August 11th, 2011 - Posted by Diana Lee
When you live with chronic migraine finding the appropriate preventive medication for your unique situation and characteristics can be incredibly complicated.
Almost no one knows better than me how frustrating it can be to try what feels like a zillion medications and fail every single one. But what can be even more difficult are the unexpected, rare side effects that take an otherwise helpful medication completely out of the running.
In the eight years I’ve been dealing with chronic migraine I have taken somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-30 preventive medications. Until recently, not a single one of these medications did anything to reduce the frequency or intensity of my migraine attacks. Luckily, most of them didn’t have any serious or intolerable side effects for me, either. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case with a medication called Topamax. It made me constantly nauseated, stupid, slow, tired and depressed. I stayed on it way longer than I should have because I didn’t realize the medication was responsible for those symptoms and because my doctor at the time was a big fan of treating side effects with additional medications. The decision to go off it was easy because it wasn’t doing anything to help my migraines, but the decision isn’t always that straightforward. Knowing what I do now I’d never let things go on that long again, but I think I had to go through it to learn more about what to expect, what to tolerate and when to question the experts.
In the time since I stopped taking Topamax I’ve tried a bunch of other preventive options, and though none of them improved the frequency or intensity of my migraine attacks, none of them caused any side effects either. Nothing serious or even mildly annoying. I’d been very lucky until this spring.
In April I started a new medication for migraine prevention called Savella. This medication is not FDA approved for migraine prevention, but has been FDA approved for fibromyalgia, so some doctors theorize it might help with migraine prevention, too.
“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” Buddha[/color][/i]