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  • Topamax for tension headaches?

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    Old 11-04-2006, 08:59 AM   #1
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    Topamax for tension headaches?

    I've had chronic tension headaches for 20 years. I'm serious, I can't remember the last time I didn't have a headache. One of my dr suggested this several years ago but the side effects turned me off.

    I just brought it up with a new dr cause I'm at the end of my rope and he said it won't work because I'm not getting migraines. At this point I'm willing to try anything!!

    Any thoughts on this?


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    Old 11-06-2006, 07:27 AM   #2
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    Re: Topamax for tension headaches?

    hey joojoobee,
    i'm sure you've tried all of the OTC meds out there (naprosyn/naproxen sodium, excedrin, tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.)...

    did you try Tylenol with Codeine no. 3, and oxycodone (OxyContin, Roxicodone)? Celebrex?

    Some antidepressants are now used to treat all sorts of pain including headaches, fibromyalgia, and more....these include Elavil, Tofranil (these are the older ones, and have more side effects than the newer ones), such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox and Celexa. the sad thing is that these mes take two to four weeks to be reach their full effect in most ppl, and sometimes even longer, up to 12 weeks. i've also read that Prozac was more effective than other meds for patients with headaches, who were not depressed.

    methadone is used for some pple who dont respond to other treatments. but since this is a narcotics, it is not given that often since it can lead to dependency....

    the antiseizure meds are very good, and that's speaking from my personal experience, as i am currently taking topamax for severe migraines. i sometimes get another type of headache that lasts about two days and nothing, no drugs will eliminate or even lessen the's definitely tension related.

    was just reading about what causes tension headaches and i found this:
    Chronic poor posture.
    Chronic overwork.
    Upper respiratory tract infections, such as colds and flu, can produce tension-type headache.
    Sleep disorders, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, or habitual snoring, may contribute to tension headache, particularly those that occur at night or early morning. (In one study, for example, treating people who had chronic headaches for sleep apnea cured the headaches in many cases.)
    Hypothyroidism (decreased thyroid function).
    Dental problems.
    Substance or alcohol abuse

    i'm sure you know your triggers for tension type headaches, but here are some more:
    Specific stressful events.
    Not eating on time.
    Fatigue or lack of sleep.
    Withdrawal from overused substances (caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, pain relievers).
    Intense physical exertion, including sexual activity. Ordinary levels of physical activity do not usually lead to these headaches. Also, a sedentary lifestyle may increase the risks for stress and therefore for tension headaches in sensitive people.
    Certain foods, such as chocolate, cheese, and the flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG), are commonly known as triggers for tension headaches as they are for migraines.
    Medications (overuse of headache medications, nitrates, certain antidepressants, some drugs used to treat high blood pressure, and many others.)
    Hormonal changes in women.

    whenever i get a tension-type headache, i am not good for anything for that day or two. i pop pills like candy, destroying my liver in the process, besides everything else...starting with tylenol, then ibuprofen (it's a good anti-inflamatory). i think the ibuprofen works the best in that situation. sometimes sodium naproxen/aleve.

    i don't know what else to say. i've been taking topamax for about a year now, 50 mg twice a day for very debilitating migraines, and i can say that it has definitely decreased their frequency. whereas, i used to have, let's say, nine episodes during one month, i now have 3 or 2, or even 1. i'm glad i found this medication with my neurologist's help, but sometimes i get really tired of having to take so much medicine just to function normally in this world. it's really not fair, but who am i to complain, right?!!!

    anyway, i wish you all the luck, and blessings to you!

    Old 11-06-2006, 08:29 PM   #3
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    Re: Topamax for tension headaches?

    Give it a try for 4 weeks or so.... you have very little to lose.

    Have you tried amitriptyline?

    Old 11-07-2006, 05:47 AM   #4
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    Re: Topamax for tension headaches?

    I was on topamax and it didnt do a thing but it literally drove me crazy. i thought i was dying. any disease that is out there..topamax made me feel like i had it. i forgot everything and it made me talk real funny like i was drunk or something. than other times i would talk so fast no one could understand me and i would run out of breath and almost hypervenilate.

    Im on Lyrica now..GREATEST med ive ever tried. i have no side effects and it works great! so theres another suggestion for you.

    Old 11-11-2006, 07:23 PM   #5
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    Re: Topamax for tension headaches?

    Topamax also did not work for me and I had very strange personality problems with it.
    What is Lyrica though?
    I am sick and tired of these stupid headaches. I have headaches more days then I don't. They vary, some are tension and some are migraines. They pretty much dictate my life though.

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