New side effects of medications for Migraine

Posted by gcranor @gcranor, Dec 15, 2021

Sumatriptan for Migraine; after 7 years of taking sumatriptan for my migraines I am starting to get really restricted chest tightness, difficult voiding (hard to put a catheter in), has anyone had the same problem? Also I started to have a monthly injection (don’t have the name) about a year ago which changed my migraines from twenty a month to 6 or 7.

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@gcranor I'm sorry to hear that medications that were once working to help your migraines may be causing other issues. I'm tagging fellow members like @debkl @kdubois @donnacarp @nibor63 @blueberry12345 @oceanblue @lacy2 who also have experience with migraines and managing them with medications.

Gcranor, have you had any other health issues that may be causing these side effects? What leads you to connect the side effects with the medication?

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I have had 8 back and neck surgery; pain pump, implanted (Medtronics), Medtronics stimulator implanted, and dementia.

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@gcranor

I have had 8 back and neck surgery; pain pump, implanted (Medtronics), Medtronics stimulator implanted, and dementia.

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Are you able to find function that brings you to feelings of..”ok…I can do this”. I too have had lots of surgery. I’m on number 19. I found that taking charge of my recovery, learning everything I could. Setting small…I mean really small goals and ggen ramping them up helped. It took a couple years….actually it was an ongoing process of surgery/recovery for 42 years. Too survive I had to take charge of myself, my emotions and feelings of victimhood. Set small goals you are absolutely sure you can accomplish. The push it. You are the Navy SEALs of pain! Pain cannot defeat you! Tiny small steps. Revel in the accomplishment. Feel the joy. Do it again,

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@gcranor– I am new ( think) to this discussion. It's horrible when medications seem to turn on us! I also had to stop taking Sumatriptan for basically the same reason. I immediately stopped taking this medication and called my neurologist. I was switched to Naratriptan. Naratriptan takes longer to work, maybe by 2 hours but at least for now, I can take it. We are working hard to try and get medicare pay for one of the new meds that you take at the onset of a migraine. But there is also a trade-off of when they start to work. I do take a pain pill first- I take a med that has caffeine, and acetaminophen, and something called butalbital which is a barbiturate drug used for symptomatic treatment of tension-type headache.

I have ocular and complex migraines. Complex migraines can act like strokes which put me in the hospital a couple of weeks ago.

But what a success story with the injections. There are pills also for the same medication, aren't there?

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I only know of the injections

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I've had migraines my entire life since first grade. I am 68. I have other meds besides Sumatriptan that work better I think, by the way, a friend of mine has cardiac symptoms with Sumatriptan that she doesn't have with others so she doesn't use that. I alternate with Rizatriptan, Naratriptan and Frovatriptan (takes too long and is way expensive since not covered on my insurance so I hardly ever use) and I also have Sumatriptan injectors that work like magic and are quickest and most strong. I take Topiramate daily for many years – helps the triptans work better. Recently, the headaches became much worse and I couldn't manage. A pharmacy student at Walgreens with the same told me that her doc put her on Lexapro as well which I have avoided forever because of side effects but I finally asked my doctor for it. She ordered Lexapro 5 mg which I take at night. It has helped immensely. The HAs are markedly lighter, fewer and quicker to be over and I've only been on it for a week. I tried a monthly injectable Aimovig but quit right away because the constipation was ridiculous – I couldn't even call it constipation. No poop whatsoever. I also get Botox for migraine. So you see, I do it all thanks to modern medicine. I would encourage anyone with migraine to keep trying different things if their doc will truly listen and allow it. I've had lots of traumatic events since 2007, one son died of cancer, 2008 husband of 20 yrs died, 2009 father died, lots of surgery (5) and physical breakdown, 2013 remarried and moved to NYC, 2014 home burned down, 2018 another son died 2 days after his father (1st husband of 17yrs) died, 2018 mother died. I've had lots of therapy but this is grief, mourning and overall "Oh my God!" what is next? I still insist I will be happy someday. Still one child. Probably all that contributes to tension which contributes to headaches.

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@donnacarp

I've had migraines my entire life since first grade. I am 68. I have other meds besides Sumatriptan that work better I think, by the way, a friend of mine has cardiac symptoms with Sumatriptan that she doesn't have with others so she doesn't use that. I alternate with Rizatriptan, Naratriptan and Frovatriptan (takes too long and is way expensive since not covered on my insurance so I hardly ever use) and I also have Sumatriptan injectors that work like magic and are quickest and most strong. I take Topiramate daily for many years – helps the triptans work better. Recently, the headaches became much worse and I couldn't manage. A pharmacy student at Walgreens with the same told me that her doc put her on Lexapro as well which I have avoided forever because of side effects but I finally asked my doctor for it. She ordered Lexapro 5 mg which I take at night. It has helped immensely. The HAs are markedly lighter, fewer and quicker to be over and I've only been on it for a week. I tried a monthly injectable Aimovig but quit right away because the constipation was ridiculous – I couldn't even call it constipation. No poop whatsoever. I also get Botox for migraine. So you see, I do it all thanks to modern medicine. I would encourage anyone with migraine to keep trying different things if their doc will truly listen and allow it. I've had lots of traumatic events since 2007, one son died of cancer, 2008 husband of 20 yrs died, 2009 father died, lots of surgery (5) and physical breakdown, 2013 remarried and moved to NYC, 2014 home burned down, 2018 another son died 2 days after his father (1st husband of 17yrs) died, 2018 mother died. I've had lots of therapy but this is grief, mourning and overall "Oh my God!" what is next? I still insist I will be happy someday. Still one child. Probably all that contributes to tension which contributes to headaches.

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Oh, dear, Donna. stress is such a biggy. I'm not sure what I can say about all your losses except that I have lost a niece who was like a daughter to me and who had lived with me. That kind of loss just chisels away at us. How can we not have some sort of pain that we never let out? Like a pressure cooker?

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@donnacarp

I've had migraines my entire life since first grade. I am 68. I have other meds besides Sumatriptan that work better I think, by the way, a friend of mine has cardiac symptoms with Sumatriptan that she doesn't have with others so she doesn't use that. I alternate with Rizatriptan, Naratriptan and Frovatriptan (takes too long and is way expensive since not covered on my insurance so I hardly ever use) and I also have Sumatriptan injectors that work like magic and are quickest and most strong. I take Topiramate daily for many years – helps the triptans work better. Recently, the headaches became much worse and I couldn't manage. A pharmacy student at Walgreens with the same told me that her doc put her on Lexapro as well which I have avoided forever because of side effects but I finally asked my doctor for it. She ordered Lexapro 5 mg which I take at night. It has helped immensely. The HAs are markedly lighter, fewer and quicker to be over and I've only been on it for a week. I tried a monthly injectable Aimovig but quit right away because the constipation was ridiculous – I couldn't even call it constipation. No poop whatsoever. I also get Botox for migraine. So you see, I do it all thanks to modern medicine. I would encourage anyone with migraine to keep trying different things if their doc will truly listen and allow it. I've had lots of traumatic events since 2007, one son died of cancer, 2008 husband of 20 yrs died, 2009 father died, lots of surgery (5) and physical breakdown, 2013 remarried and moved to NYC, 2014 home burned down, 2018 another son died 2 days after his father (1st husband of 17yrs) died, 2018 mother died. I've had lots of therapy but this is grief, mourning and overall "Oh my God!" what is next? I still insist I will be happy someday. Still one child. Probably all that contributes to tension which contributes to headaches.

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Hi there @donnacarp. I'm so sorry to hear about your long history of migraines, trauma and stress. May I ask if migraines are your only source of chronic pain?

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