Stupid albuterol. It gives me these migraines which kick in about a day after I use it. It took me forever to figuire this out. I was on xopenex for a while, which is similar, but still I get the migraine from it, just not as bad. I talked to a physician assistant at my health clinic, and he said basically well that's tough luck but there are no other options, beta blockers aren't safe for asthmatics, and there aren't any other alternatives. I suggested ephedrine but he said not to take it for some reason, that its dangerous or bad. Although it did work, but I only tried it once.
My asthma is as controlled as it can be (steroid inhaler, singulair, allegra), but I still need to use my rescue inhaler at least a couple of times a month, and would use it more except for this problem. I tried advair and had a similar problem (was getting migraines every day actually). I've tried topomax and imitrex for these migraines and they don't work, and vicodin helps some but I'm not sure even if I am able to get a refill on this. And depakote was just way too hard to stay awake on...
Are the other beta agonists that are better? I saw some listed on the web but had never heard of them (Isoprenaline, Pirbuterol, Terbutaline, Orciprenaline, Clenbuterol, epinephrine)? I am worried these migraines will are messing with my brain, and they pretty much knock me out for a day or two. Its better than dying from an asthma attack but still, there's gotta be something else I can do, and often I am coughing all day rather than use my inhaler because of this problem. I know there's prednisone too so maybe I'll resort to that for asthma flare ups...but that has its own problems...
Last edited by joggies476; 02-17-2013 at 12:22 AM.
Titchou asked some good questions. Maybe it would help to change up how you are taking it when you need it.
How severe are your allergies and asthma? It may be that you really need to look at what else you can do on the preventative side.
Who is treating your allergies? A good allergist may help. Have you had allergy testing done recently? Have you tried immunotherapy for your allergies? The shots can be extremely helpful.
Xolair shots may be an option. They are for people with allergic asthma. It is quite expensive though.
What steroid controller are you using? What is the dosage? There are multiple options now. Maybe it could be adjusted.
How well controlled are your allergies? At one point I was on allergra, Singulair, Astelin and Flonase. It could be that some nasal sprays would help address the allergy side as well. (I gave up on Allegra D when I developed hypertension.)
I carry an Epi-pen for extreme asthma emergencies. It does help for that, but I wouldn't want to use it regularly.
If your PA has been treating you, it would be a good idea to see a Pulmonologist for your asthma. It would good to get testing and to have an asthma action plan in place.
Are you having issues with finding a good blood pressure medicine? I was put on calcium channel blockers from the start as a better choice for asthmatics.
I use maxair (pirbuterol). I switched to it because the propellents in albuterol were making my lungs worse instead of better. As an added bonus, I discovered less side effects as well. It might be worth trying.
I don't think my doctor was familiar with maxair...he suggested xopenex...which is better but has all the same side effects as albuterol, just less. I've been using primatene tabs actually and am finding that they work pretty decently, and the side effects aren't bad, comparable to sudafed, more or less, and doesn't trigger migraine for me. I keep the albuterol around though, just in case the primatene doesn't work.
I'm trying to get my asthma symptoms under better control though...via allergy meds, humidifier, etc.
xolair sounds awesome...but its crazy expensive. Maybe I could try allergy shots again, I had some as a kid.
@titchou, I use a spacer. I've used nebulizers before but only at the hospital or doctors office...they are a little better for severe asthma attacks but the side effects are still pretty rough for me. I don't know if it triggers a migraine, but did cause severe nervousness, and nauseau...I mainly used the nebulizer when I was a kid though and had worse asthma, so its hard to remember. It might be worth a try though, to see if the headache is from the albuterol, or from the propellant in the inhaler, but my guess is it's from the drug.
My father is allergic to albuterol. He's been using Intal ever since I was a toddler... He hates the inhaled powder, but it prevents him from getting allergic asthma. I used to use ventolin rotacaps to avoid the propellant, but I don't think they make them any more. The HFA-free inhalers they have now don't seem to bother my lungs - the old ones made my lungs tighter than they were to begin with.
~ asthma, allergies, anxiety, arthritis, back problems, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia