MIGRAINES: Switching from one triptan to another?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by pam_d, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    Fellow migraine sufferers, hello! I have been using Maxalt rather successfully to treat my occasional migraines. I think Maxalt is an older-style triptan.

    Lately I feel it isn't doing as great a job for me as it used to. In fact, this recent migraine lasted longer than usual & Maxalt didn't really help much at all.

    I must say that I use this drug VERY sparingly....I never want to get "rebound" headaches, so I intentionally take as little as possible of it. I never come close to using the 8 pills my insurance allows each month. So I don't feel I'm getting immune to it due to overuse.

    I read about Relpax, the newest triptan, and how many users find it works faster than others, and better than Imitrex (and Maxalt, the one I take, is even older than Imitrex).

    Has anyone here used a couple of different triptan-type drugs for migraines, and found a difference in them? That one works faster or better?

    BTW, I'm not interested in the anti-seizure type drugs used for migraine prevention, just the triptan-style drugs for when occasional migraines occur.

    Thanks, friends, in advance for any help!

  2. ibisgirldc

    ibisgirldc New Member

    Yes. Relpax doesn't work as well for me and I'm allergic to Imitrex. I use the melt-in-your-mouth Maxalt... What I was told is that while they're all related, the extra ingredients can cause reactions. Obviously, whatever is different in Imitrex causes me problems. Anyway, just try another. As I understand it, with Migraine meds, you just try them all til you find the ones that work for you.
  3. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    I have always gotten good relief from the Maxalt, but lately it isn't cutting it. And again, not from overuse of it...I may err on not utilizing it early or often enough, if anything.

    Thanks for the info!

  4. nanswajo

    nanswajo New Member

    Hi! I have been getting migraines for years and the triptans were absolute lifesavers for me. I use Axert now, but first I used Imitrex, then Zomig. The Axert works best for me and even if I go back and use some left over Zomig when I run out, the Axert is far better for me.

    I don't hesitate to use it and I have not found any problem with rebound with these drugs. Didn't know that was an issue with them.

    I used to try and wait to see if it was "really" a migraine coming on or to see if I could just beat it another way, but now I find it is not worth it at all. As soon as I recognize that one is approaching I take the Axert. If is is really a bad one I find I need to take another an hour later.

    Sometimes I find myself feeling weird or super tired or irritable or weak in the knees and I say "What is wrong with me?". I get very confused and disoriented when I am starting to get a migraine, so I have tried to train myself to think "migraine, oh yeah" and take a pill.

    Isn't it a bummer how everyone thinks they are just a bad headache when really it is the whole body experience that is so bad?

    Hope you can get it all straightened out!

    (I've never had any luck with the preventative meds except for those for high blood pressure and they make me wicked tired--yeah I really need that!)

    Best of Luck, Nancy
  5. bigmh

    bigmh New Member

    Pam...I have had 10-25+ days with migraines for the past 5 years, and have taken all of the triptans...Zomig, Axert, Relpax, etc. None work as well for me as does Maxalt although I usually combine Maxalt (10 mg tabs) with an NSAID like Naproxen or Ketelorac (Toradol). This helps its effectiveness. I also use Imitrex injections...the nasal spray did nothing for me. Occasionally if I catch a migraine VERY early, Zomig nasal spray will also work for me.

    However, my doctor now has limited me to taking these arresting meds no more than 3 days per week due to the chance of stroke with the triptans or renal failure from the NSAID's. It has been tough as the rest of the days, I just have to live with the migraines....yikes.

    I wish you the best of luck, and hope this info helps :).

  6. brit_17759

    brit_17759 New Member

    I tried maxalt and didn't find it really helped me. I take zomig and found it works, especially if taken early in the migraine attack. I always get sliver squiggly lines flashing before a migraine and if I take the zomig straight away the attack can be over within the hour. There has been times when it hasn't worked so well, but overall I like it.

  7. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    I'm lucky, I guess, in that I get a migraine no more than once every 3-5 weeks, it usually lasts 3 days max, tho this last one lasted almost 5 days.

    I've prided myself on never missing work due to a migraine, usually the Maxalt nips it in the bud and I can at least get thru my workday. But this time, it was as if I had placebos instead of the Maxalt tablets!

    Anyway, thanks a lot for all your feedback; I'm going to put in a call to my doctor tomorrow & ask if I could at least try one of the newer triptans in case it works a little better for me...

  8. jake123

    jake123 New Member

    I am going to a headache specialist - he is a neurologist. I really like him. I am taking Topomax.

    But, as far as the Maxalt goes, he says to take as soom as you think you are getting a headache. He also gave me a prescription for Indomethicin which I believe is an NSAID and I can take that inbetween the Maxalt doses.

    I also have a prescription for Phenergran which boosts the other meds up a bit. I usually have a warning maybe even the day before with nausea.

    Maxalt is the only thing that has helped me except Demerol.
  9. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    I'm considering trying to find a headache/pain specialist, too, that my insurance will cover---not too sure if I think my primary doc gets it. I, too, have had prescriptions for Phenergan in the past---sometimes for me, I can almost withstand the headache, it's the nausea that's the killer.

    Anyway, I'm going to try to find a better solution...

  10. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    Zomig has been the lifesaver for me. Even after the migraine starts, it'll zap it.
  11. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    My daughter was given Topamax and has gone from 5 migraines a week to 3 in 3 months. You might want to ask about it.

  12. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    I've had migraines for more than 30 years. I used to stay close to home in case I had one. I would go to the emergency room and get a shot of demeral and phenagrin (sp).
    Then I was out for about 48 hours.

    Now I take Imetrix at the first sign and it takes care of it. If it doesn't work within 45 minutes I take fiorinal. The combination has changed my life!

    I'm no longer afraid to leave home. The last trip I had to take to California I woke up with a migraine on the third day. Took the two drugs and went back to sleep for two hours. Got up and went for a short walk, got some coffee, and went to a movie.

  13. jake123

    jake123 New Member

    I hate the shot thing. I end up sleeping all day the next day and missing work and I feel like such a loser! (Guilt is my favorite emotion) But the shot always works quickly.
    The headache specialist I had fifteen years ago would give me a prescription for demerol pills. It only took one to get rid of it.
  14. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    ...for all your experiences with migraines, I appreciate the feedback!

    I'm not interested in starting the Topomax preventative medication, because I don't have migraines that come daily or even weekly, mine average no more than once a month, if that. I think that's a good alternative if you get chronic migraines very often, though...

    I'm more interested in trying a newer triptan to see if it works better than the Maxalt has been working lately....though many here say they use & like Maxalt. Actually it worked well for me, until recently.

    I also think the Phenergan is a good idea, too, since sometimes the nausea thing can be almost as bad as the headache.

    Thanks again!


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