I take an antidepressant daily (celexa). I also suffer from migraine headaches. (at least one per week.) I know they are migraines because of the visual disturbances. I used to take imitrex. However it has a drug interaction with ssri meds. Is there a different migraine med I can try?
26 Jan 2010
I have been on celexa and numerous migraine abortive medications for years. Honestly, the best decision I made was to try botox to stop the migraines. It is amazing. They go totally away for 4 months at a time. I get them from a pain clinic. I rarely have to use any other medication which is a miracle in my book.
1 May 2010
As a RN and one who has suffered from intractable (does not go away) migraine headaches for years, I have quite a few medication options that you may want to discuss with your doctor.
First of all, how often do you experience severe migraines? Frequent pain relief using medicines like Tylenol or Motrin, or specific migraine medications, like Imitrex (called "triptans") for one example, can have serious side effects on the liver and kidneys over time.
If your migraines are frequently, you may want to consider a preventative, rather than an abortive, migraine medication. Topamax is one of the most effective medications for migraine prevention. I have been on this medication for migraine prevention for nearly 5 years now (at the dose for epilepsy patients, however, as I am epileptic also). Topamax reduced my migraine frequency by about 75%; until a head injury 1.5 years ago renewed my migraine frequency and intensity. I would highly recommend it.
Beta blockers, medications first intended to reduce blood pressure and slow heart rate in cardiac patients, have been found to be effective in some patients as an abortive therapy. I have not found them as helpful personally, but they (and some calcium channel blockers) work very well for some patients.
As for abortive therapy, which is imperative for breakthrough migraines even if you and your physician do feel that preventative therapy is appropriate -- I have some recommendations as well. I would recommend combination medications, such as Midrin or Fioricet (only meant for occasional, as needed use).
I would recommend the triptans (Imitrex, Zomig, Maxalt, Frova, and others), as this class of medications work very for most patients; though unfortunately for me; every darn triptan I've tried is the equivalent of 6-hour, long-acting Ipecac syrup. SSRI medications (such as Celexa) are indicated as medications you should discuss with your physician if you are taking a triptan, but are NOT as contraindications to taking a triptan. Serotonin syndrome is HIGHLY unlikely if you are only taking one additional medication that would increase serototin levels (for you, the Celexa).
Please know that the FDA alert regarding combining triptans with SSRIs such as Celexa is based upon a total of only 27 case reports gathered over a 5-year span. Moreover, many of the diagnoses within the case reports challenged as not meeting validated criteria for serotonin syndrome. To make my point:
In contrast to the small number of reported SS cases, research shows that approximately 700,000 patients annually take SSRIs or SNRIs with triptans (Wenzel, 2008). I am one of those patients, and have tried four (4) different triptans over the years while taking Celexa, a SSRI. Unfortunately each triptan causes me to experience severe nausea and vomiting; yet I have not once experience a sign or symptom of serotonin syndrome.
Wenzel, R.G. et al. (2008). The Annals of Pharmacotherapy: 42(11). pp. 1692-96
23 Mar 2012
I had severe 24/7 migraines after a stroke. Very difficult to treat, but now, I have mild headaches most days!! But it takes nerve block and trigger point injections every 4 weeks, Botox injections every 10 weeks (most people can spread them out a lot longer), a 24/7 Butrans patch, physical therapy exercises and an herbal Petadolex since none of the other daily preventative meds worked for me. And also a prescription skin gel stops most of my migraines which I apply almost daily. It does not get into the blood stream. Yes, I've got some stiffer meds to help me when the migraines occasionally get severe.
I'm a walking miracle as a result. If you try enough, you can get help.
24 Apr 2012
I have been suffering with the severe migraine headaches for many many yr's so my Dr put me on "Topamax" 200 mg 2x daily to keep the headaches under control & they work very well.
He also put me on an "Imitrex" tablet 100 mg just incase I get the full blown headache & they took away the pain pretty fast.
I love Topamax because I do not get a severe migraine like I used to & they used to be really bad where I had to go to the hospital for shot's to get rid of them.
I hope this has helped you & goodluck.
9 May 2011
Please do not take topomax unless there is no other option. Try the inderals and propanolols and other things first. Topomax is really, really bad at impairing cognitive thinking. You become a mindless vegetable. And for me, it caused arm weakness and tingling so much I thought I had carpal tunnel.
There are tons of different kinds of drugs in the Imitrex line. So if you don't have a severe reaction to Imitrex like chest pain, ask your doctor to try some of the others. They are really effective for some. And the best bet for those that can take them.
Nortriptylline is also a good preventative for some. Midrin works great for some people, but I can't take it, it gives me horrible stomach pains and horrible diarrhea.
Botox works for some, but it's hard to find someone who will be able to do all the shots (throughout the entire head), and it cost at least $500. Insurance does not pay. Also, it doesn't work very well for those that have tension-type migraines. If you have the Aura-type migraines, it might work. Good luck finding someone to do it though. I live in a big city and can only find Spas that use Botox for cosmetics to apply it.
14 Jan 2012
I also get frequent migraine headaches and have taken Zomig with Lexapro and now Cymbalta and Lithium for about 10 years in all. Some times I get several migraines a week. You might talk to your Dr. about a different antidepressant that will let you take this. It comes in a nasal spray and many times works in a half hour to 45 minutes.
28 Jan 2010
Celexa in combination with Imitrex may cause a group of symptoms called serotonin syndrome. These symptoms can include confusion, hallucinations, a fast heartbeat, feeling faint, fever, sweating, muscle spasms, difficulty walking, and diarrhea. Imitrex is considered one of the best drugs for migraine treatment. I think you smay try NSAID's (in case if they are effective for migraine relief), you may talk to your doctor on this issue
16 Jan 2012
I also suffered from migraines at times several times a week or even ones that lasts for days. I use fioricet, and frova for on the spot treatment and they work well as I am allergic to imitrex. However I was put on 10mg of Amitriptyline (elavil) I was skeptical because it is an old tricyclic anti-depressant/ mood elevator. Before they had me on a beta blocker inderal. It did nothing. But the Amitriptyline has decreased the number of migraines in total. I am very pleased with it. I have recommended it to several colleagues at work and they are happy with it as well.
27 Jan 2010
i use propranolol as a preventative med as it is used to keep the blood vessles from constricting, ive been on it for abot 5 years, and get break through migraines every so often. I use a natural remedy called peppermint halo. Its a oil you rub on the pressure point, like temples, neck, and if you like the smell it works really well for me. hope this helps.
- Celexa Information for Consumers
- Celexa Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Celexa (detailed)
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