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   Author  Topic: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in sleep?  (Read 1904 times)
slhaas
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Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in sleep?
« on: Dec 15th, 2005, 9:43am »
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Hi,
 
 
I am a self diagnosed CH receiver.  My grandmother got the same thing and had it diagnosed, and it matches the description to a T.  Im not here to get a lecture about going to the doctor, but rather to get some temporary help.  I just started a new season/cycle, and Im trying to figure out a way to get through the night.  I used to work 2nd shift, so when I'd get my CH (almost always 1-2 hrs into sleeping) and it woke me up, I'd be able to get through it, and still go back to sleep for a long enough time to be productive at work the next day.  I just started a new 8-5 job, so now with this new cycle I'm finding a new problem.  I'll get the headache, and it'll keep me up 2-3hrs, and then I end up with a solid 3 hrs sleep, and Im not functioning at work.  I tried taking tylenol, asprin, ibuprophen, etc. in high doses before sleep, and it seems to prolong the time until I notice it.  Today I felt the headache about an hour before I was supposed to get up.  This wasn't a realistic solution either.  Is there any over the counter medication I can take that will get me through the night?  Is there anything I could take that lasts longer than the normal couple of hours advil or tylenon last, or perhaps something that'll be a slow release or delayed release pain killer?  Any help will be greatly appreciated, as I need to get some sleep.  I'm on 3 weeks of 2-3 hrs sleep every night, and I don't think I can handle it for much longer.
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #1 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 9:48am »
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Well, you can do a search here on Melatonin and Dramamine.  I can't say it'll prevent your attacks from coming in your sleep, but they might give you a few more hours of rest each night and possibly reduce the severity.  I myself back a couple cycles ago used to have some luck with the dramamine.  But with each cycle I've had, the beast has morphed and things that used to work before, no longer work, so it's all been trial and error each time.
 
Good luck!
mel
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #2 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 10:13am »
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Melatonin works great for me. It cuts the number of nighttime attacks, as well as the severity of the ones I do get. 9 mg 30 mins before bedtime does the trick. It does take a few days to kick in, but stick with it. You can buy it at your local walgreens or supermarket, in the vitamin section.
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #3 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 12:04pm »
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 Be aware that you will probably experience some grogginess with the Melatonin . . . I'm pretty sure most everyone does.
 
  I tried 3mg, then 6mg with good results, except that when the beast did break through, it might be 1 Kip higher and my reaction would be, . . ."what woke me up? . . . oh yeah" . . . and reach for the 02 . . . 5-10 min. and back to sleep.  As groggy as 6mg made me, I would step up . . 3, 6, 9mg to get used to the effect.
 
  GET SOME OXYGEN!  I'm currently looking at five full "E" tanks, have another in the bedroom and one in the van.  It's my only abortive and, when I learned to use it correctly,  allowed me to finally get some rest and not fear sleep.
 
  Please read on and post any questions you may have.  
 
    Be Safe,  PFDANs
 
  Richard
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #4 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 12:25pm »
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Does the malatonin cause grogginess for a long time, or does that wear off after 8hrs of sleep?  My headaches always wake me up.  Sometimes if I wake up early enough I can pound some excederin and get back to sleep quickly before it gets bad (it happens so fast though) and the medicine will supress it enough that I'll sleep through the pain... but usually dream about having a headache.  Can I get oxygen without going to a doctor?  I know I should see a doctor about this, and I probably will.... but I've read so much about how this helps kill the attack when it happens.  Where could I go about getting oxygen today that I could use tonight, and how costly is it?
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #5 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 12:59pm »
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Welcome to the board.  I doubt if you will be able to get set up properly with O2 by tonight.  Do you have health insurance?  Insurance will often cover O2, but even if you don't have it, you can buy your own equipment and save a lot of money.  My HMO only covers it if it is prescribed by a neuro, so you ought to get in to see a neurologist as soon as possible, at least to confirm the diagnosis.  Please read as much as you can on this site, including the great O2 info (link on the left).  And here is a very good link with a lot of helpful info you can print out and take to your doctor.  http://www.brightok.net/~mnjday/chtherapy.pdf
Sorry you needed to find this site, but glad you found us. PF wishes to you.  
Pat
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #6 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 1:54pm »
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On your grogginess question, we are all different. I, for instance, am a morning person to the extreme. When I'm up, I'm up if you know what I mean. The grogginess wears off by the time I brush my teeth. When not in cycle, and not on melatonin, I wake up without any grogginess whatsoever.
 
Listen to Pat, see a neuro. O2 is the greatest abortive in my opinion, and my HMO covers it because it was prescribed by the neuro.
 
With melatonin & O2, you should be able to go back to sleep quickly once you kill the beast.
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #7 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 1:54pm »
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 Make sure you copy the 02 information.  Many doctors seem to only consider pills, shots or surgery to abort pain, tho' the last three years, rarely has a physician batted an eye when I mentioned aborting attacks with02.  Plus, have met one Cardiologist with CH who used 02 to abort and we have at least one heart surgeon here who's had as many as three attacks during the middle of open heart surgery and I think I recall (remember I'm a GHOF) her using 02 on those occasions.
 
  Expense - I pay $10 per "E" tank (these are the green topped, 3ft tall tanks you see in the little carts in doctors offices and parked everywhere arround any hospital).
 
  You need a 15 lpm regulator.  Many here, on convincing their doctors to write a prescription, end up with an 8 lpm regulator and a canulae (the little nose thingy).  8 lpm is not totally useless, but not near as effective.  You also need a non-rebreather mask (the one with the bag)  My 02 supplier doesn't carry them, so I got mine from our area hospital (I regularly purchase other med supplies from them) Cost - 90 cents.
 
  If you can't get a prescription for the 02, you can use welders 02.  The female end of the hose on the mask fits nicely over the end of welding torch tip and you can easily adjust for volumn.  For instance, my 15 lpm regulator will fill the bag attached to the mask in five seconds.  Wouldn't take long to figure out what psi you need to set the regulator at.  Jonny probably has an easier method if you have to use welders 02 . . .  that's just what I've done in the past.
 
  If insurance won't cover the regulator, you can find them on Ebay in the $50 range . . . sometimes less/more.  Remember tho', you need at least a 15 lpm regulator . . . these are the regulators that fit on a med tank . . .  won't work on a welding 02 tank.
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #8 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 2:30pm »
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Ugh, I hate going to the doctor, and I am not looking forward to a nerologist exam.  I assume they'll want to do all sorts of tests, blood work, scans, etc.  Not only is it expensive, but I despise it with a passion.  My assumption is that after all this, they'll probably discount the CH theory anyway, as most people I know tend to think I'm full of shit when I explain what a CH is, how painful they are and how they make me insane.  I wish I could do it without having all the hassle, spending the money and wasting time trying to convince doctors to help me.... but maybe I'll have to give in after all.
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #9 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 2:40pm »
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Drink coffee in the morning, that will take care of the groginess. I love melatonin, it changed my life.
 
My CH treatment
 
20min HOT steamy shower 1 hour before bed
3-6 mg of melatonin and 2-6 mg of time-release melatonin afterwards
Go to bed
Wake up in the morning; take 250 mg of magnesium and 20 mg of fluoxetine (prozac)
Abort with zomig and O2 at 15 LPM as needed.
 
« Last Edit: Dec 15th, 2005, 2:41pm by thomas » IP Logged

Religion and sex are powerplays. Manipulate the people for the money they pay. Selling skin, selling God, the numbers look the same on their credit cards. Triptans cause rebounds. Learn it, believe it, live it. I use triptans as the absolute LAST RESORT when treating my CH.
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #10 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 2:53pm »
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 If you're not currently keeping a journal of your attacks .  . . start . . . and take it to your doctor as well.
 
  And you're right, they'll probably want to do a CT and/or MRI to rule out other causes . . .  which is a good idea.
 
  One thing tho', the bags under your eyes and the desperation in same should indicate a real problem which needs attention.  Good luck!
 
   Richard
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #11 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 5:17pm »
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Not all treatments work for everyone but there are a few things that might be able to give you some relief non-medicinally.  
 
 
If you do have the "typical" wake you up in the middle of the night horrors then.... Melatonin might be very helpful  
Many of us (myself included) have found that taking 6-9mg (some take more) about a 1/2 hour to 45minutes prior to bed have Knocked out the night visits and can finally get sleep.  
 
With the exception of 8-10 times.....I have slept through the night since August.....Still get hit during the day but my overall quality of life is better because I am not as exhausted all the time.  
 
Some people report that it seems to make them worse....The fact is that we are all different and respond differently to everything therefore it may or may not...  
 
The one thing I will tell you as far as my experience was that I had to stick with it...The first night I took melatonin, I was awoken with a doozy only I was too groggy to find my O2 .....It got a lot better for me....I then slept through the night but would get slammed about 1/2 hour after waking up....kinda like knocking the beast off schedule.....then again I was peaking and this cycle has been all over the place with no real pattern.  
I stayed with melatonin and have had decent sleep overall.  
 
It may help and it is natural with not too many sideeffects....also ask your doctor b/c if there are any side effects or contraindications...I think they have to do with mild depression.....  
 
Some tricks that I used to use and sometimes still do are:  
*Wrapping a bandana tightly around my skull (be careful)  
*Filling a sink with scaulding water creating a steam bath and placing my head over it with a towel covering  
it.  
*Going from Steam to Frigid shower.  
*Standing infront of A/C  
*Icepacks or frozen veggies on the back of the neck or eye  
*Tons of STRONG coffee.  
 
Like I said we are all different.  
 
Best wishes, good luck & stay as positive as you can!!!!  
 
Eric  
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #12 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 6:19pm »
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Sorry to hear the predicament.
 
It's a bugger losing sleep and trying to work.  
 
Speaking as someone who accidentally did too many parecetemols one cycle - do try to stop the otc stuff - they don't really do much good if they catch up with you.
 
I've two suggestions - one frovatriptan I haven't tried - but it does have a longer 'half-life' meaning a night's sleep is possible.  It's in the same family as most abortives like Maxalt - which have given me partial relief.
 
Main reasons I've not had to try it are - 1) A lot of the prescribed preventatives and abortives are not the sort of chemicals you'd want to take and can make you feel shitty in themselves.  
 
And MORE IMPORTANTLY 2)What does work for me is O2 and clusterbusters, went from 50 odd individual headaches over 2 1/2 months last year to 4 this year.
 
Good luck
« Last Edit: Dec 15th, 2005, 6:30pm by Beastfodder » IP Logged

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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #13 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 7:06pm »
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what is a clusterbuster?
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #14 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 7:29pm »
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Click on the headache links (on the left) and you will find a link to clusterbuster site.  I would like to suggest that you spend more time researching this site and all it has to offer.
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #15 on: Dec 16th, 2005, 6:24am »
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Try the melatonin... O2 is great for a lot of us. Black coffee at the onset is great for aborting.
 
BE CAREFUL with the Excedrin -- they can cause rebound headaches and make them much worse.  Occasionally I'll take three Excedrin Extra Strength with black coffee (if I'm at at least a 4-5 to abort, but NEVER more than once or twice a week - don't like the rebounds).  
 
I usually wake up about 4 with a Kip-3-4 and hit the black coffee and O2 and usually this works as an abortative. Can't go back to sleep, but it stops the pain.  
 
Benadryl at bedtime (along with the melatonin) can sometimes help with sleep at night.  
 
Finding a doc and a neuro you can work with is almost essential. You may have to go thru several before you find the "right" ones, but start looking. Get the tests done to rule out anything else and go from there. A lot of us suffer from, not only CH, but other types of headaches as well (including migraines). Better to know for sure so you can treat the "cause".  
 
Good luck and PFDN to you....
 
Hugs BD
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #16 on: Dec 16th, 2005, 8:38am »
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Hi, I'm new to this site too, unfortunatly not to clusters. I'm chronic for years and have been through the mill. I haven't formally introduced myself on the site yet. I've known about it for only a few weeks and have recently been trying to figure out how to get into this.
 
However, some of the postings have really peaked my interest and I feel I should say something now, especially because you sound like you're in trouble.
 
Melatonin is great for many and is quickly & readily obtainable. A great place to start.
 
Benadryl is another choice, but some experience worse headaches and day after grogginess - sounds like you don't need that.
 
Are you smoking? Stop if you are.
 
Avoid all alcohol.
 
Do you know that aspirin, especially if mixed with ibuprofen and other OTC's (not acetamenophen, though) can cause kidney failure in the long run? Not especially attractive. Watch out.
 
For the first time I was shocked by something I saw here. Medical grade O2 is medical grade for a reason. Welder's O2 contains all sorts of organic (gas, oil etc.) and inorganic (metals, trace elements, poisons) contaminants that can destroy your lungs. Get medical grade O2 and a safe setup. I know it will take some time, so get to a doc quick! Good luck!
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Re: Can I find OTC help for preventing CHs in slee
« Reply #17 on: Dec 16th, 2005, 2:19pm »
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The oxygen is 100% the same as medical grade.
 
If anything it may be the tanks which may have accumulated something.
 
Buy a new tank.....CHEAP
You can fill it with the same O2.
 
Kinda wondered why my Plumber had a tank which was labeled with the company's name that provides my Oxygen. I get mine from a respiratory therapy/supply store.
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I can't believe that I have to bang my
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Space in-between them
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