I'm going to do something to harm myself in some way if I stay on it. I can recognize the problem but when in a "funk" I have completely irrational thoughts that I can't control and may act on. Once it passes, I feel normal again and can rationalize what my thoughts were and that they were nuts.

I'm also not sure if I'm just picking up on more of the "weird" symptoms but I'm hearing things that aren't there, smelling things that aren't there and feeling things that aren't there as well as random numbness in my face. The sensations are driving me crazy - tremors more pronounced and while I had my cell set to vibrate all weekend I swore it was going off only to touch it to find out it's not.

Thanks for the thoughts and support. Smile
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Re: Medication issues

Post  Anna on Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:02 pm

You're scaring me, HeelerLady. These are severe side effects.

According to this: http://www.drugs.com/sfx/depakote-side-effects.html you should be seeking medical help immediately.

I don't know you, HeelerLady, but I do care. Please see someone ASAP.

Love, Anna
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Re: Medication issues

Post  estre004 on Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:35 am

Sounds like my experience with Topamax. I quit cold turkey (gut instinct). I'm not suggesting anyone else doing this but I think drugs are shelled out way too freely and only we know if it is something good for us. Symptoms/side effects are there for a reason -- to warn us something isn't right. Now it is easier for me to say because I don't get migraines daily. If I did, maybe I would think differently. I hate drugs and take only to abort. I will not take anymore preventatives unless they come up with one that actually works--less drugs in my system, so less to go wrong.

My son took Depakote when he was young for a short time. He didn't have any of those side effects (just complained about tired). I would certainly question them.

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medication

Post  Chinookgrl on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:01 am

I'm with Anna. Get into a doc , it sounds like you are having some pretty intense side effects. It sounds like
when I was on Effexor. I felt a little out of control, not a good one for me. Maybe this isn't a good one for you.

Jo
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Re: Medication issues

Post  Ivy on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:25 am

HL,
I am sorry that you're having all these side effects. It seems unbelieveable that something that should help migraine actually causes so many scary issues.

I'd follow my instict and evaluate if such a continuous status is worth.

Doctors consider the chemical effects of a drug and they probably think that side-effects are just part of the game. Probably they are right, they want to help and are aware that side-effects are not a risk, but living with such scary symptoms is tough. Maybe migraine is "better".

Take care
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Re: Medication issues

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