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Old 05-22-2006, 03:20 PM   #1
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new med,have a question

As I said in an earlier post,my pm doc changed my med from vic- es to lortab 10 (watson brand).He said to break them in half and take 8 times daily instead of a whole 4 times daily.Since the day I started on these I've had a headache.Some are worse than others.I told him that I take Excedrin migraine for the headaches and he said DO NOT take anymore of the Excedrin and he called in Midrin.I took the Midrin and got the worst headache I've ever had in my life! It made me so sick I wanted to die. I had to leave work very early and go home to bed.Finally about 7:00 that night after I had gotten everything out of my system I took three Excedrin and it eased me enough to get up and eat some crackers. When I got up the next morning I was wobbly but my head at least didn't hurt so bad.I will never take midrin again.So now I'm back to having the headaches and taking Excedrin.I haven't called my doc back cause I don't even know what to say to him.Here's my question.What would YOU do?? I don't go back to see him till June 15.
Any help would be so very appreciated!
Beverly

 
Old 05-22-2006, 06:59 PM   #2
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Re: new med,have a question

Beverly - it doesn't sound like you did anything wrong at all! You tried the Midrin and it made you very, very sick. I would call my doctor back tomorrow and tell him how sick it made you. I don't have any experience with Lortab and so I don't know why your doc would tell you not to mix the Excedrin with it. You know your body and how it responds to medications much better than any doctor. I'd continue taking what works and phone him in the a.m. Thankfully I don't get migraine headaches. I think I may have had 2 or 3 in my lifetime and I wanted to die. The horrible throbbing in my head, not being able to move my head even an inch without severe pain, and it seemed the only thing that made it better was to throw-up. (sorry I'm being too graphic). What are you taking the Lortab for? Where is your pain? KathyMac

 
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Old 05-22-2006, 07:24 PM   #3
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Re: new med,have a question

Beverly, I have migraines and took midrin a long, long time ago, but don't have any info to offer about your reaction to it. However something did come to mind when I read your post. I might be wrong because you said that the switch from vicodin dosing caused you a headache - but if you have daily headaches and were taking the excedrin for migraines on a daily basis and suddenly stopped taking it this could account for you having a really bad headache. This is becuase excedrin for migraine has a high dosage of caffeine in it, so if you take it every day and suddenly stop taking it then you may get withdrawal headaches, just like someone who quits drinking coffee. Hope you feel better.

 
Old 05-23-2006, 11:05 AM   #4
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Re: new med,have a question

I called the doc this morning and told him my story and they called me in Fioranal.I took one and now my headache is gone!Thank goodness!I guess it just took the right med for my system.This is the first time I haven't had a headach in ages!
Bev

 
Old 05-23-2006, 11:31 AM   #5
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Re: new med,have a question

Hey Bev: Your doc most likely didn't want you to take Excedrin with the Lortab because Excedrin contains 250 mg of Tylenol and 250 mg Aspirin. That along with the Tylenol in the Lortab would be too much. You can only safely take 4,000 mg of Tylenol a day. About 2,800 mg if you're on it everyday, for any length of time.
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:39 PM   #6
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Re: new med,have a question

Quote:
Originally Posted by marksta
I called the doc this morning and told him my story and they called me in Fioranal.I took one and now my headache is gone!Thank goodness!I guess it just took the right med for my system.This is the first time I haven't had a headach in ages!
Bev

Bev
I just posted on this site on another question that I was a lurker on the PM site because I was looking for a med for migrains. I had been taking fioricet(fioranal but with tylonal) since the mid 80's and it works so well. I stopped taking it when we moved to a different state because most doctors here do not like to RX it.
Good luck

 
Old 05-23-2006, 12:57 PM   #7
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Re: new med,have a question

Hi Beverly,

Sorry that you are having problems with headaches. It sounds like you have been taking a low dose of pain meds. for a while and taking them daily. I'm in Canada and know nothing about Lortab but as dogmom said, the caffeine could definatly explain things.

I don't know how many different meds. you have tried for your headaches, how long you have had them or anything else. Do you want to reply with that?

You can run into big problems taking the meds. you have been taking like you have been taking them. Low dose pain meds. taken daily that are not dealing with the pain is not the way to go. If you haven't read up on rebound headaches or MIH, you really should do so or ask. What happens to h/a patients (and surprisingly enough it does not happen that often to other pain patients) when they take pain meds. on a daily basis is that the medication can be triggering the headache and giving you a h/a when the meds. in the body run down. They used to think that a huge percentage of us had rebounds h/a or MIH but they have adjusted that figure down quite a bit. Unfortunately, almost all h/a specialists will want their patients with a history like yours, to stop taking all analgesic medications for a period of 12 - 20 weeks (depending on the Dr.) to see if your meds. are causing your h/a. If they are, that is great and you will have to endure 2-3 weeks of bad h/a's but after that you are almost free. If not, it is a hard time but once it has been done you can move to checking for other things. There are so many meds., both preventatvie and rescue and other treatments that hopefully you won't need to take narcotics or barbituates to deal with them.

The thing I wanted to stress most is about the Fiorinal. It is one of the worst medications out there. The main indgredient is butalbital which is a barbituate. They are very addicting medications and the problems associated with this med. are enormous. If ou go to the addictions board and type in Fiorinal I'm sure you will hit many posts.

In Canada, the Canadian medical association came out a couple years ago with instructions to our Dr.'s to NOT prescribe thismedication to any new patients and to do everything that they can to get existing patients off of this medication.

People think it is a miracle drug and not only helps with their headache but gives them energy and pep and makes it so much easier to talk to people about anything and everything. Very easy to fall into the trap and take it daily (I don't understand why there are still so many Dr.'s in the U.S. Rx'ing this med..) and once you are addicted or dependant on it, it is as hard and as dangerous, or more so, than benzo's to stop taking. Going cold turkey can be fatal.

In my province Dr.'s have duplicate Rx's they have to use for strong medications like morphine and Fiorinal is on that list and must be on a special Rx.. I think in the U.S. Dr.'s can still call it in over the phone (but may be wrong!!)?

There are some people out there that have been taking it for decades (it was THE first and only medication that my Dr. R'xd for me when I started getting migraines when I was 16 years old................back in 1976). They may take it a couple times a month for bad headaches and for them, I'd hate to see them have a problem getting it Rx'd as they use it properly and have for a long time. But I sure don't think it is something that should be considered for new patients.

It comes under a few names - Fiorinal (with aspirin) and Fioricet (acet.), Esgic and a few others. It also comes like tylenol does with 8mgs., 16mgs., or 32 mgs., of codeine in it and some have caffeine and some don't.

Sorry to sound harsh but it is the one med. that I know has caused many problems for people that I know (luckily I didn't have any problems with it) and I'd urge you to do some research on it.

Chas

 
Old 05-23-2006, 01:00 PM   #8
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Re: new med,have a question

Sorry, forgot to mention that the way many of us have the most success fighting these awful headaches is that once we recognize that we have one coming on (I get a little electric jolt under and above my left eye about 10-20 mins. before mine hit) we hit it early and hit it hard.

Cutting it off at the past so that it never takes hold works best. If it does take hold for me, they can last for days and days.

Good luck!!//Chaz

 
Old 05-23-2006, 01:01 PM   #9
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Re: new med,have a question

dupe/sorry

Last edited by Chaswick; 05-23-2006 at 01:09 PM.

 
Old 05-23-2006, 02:00 PM   #10
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Re: new med,have a question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaswick
Sorry, forgot to mention that the way many of us have the most success fighting these awful headaches is that once we recognize that we have one coming on (I get a little electric jolt under and above my left eye about 10-20 mins. before mine hit) we hit it early and hit it hard.

Cutting it off at the past so that it never takes hold works best. If it does take hold for me, they can last for days and days.

Good luck!!//Chaz

You are right on about that but the newer meds like Imitrex and all that is in that family I cannot take due to some minor heart related problems. I have been having migrains since I was 8(I have been dealing with this for 50 years) and have had many MRI's all looks good.I was afraid to get off of fioricet because of all i read on how hard it was to get off of.One day i went to my Doc who was giving me scripts though he would lecture me each time he gave me a script and told him i didn't want them anymore and I just stopped. No WD. So for now I am taking many tylonal during the day until I can find a new med. BTW Doctors here can call in Fioricet and also put refills on it. I don't thing they can do that with the Fioricet w codine but I never tried that since codiene makes me sick.

Last edited by lorriem; 05-23-2006 at 02:02 PM.

 
Old 05-23-2006, 03:21 PM   #11
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marksta HB User
Re: new med,have a question

Chas,
After reading your reply I don't know which I'd rather have, all the problems that go along with the pills or the kind of headache that is so bad that it makes you throw up and you feel like if you just had a gun you would stop the headaches once and for all.(Just a figure of speech)
I've had bad headaches as long as I can remember.With all the neck problems and the pain from that and the headaches that the neck is making so much worse it's just almost more than I can stand sometimes and today for the first time in a long time I don't have a headache and it's feels pretty darn good!
I know you are trying to give me some good advice and I really appreciate it but I only take two pills daily.I don't worry about getting addicted to them cause I don't like taking pills.I'll be having something done about my neck soon I hope and the headaches will be at least half way tolerable.I've learned to live with them but lately they are more than I can stand.
Beverly

 
Old 05-23-2006, 03:37 PM   #12
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Re: new med,have a question

Wow, refills!! I see them advertised on the internet lots too!!

Sounds like you were taking them for a while? Were you taking them daily? How many? If you don't mind answering of course!!

Like everything to do with meds. we all react differently to them. If you were physically dependant on them you were lucky to come thru it unscathed. Going back about 20 years, we had 2 deaths that were blamed on Fiorinal in one week here. One was an addict that took too many, but the other one was a h/a patient who was trying to get some relief from a migraine and took too many. I think he may have had a couple of drinks as well. Not alot, but enough - you never know.....................

Have you tried any of the muscle relaxants? Flexeril? Baclofen? There are a couple others used more often in the U.S.. A prom. h/a specialist in the U.S. has had alot of success using Baclofen with patients. It was not a med. that helped me (I reacted really, really bad to it and will never take it again!!), but many have had some success. I do take Flexeril and it has helped me.

You have my sympathies!! Can't imagine getting these things when I was 8. 16 was bad enough!!

Cheers//Chaz

 
Old 05-23-2006, 03:55 PM   #13
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Re: new med,have a question

Hi Beverly,

Was in the middle of writing the post above and got called away so I just saw yours now.

Please don't think that I'm telling you to not take anything and to 'live with it'! Anyone that has had a real migraine knows the type of pain that comes with them and your response above is something that I totally understand.

Have you seen a Neurologist and had an MRI and/or CAT scan? Seen a h/a specialist and tried all of the preventative meds. without success? I really believe that we should explore every alternative that there is out there - even the really goofy ones LOL. There is no disputing that there is a certain percentage of us that just don't respond to the treatments that there are and I believe that we come to a time when the focus needs to change from preventing the h/a from happening to controlling the pain enough that we can have some kind of sort of normal life!! Not that we give up trying new things that come along, but our main concern is pain control.

I think if we go with the pain meds. without doing this, the chances of anything working well goes down dramatically. Not that we should not be Rx pain meds. during this time.

I hit that point about 8 or so years ago and the Neurologist/h/a specialist that I had, along with my G.P. started Rx'ing morphine IM for use at home. I never in a million years thought I'd ever take morphine and the thought of giving myself a needle never crossed my mind. I am able to get my pain levels down to a level that I can handle and come out of my tinfoil-laden (windows) bedroom and participate some more in life!!@@ That is the med. that - by a huge margin - works the best for me and I have no problem at all with it now. We (my GP and I) monitor the amount I'm averaging at every appt. to see if I'm needing higher and higher doses. I don't take them anywhere near to daily, but after figuring things out for the first year or two as to how the best way to take them is, the last couple of years I'm taking about 1/2 of what I was the first couple of years so that is a good thing. Knowing that I have relief at home when I need it is a really big thing.

So I'm not begrudging you your Fiorinal at all and 2 a day is hardly problematic (IMO). I do think it is important though to make people aware of this medication and the problems people have had taking it. When I read

******
today for the first time in a long time I don't have a headache and it's feels pretty darn good!

***********

I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND what you are saying and can feel the relief coming thru the computer!!

Good luck!!

Chaz..........

 
Old 05-23-2006, 06:11 PM   #14
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Re: new med,have a question

Chaz
Yes refills.We lived in Ca for 29 years and in the 80's my GP gave me Fioricet. He told me to take them 4 x a day so they also acted as a preventitive and he would give me 11 refills of 120 pills a month . That would last for a year.We moved here two years ago and my GP here would give me 3 refills with a lecture. That is when I thought I would just stop but after reading some boards on WD I thought I to would have WD also until someone posted saying they were taking over 10 a day. I was only taking 4 a few times maybe 5 so I just stopped. Now I just have to find the right med. I also take neuronton and Elival for RSD so I take an exra neuronton if the pain gets to bad and pepto if I get an upset stomach with the migraine. I will google the drugs that you mentioned and see if they might work. Something has to help.
Thanks

 
Old 05-24-2006, 01:35 PM   #15
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marksta HB User
Re: new med,have a question

Chas,
Wow, refills!! I see them advertised on the internet lots too!!

Sounds like you were taking them for a while? Were you taking them daily? How many? If you don't mind answering of course!!
Sorry but you lost me.I don't know what you mean by the "refill"comment and about taking them daily. I have had headaches since I was 5.I never even took anything till I was in my early 20's! I just lived with them.If you read any of my earlier posts you would see that I am self employed.I can't afford health insurance and I make too much to get assistance.I am going through a place in Texas that helps people who pay taxes and are unable to work to get the help they need to get back to work.I'm hoping that all goes through so I can get my neck fixed. So I can't get all the tests that you mentioned.If I could believe me I would! Too bad I'm not illegal then I could go and get all the medical help I needed and I wouldn't have to suffer like I do waiting to see if this place will help me or not.I've worked most of my life and paid taxes and I'm a United States citizen.You would think I could at least get some kind of aid but I guess they have to save it for all the people who come into our country illegally,or the ones who just keep having Babies and live off the government.I'm sorry I'm probably going to get kicked off this board but I'm hurting and I'm tired of the way this country is run! The politicians arent' worried they have the best health insurance ,FOR LIFE so why should they give a rats a$$!

 
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