Preventatives first, abortives second, opiates never...

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Posted by pinksharkmark ( on January 30, 2002 at 09:42:34:

In Reply to: trying new pain medicine posted by Ruined life on January 30, 2002 at 05:44:19:

... should be the standard prescription sequence for any physician with a brain.

You didn't mention any of the medications you have tried except the opiates, so please forgive me if you have tried the following standard treatments with no success --

Most chronics can significantly reduce or even completely eliminate the frequency and severity of their attacks with daily doses of Verapamil or Lithium or a combination of the two. If these do no good, there are other preventatives such as Topamax that work for many chronics.

For the remaining "breakthrough" headaches, most chronics have success by inhaling 100% oxygen at the first sign of an attack. If the oxygen is not effective, then an abortive such as injectable Imitrex or any of the related "triptan" based oral drugs such as Zomig, Amerge or Maxalt will usually do the trick.

There have been some reports from a FEW people that SOME opiates give relief SOME of the time, but the success rate for the opiates is much, MUCH lower than for any of the medications listed above. What little relief opiates do provide also comes at a very high cost, and I am not talking financial costs here.

Step one is definitely to find the preventative that works best for you. No abortive will prevent a headache from occurring in the first place, which should be the primary goal. Any physician who ignores the preventative step but rather proceeds directly to masking the symptoms with opiates is a hack, and should be discarded immediately.


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