Thursday, October 14, 2010

Battle of the pharmaceuticals (in my head)


Since I was 10 years old, I have suffered from migraine headaches.  I even had an EEG (Electroencephalogram) that showed a migraine pattern.

Typically, through the years since then the migraines crop up seasonally.  The past 10 years they followed a more frequent pattern and I found Imitrex (now with a generic) to combat it.

The headaches are a nuisance, but manageable.

When I hit my late 20s, I found myself suffering from seasonal allergies.  I found it astounding as I was never really affected by them as a kid.  Regardless, my doctor prescribed Allegra as the new alternative to Clariton then.  I took it with no issues typically during allergy seasons.

Over the past several years, mainly due to either mild winters or maybe even my dogs, I found the need to take it year-round.  My doctor indicated that it would be alright to do that.

Well, all seems okay until I start to experience dizziness that is not quite vertigo but feels more vascular or sinus-related.  I had some bad episodes with it in the spring of 2009.  My internist tried to sell me on this Benign Displacement Vertigo or some other hogwash like that.  It certainly let me know that is a problem doctors come up with when they don't know.

The ENT guy I went to indicated that if it feels like the dizziness I get with migraines, take Imitrex even if I do not have a headache.

I think that makes sense.  My only concern is that the 100mg tablets I take of the stuff is like gold.  You get 9 tablets a month.  It is easy to run through if you are having a bad run of headaches (or maybe dizziness).

I got through the spring okay.  But I would notice more frequent headaches the likes of which only Imitrex could fix.

I also noticed that, somehow, Allegra seemed less effective.  When fall and spring would come and go, I would sneeze and suffer with allergies as if I was not on an antihistamine.

The past few months have been pretty unbearable with headaches.  Finally, on October 11th I decided to experiment.  My experiment was to stop taking Allegra and see how things go.

Guess what?  So far (by Thursday), I have no headaches and that occasional dizziness that has almost become second nature to me is gone as well.

I am not going to immediately conclude that Allegra was the cause, but four days right now with weather front changes (can trigger headaches) is a positive sign.


At October 19, 2010 2:00 PM , Blogger Gloria said...

Hi Betsy,
I used to have a border terrier many years ago, and am thinking about getting another. I have trained my 13 year old bouvier in agility with Peggy Timm, and she told me to look you up.

I too have had migraines forever, and know what it is like to feel like each Imitrex tablet is a precious jewel to be hoarded and only used if absolutely necessary. There have been months when I had up to 13 migraines. Those 9 pills have to be rationed!

I have had trouble with dizziness too, and my internist told me that it can be an atypical migraine, and to take the Imitrex. It does work in my case.

The sinus problems I have are pretty much year round, and if my pets are the cause, well, I guess I'll just keep on living with it.
Good luck with those headaches!
Gloria Morris


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