Do You Get Migraines? Can They Be Prevented?

Surfing Blogs By Women With Migraines — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

Do you get migraines?

I had my first migraine when I was pregnant with my daughter, and since then I have had them off and on. I can go weeks (sometimes months) without having one, but when I do get a migraine, it feels like I will never get rid of it. When I take medicine for a migraine, it sometimes helps, but never gets rid of the migraine completely. And, it seems like once I get a migraine, I go through a period of time where I finally get rid of it, but a day or two later I get another. This cycle can go on for weeks, before finally stopping.

I’ve recently been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and told that there may be a connection between Fibromyalgia and migraines. My doctor suggested that a begin to take a medication to prevent the onset of a migraine. I was surprised to find out that the medication he recommended was an anti-convulsive (used for seizure disorders). These medications have many troubling (possible) side-effects, so I’m not sure if I’m actually going to try it.

To help me in my decision, I thought I would check out some blogs by other women, who suffer with migraines.

Somebody Heal Me

On anti-convulsive medication to treat migraines…

A review of controlled studies published in the June 2008 edition of the journal Cephalalagia supports the notion that anti-convulsants Depakote and Topamax are much more effective than placebo in preventing migraine attacks. The study also indicates that other anti-convulsants sometimes used for migraine prevention are no more effective than placebo.

Topamax and others get FDA warning.

The FDA is preparing to put warning labels on epilepsy drugs, including Topiramate (marketed as Topamax), Valproate (marketed as Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon), Pregabalin (marketed as Lyrica), and Zonisamide (marketed as Zonegran) that will notify users about the increased risk for suicidal behavior. Sales of the affected drugs, widely used for nonepilepsy problems such as migraines, topped $8 billion last year.

From the migraine girl — a great post addressing Migraines and Vacations (a blog carnival)…

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy taking vacations, but in our Migraine & headache community, it’s easy to come across many folks who see the health threats that accompany any trip out of town. Luckily for all of you reading this, we have a really helpful batch of blogs to sift through, all of which will increase your chance of having a happy, healthy vacation despite your headache disease. Some people have a very personal take on the situation, describing specific issues they’ve had preparing for and embarking upon vacations. Others give us generalized lists of things to pack and/or what to be aware of as you travel to maintain a pain-free brain. Whether or not you have a trip coming up, I believe these writers’ tips and insights will benefit you.

I found this video on migraines at My Life With Migraine

Deborah at Weathering Migraine Storms

I have Migraine Disease – It has ripped years from my life, life with my husband and me together, from my kids lives. It’s been very disabling for me. But that’s not ALL there is to me. I am a Mom, and a wacky, fun kind of Mom. I like to play with my kids, have fun with them – sometimes at their expense. What good Mother doesn’t. I’m trying hard to live with a horrid, painful disease; and have fun while doing so. And I’m learning, probably too much about it. But along the way, I’m meeting very interesting friends. I hope you do, too. I wish you pain-free days! And happy ones as well.Debbie at Down the Rabbit HoleI have had chronic daily migraines for the past 7 years. They are a part of my life, but I don’t want a migraine to define me. That’s why my blog is about more than migraines. My hobbies are gardening, rubberstamping, scrapbooking and knitting, not necessarily in that order.

Also See:

Migraine Mom

The Left Handed Rabbit — Migraine Town

Migraine Chick

rhymes with migraines — grieving my past life

Andreas Buzzing About – Horrid Day for a Migraine

I’m still not sure what I’m going to do about taking the medication used to prevent a migraine. Any advise would be welcome.

Do you suffer with migraines? Have you considered taking medication to prevent the onset of a migraine? Have you heard of a connection between Fibromyalgia and migraines?

5 comments for “Do You Get Migraines? Can They Be Prevented?

  1. June 14, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Hi there! I have read about the connection between fibromyalgia and Migraine disease. I know that Migraine is often accompanied by many other chronic conditions, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

    You asked if we took preventive meds. I no longer take prescription meds to prevent Migraine attacks (but I do take them to abort Migraine and help with pain & inflammation). I used to take a handful of prescription drugs but now take a combination of so-called “alternative therapies”–Vitamin B2, magnesium, Petadolex, etc.

    I hope you’re doing well and have been dealing okay with the new diagnosis.

  2. June 16, 2008 at 10:07 am

    A topic near and dear to my own heart…

    I have been getting migraines since the age of 8. I’m 29 now. They came and went with the years, coming with increasing frequency when I had mono at age 18, and during both my pregnancies. Just recently, I had a migraine of such intensity that it left me unable to stand, unable to move one of my arms and barely able to speak. I had to call my husband to come home from work to care for our two kids, and later that day, he took me to the doctor, where I was diagnosed with a “crippling migraine” and given an injection of something that made me feel better.

    I tried Topamax, but it made me feel so disoriented and groggy that i quit taking it after 3 days. I’m supposed to be keeping a headache log and having a brain imaging study, but as usual, those things have been pushed to the back burner. What does seem to help is medication when the aura appears–Tylenol/Sudafed and caffeine ort for the really painful headaches, Imitrex.

    After my episode with the crippling migraine, I went online to see if there was anything about migraines that I didn’t already know and was horrified to read on a message board that some people (mostly men) think migraines are the “hysterical rantings of hypochondriac bitches.” Clearly, those people have never suffered from a crippling migraine.

    When I posted about it at my site, I received plenty of comments from women who are migraine sufferers, but I don’t believe any of them are fibromyalgia patients as well.

  3. June 19, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    I have had migraines since I was 18, and have now been migraine free, with the exception of the occasional aura (w/o pain) for two years. I went through the lo blood pressure meds, the anti-convulsives (Topamax), etc. I finally did some internet research and talked to several friends, and marched into my MD’s office and said, “This is what we’re going to do.” I had him prescribe 25mg of Elavil, a very low dose of an old-school antidepressant. I sleep better and I have had no full migraine attacks, save for the occasion aura pattern w/o pain, since I started 2 years ago. Hope this will be helpful to other sufferers. It’s changed my life, quite literally.

  4. Katie
    August 11, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    My doctor and I are trying to figure out which medicine would be best for preventing migraines for me. I tried the Topamax for a month, however, it made me really confused and really tired. Now we are getting ready to try Depakote. Has anyone been on this drug. I keep reading how it make you gain lots of weight and lose much off your hair. I even hear about birth defects. I’m concerned and I don’t know what decision I should make.

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