Saturday, May 1, 2010

Treximet

*Whew* it's been rough lately. I'm still going off Zonisamide gradually and I have another week left before I can cut it completely. I've been crying at the drop of a hat, getting sick to my stomach every darn morning, and cursing like crazy which is so not like me. I won't directly blame the medication and/or withdrawal from it, but something is going on (and NO I'm not pregnant).

I had 24 days of headaches and four days of migraine-level pain in April. This past week I had to try Treximet for the first time - at work. In a perfect world I'd be able to try it at home to test it out first, but I had a migraine hit me suddenly and didn't have a choice. As with all triptans for me, it got way worse before it got better...but it did get better and after about two hours I was able to function again and I even finished the work day. But I have zero confidence in triptans because every one I've tried in the past has worked a few times and then stopped working or even made my migraines worse. I know Treximet has the NSAID component, but I'm trying to make my tummy happy by avoiding NSAIDs.

Also, some food for thought: check out Diana Lee's blog post on medication overuse headache. Here's an excerpt:

"...some researchers believe one type of migraine-specific medicine, triptans, is more likely to cause recurrent migraines rather than just recurrent generic headaches."

I only received two samples from my doctor so I have one remaining, but I don't know if I should try and get a prescription or not. Since it's my only "emergency" med that works (for now), I probably should. It really did save me the other day, but I don't like the thought of them causing recurrent migraines!

P.S. - you all have been giving really insightful tips/thoughts in the Comments section lately. Check them out if you haven't yet; you may benefit from some of the ideas, particularly in the last post. And THANK YOU for taking time to leave comments. You all rock! :)

14 comments:

Parin Stormlaughter said...

Took me months to get over Zonegran when I stopped taking it.

I don't know the answer to this but I wonder if Imitrex by itself taken with OTC Aleve (which are two ingredients in Treximet) would be less expensive? You could tailor your Aleve dose according to what your stomach could handle that way.

There's a reason why payment for triptans is limited by insurance companies and it's not always a "profit" thing. They're not harmless.

Anybody who hasn't read the full prescribing information for any triptan or associated drug they take in the last six weeks should find them on the manufacturer's website. Read the whole document. We owe it to ourselves to know the very, very latest information we can get.

Really, I wonder if Imitrex by itself and self-administered Aleve might be one way you could reduce your NSAID intake?

Diana Lee said...

I've found over the years that it helps me to use a few different triptans in rotation. I had Imitrex injections totally bottom out on me, then Zomig Nasal Spray, but if I alternate them they tend to not do that.

In some ways I think MOH is an easy answer to turn to when doctors don't know what to do with us. But I've been through it, too, so it is definitely an issue.

WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

I never ever achieved control of my migraines in almost 30 years. A hysterectomy with removal of my ovaries and NO hormone replacement was the only thing that stopped them. Triptans would only stop the pain for a few hours. Aleve and caffeine tablets taken together did just as good as anything I was prescribed.

Then 3 years later I got hemicrania continua, which I first thought was a reprisal of the migraines - payback for the few years without pain! Triptans again only helped a little for a few hours. -

A pain specialist told me that sometimes chronic pain "burns" pathways into the brain, creating pain when the aggravating condition does not even exist anymore. Wonder if that can happen with migraines??

Heather said...

Parin - that's a possibility. I haven't tried getting a prescription for Treximet, but I know back when I used Imitrex my insurance limited me to a certain number each month (which is probably a good thing since they're not harmless, as you pointed out).

Diana - another possibility I hadn't thought of. Thanks for the tip!

Winny - I bet it can. I'm reading "The Migraine Brain" and it mentions that even if someone has surgery to alter their trigeminal nerve, they may still feel pain, similar to people who lose arms or legs and feel pain in the phantom limb. Scary stuff!

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled on to your post and was amazed how similiar your story was to mine. I used to get horrible migraines almost every day for months at a time. Triptans never worked for me, and I had a scary reaction to Imitrex both times it was given to me (my legs went numb). I tried acupuncture (without success). I was on Topamax on and off for years, but I kept having to discontinue the therapy because it messed with my short-term memory. I now fully believe that all my migraines are tied to hormones. Where's the proof? My headaches went away almost completely when I became pregnant the first time. They came back after I stopped breast-feeding. Now that I am pregnant again, they have again gone away. I know that if I don't get enough sleep or if I go to a loud concert I'm tempting fate. So triggers do exist. But I think that if we could find a way to regulate hormones without risking cancer, we would all be a lot healthier and more likely to be headache-free.

Heather said...

AMEN, Anon! This is what I'm hoping and praying for.

I have yet to try pregnancy, but that's one of the few options I have left. Not that I would get pregnant just to get rid of headaches - I really do want a kid or two at some point in my life. And I've always said that if being pregnant takes away my migraines, I'll become a surrogate once I have kids of my own. My husband doesn't like me talking about that, but it's something I will seriously consider!

You are so correct though; hormones are a big factor. In fact, I'm charting mine with a basal thermometer to see I notice anything odd, although there's not much to do if anything did show up, sadly. Our country/health institutes need to research hormones more.

Anonymous said...

I have been doing so much research lately. I came across you blog. seems we have to be related. I have been having migraines since I was 13 I will be 40 next week. yes the triptans do cause rebounding pain so you begin to take it everyday. fiorcet makes me so sick that it seems not worth the effort. My insurance co only allows me a certain amount of triptans per month and when those run out my family hates me. My family thinks I try to make my self sick if they only could get a headache like me just one time.

Heather said...

Anon - I'm sorry your family doesn't understand; that's got to be tough. Headache sufferers are so misunderstood by those who don't experience that type of pain, and we're often assumed to be lazy or even hypochondriacs. It's bad enough dealing with the pain, but we have to deal with all the emotional/relationship issues that come with it.

My advice would be to keep your family in the loop and don't hide anything about your pain. If they don't understand after knowing all that you're going through, then there's nothing more you can do. It's their problem.

Good luck!

Barbara said...

I am 61 and have had migraines (thanks Mom) since I was in my 20's. My doctor put me on Treximet for 2 years until I complained about the cost. I was getting 14/month. She also had me on Topamax and Inderal to reduce the number. The Topamax did help in that respect.

She noticed that my creatine level was going up and sent me to a kidney specialist.

A 24 hr urine and 6 vials of blood revealed that I have now lost 40% kidney function and have the kidneys of the an 80 yr old!!
I am so angry w/my doctor. (She just retired.)

I am warning everyone I know to stay away from any anti-inflammatory such as Aleve and Naproxen.

The kidney doctor told me that many football players have had to have transplants after their coaches and doctors encouraged them to take massive amts. of NSAID. He said the info. on this has been out for years, but unfortunately many doctors still aren't up to date on it.

I'm in Class 2 Chronic Kidney Disease. Class 3 is dialysis and transplant.

I am a single mom w/2 children ages 16 and 11 adopted from China.
I cried for a week after the diagnosis, but now I'm over it and on w/life!

Heather said...

Barbara,

I'm so sorry you're having to go through this! I know I take too much Aleve, and your story is good motivation to cut back or even stop. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, and I pray that your kidney disease does not get worse!

Anonymous said...

I`m 17 and I stumbled upon your blog while researching Treximet. I have chronic migraines and my doctor gave me a couple of Treximet samples, but it affected me very badly. It multiplied the pain I was in by 10 times. I couldn`t move for an hour, my head became very heavy, and my entire head was throbbing. Then my symptoms went away entirely for work but are back again. Definitely not worth it.

Heather said...

Anon - triptans tend to do that to me too. I hope you find something that works!

Anonymous said...

I just started searching Treximet as I was just placed on it. I have been on Topamax for years now. I'm not sure what to make of it all but I've had migraines for 10 years now. Topamax messes with my short term memory and my doctor just up'd the dosage. I don't know if the Treximet is going to work as I had to take my first one yesterday. It helped but I'm not convinced as I'm not feeling 100% migraine free today. I know it all has to do with hormones. I just don't know what else to do but something has to give.

Anonymous said...

I just started searching Treximet as I was just placed on it. I have been on Topamax for years now. I'm not sure what to make of it all but I've had migraines for 10 years now. Topamax messes with my short term memory and my doctor just up'd the dosage. I don't know if the Treximet is going to work as I had to take my first one yesterday. It helped but I'm not convinced as I'm not feeling 100% migraine free today. I know it all has to do with hormones. I just don't know what else to do but something has to give.