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Ivor
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Imitrex
« on: Jul 1st, 2005, 4:45am »
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Hello everyone. I am just coming through the worst bout of attacks I have had in 7 years.  
I use Imigran - Sumatriptan injections. I have tried numerous other forms of medication, most of which are mentioned elsewhere on this site, but this is the only effective way I have of stopping the pain. The problem is I am only allowed 2 injections within a 24 hour period. Take one at say 0200 in the morning and then another at midday - what do you do for the remaining hours - suffer basically. I spoke with my Doctor and told her that I wanted to take more than 2 in 24 hours and I was willing to take any risks involved. She got in touch with Glaxosmithkline, who produce this drug. They faxed through some information regarding the use of more than the clinical recommended dose of 2 injections in 24 hours. These showed that none of the patients who had injected more than 2 times in 24 hours suffered any side effects other than those normally associated with the use of this drug.
I have taken over 90 injections since the 2nd of June and I can say that as yet I have appear to have no adverse conditions. My blood pressure is ok etc.
I have a record of all of the attacks I have had over the past month - including the one a few hours ago, listing how I dealt with it - oxygen, injection or rocking/pacing, including length of time and pain rating. Sorry it's a long message.
Ps. I have a very understanding Doctor...these cost 22.00 per injection!
Kindest regards to everyone...
Ivor
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LeLimey
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Re: Imitrex
« Reply #1 on: Jul 1st, 2005, 7:43am »
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Hi Ivor, Re post this up on the medications board nearer the top of the page. More people will see it and be able to help!
First of all welcome, I'm sorry you had to come looking for us but now that you are here you'll be alright I promise!
Imigran injections are brilliant but they have a very short half life. There are other triptans with a longer half life. Some people on OUCH UK have recently been posting about Frovatriptan which has a 23 hour shelf life so although it takes longer to kick in, its better at helping prevent subsequent attacks. It might be worth considering.
For more info take a look at OUCH UK
 
http://www.clusterheadaches.org.uk/home/index.cfm?address=../home/txt_we lcome.cfm&added=Dec2001&code=AD  
 
or ring the helpline..  0161 2721702  Its manned by sufferers who will ring you back and it is such a relief to talk to someone who really understands exactly what you are going through too.  
Are you using a non re-breather mask? (Extremely important to use the right type of mask!) and breathing the O2 at a high flow rate of 15 litres per minute? I have recently found a new mask www.clustermasx.com with a MUCH bigger bag so its easier to gulp the O2 down. It aborts much quicker for me and I love it. I've been intending posting about it actually to recommend it to others so thanks to your post I shall do that now too!  
How long do your cycles last? Do you use any preventatives such as verapamil? I'm glad you have a good doctor - they are worth their weight in gold for ch'ers! He/she will obviously be amenable to any info you want to take them.  
Have a good look around here too. There are many things other members here try which maybe of use to you. Remember the two cardinal rules, if you have any questions ASK!! and let us know how you are getting on okay?
Take care
Helen
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Ivor
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Re: Imitrex
« Reply #2 on: Jul 1st, 2005, 5:45pm »
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Hi Helen,
I have tried Verapamil, lithium, Zomig etc, but none seem to work. I found that the oxygen didn't really help. I have tried a new type of portable bottle with an adjustable flow rate. I used a whole bottle on one attack and eventually resorted to the injection. I have also found that if you take an injection when the pain is around an 6 or 7 it will become even more intense before the injection takes effect. It doesn't sit there at a 6, it will immediately move up to a higher pain level. Anyone else had this happen?
My clusters last around 6-8 weeks, with 2 weeks of absolute agony in the middle so to speak, then a short remission of up to a week and then they return, but not normally so vicious as the previous few weeks. They gradually disapear. At the peak this bout was giving me 8 attacks a day - hence the need for more than 2 injections in 24 hours. At the moment I am using a drug called Deseril - Methysergide. This worked well and I had 2 clear days, then the attacks returned, however, I am still persivering as I do feel that it 'blocks' a certain amount - I am still using 2-3 injections daily, but I can tell that this particular episode is dying off and hopefully in a few weeks they will be more or less gone completely.
Any more info I can give let me know, like I said I have for the first time ever recorded every attack, duration, pain level, treatment etc I don't know if it is useful to anyone, but at least the next time around I can refer to it and see if there is any sort of trend.  
Kindest regards
Ivor
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