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Unread 05-10-2012, 07:35 AM   #1
sylviegirl
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Hello All,

This is my first post; however, I have been visiting this site for quite some time looking for information on migraines.

My teenage son has been diagnosed with a transformed migraine and was prescribed amitriptyline. We've been told it takes 4-6 weeks for this medication to begin helping.

Unfortunately, it's been four weeks and he has not had any relief whatsoever. We were hoping there would be some gradual improvement as the four week marked approached.

I'm wondering if we're being too impatient and need to keep hanging in there, or if we should be noticing some effect (even a little) by now?

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Unread 05-10-2012, 04:47 PM   #2
Fig4
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I haven't heard of the use of this medication for treating migraines. However, I do know that Topamax is widely used with much success. Perhaps your doctor would let you have your son go on this and see if he gets relief.

Good luck and let us know how you are doing.
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Unread 05-11-2012, 06:49 AM   #3
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Thanks Fig4. We already gave Topamax a try, but he had so many side effects from it, they switched him to Elavil. I believe its an older medication that can be very helpful for migraine. I'm just concerned about how much more time we should invest in it, if it's not going to work for him.
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Unread 05-11-2012, 08:43 AM   #4
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Ellavil is an oldie but goodie in a lot of chronic pain situations. From back pain to migraines, many MDs are now starting to reach for the tried and true stuff of yesterday instead of the new fangled stuff.

It did not work for me, but nether did topamax and some other stuff. It did however work for my niece and she found great relief.

It can make you pretty sleepy to start with so maybe a bed time dose is best till you get used to it. I felt hungover for a week and then I started to get used to it. once I got adjusted it was fine.

Best of luck!
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Unread 05-11-2012, 01:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sylviegirl View Post
I'm wondering if we're being too impatient and need to keep hanging in there, or if we should be noticing some effect (even a little) by now?
Hi sylviegirl, Welcome to NT.

Meds work differently on everyone. The time ranges they give are averages; there will always be a number of people for whom a med works faster or slower, and to different degrees. It's also impossible to tell if the effect will be gradual or sudden/dramatic.

As long as your son isn't experiencing any intolerable side effects, I'd hang in there - maybe even a couple extra weeks (to 2 months) before hanging it up, but that's up to you. Likewise, any med that does cause intolerable side effects should be reported immediately, and discuss a change.

You can always call your doctor and ask the question.

Doc
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Unread 05-12-2012, 08:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Smith View Post
Hi sylviegirl, Welcome to NT.

Meds work differently on everyone. The time ranges they give are averages; there will always be a number of people for whom a med works faster or slower, and to different degrees. It's also impossible to tell if the effect will be gradual or sudden/dramatic.

As long as your son isn't experiencing any intolerable side effects, I'd hang in there - maybe even a couple extra weeks (to 2 months) before hanging it up, but that's up to you. Likewise, any med that does cause intolerable side effects should be reported immediately, and discuss a change.

You can always call your doctor and ask the question.

Doc
Thanks Doc! That's exactly the kind of information I was looking for. After four weeks in, we really hesitate to switch meds now. Based on your response, it sounds like there's still a possibility it will be helpful. I appreciate your help.
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Unread 05-12-2012, 09:02 AM   #7
sylviegirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dejibo View Post
Ellavil is an oldie but goodie in a lot of chronic pain situations. From back pain to migraines, many MDs are now starting to reach for the tried and true stuff of yesterday instead of the new fangled stuff.

It did not work for me, but nether did topamax and some other stuff. It did however work for my niece and she found great relief.

It can make you pretty sleepy to start with so maybe a bed time dose is best till you get used to it. I felt hungover for a week and then I started to get used to it. once I got adjusted it was fine.

Best of luck!
Thanks Dejibo. Topamax did nothing for us either... I've heard good results with the Elavil and am hopeful it may still do the trick. I appreciate your help!
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Unread 05-12-2012, 10:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sylviegirl View Post
Thanks Doc! That's exactly the kind of information I was looking for. After four weeks in, we really hesitate to switch meds now. Based on your response, it sounds like there's still a possibility it will be helpful. I appreciate your help.
In the meantime... there are some things you & son can do to help his doctors help him. If you haven't already...

Keep a headache log. For examples/samples, Google: headache log
and use one of those, or tailor your own. If your son is into it, he may even enjoy making up his own on Excel, Visio, etc. and tweaking it to his own needs/situation.

Learn all you can about headaches & migraines to help figure this puzzle out.
Google: migraine types
Google: migraine diagnosis
Google: migraine treatment
Google: migraine prophylaxis
and anything else you can think of. The more you learn/know about these cussed things, the better you can help...

Is his doctor a migraine specialist (not just a neurologist who says he knows/treats headaches/migraine) - one whose practice is limited to just migraines? This can make all the difference, if you can find one.

Doc
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Unread 08-12-2012, 01:26 PM   #9
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elavil is ameritriptyline.... have you been checked for Chiari malformation
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Unread 08-22-2012, 02:33 PM   #10
sylviegirl
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Razzle - maybe. I'm not sure, although a lumbar puncture was done, nothing was ever said about Chiari.

We've had some success with the amitriptyline and cyproheptadine combinination. In fact, there was so much success, we were instructed to wean from cyproheptadine. Everything was great...off the med for about three weeks and the headache returned with a vengeance.

I'm inclined to think the amitriptyline hasn't done anything and it was all the cypro. It's been suggested to up the amitriptyline instead of re-adding the cypro.

Is it common to keep increasing the amitriptyline dose over time?


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elavil is ameritriptyline.... have you been checked for Chiari malformation
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