Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Medication Mambo: Never Simple or Straightforward


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As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I tapered off Savella (a medication I was trying for migraine prevention) because it was giving me scary high (like stroke risk high) blood pressure. Despite backing way down on the dose and taking a medication for high blood pressure, I was still getting high readings, so I had to go completely off of it. My blood pressure soon returned to normal, so I know I made the right decision. Still, it's frustrating to finally respond somewhat favorably to a medication only to have to give it up because of side effects. I don't really know where to turn from there as far as prevention goes, though I'm considering asking to go back on Lyrica because I did have some similar good results with it. However, neither medication really reduced the frequency of my migraine attacks. But having a little more energy and more balanced moods would be well worth it.

Since I started seeing a pain medication management specialist at my local hospital we've been experimenting with the Butrans pain patch. So far I've gone from the 5 mcg/hour to the 10 mcg/hour to the 20 mcg/hour, but on the 20 dose I'm finally getting some real relief that leaves me with much less need to use anything for breakthrough pain. It has definitely caused some fatigue, but I think I'm getting adjusted to it and I think it will be worth it for the better pain control. Fingers crossed this aspect of my medication can be a settled issue and continue helping me the way it has been the past couple of weeks.

My local neurologist has given me a third and fourth session of Botox injections in my face, neck and shoulders. Needless to say I love the fact that my forehead doesn't move, but I haven't been thrilled with the lack of impact on the frequency or intensity of my migraine attacks. I have a follow up appointment in about 10 days, so we'll see what he suggests about trying it again. I'm game for trying it another time just to fully rule it out as a viable option.

Another thing that has been surprisingly helpful was a set of Occipital Nerve Blocks I received from one of the doctors at the local pain management clinic I've been working with. My occipital neuralgia was off the charts bad. I mean, pacing the floor and weeping bad, so I decided it was worth a shot. I got injections on both sides of my head, and it actually helped give me some much needed relief. I only got them out of sheer desperation, but I'm glad I gave them another try. They really don't do anything to help with the migraine attacks, but I'll take any help I can get with my head pain, even if it is only the occipital neuralgia.

So as it stands now my only plan is to look into going back on Lyrica. One general rule about my health: it's certainly never simple or straightforward.

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.