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SSRI Anti-depressants for headaches

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Old 04-24-2007, 11:10 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 7
upanddown80 HB User
SSRI Anti-depressants for headaches

Hi all,
I'm new but I have been experiencing tension-type headaches and migraines for 7 years, since i was 19. I have tried many different medications (codiene, anti-inflamatories, beta blockers, epilepsy meds, tricyclic anti-depressants) and seen many specialists (physios, osteos, chiros, accupuncture, chinese medicine, hypnotherapist, neurologist, health psychologist, migraine specialist). Now, using Sandomigran, I have been able to reduce the headaches from 5 times a week to 2 times a week. When i get one, i can take Imigran and it usually goes away within two hours. So it's OKAY, but obviously not ideal.

My headaches are triggered by (seperately) stress and alcohol (one glass of wine will do it), but occur twice a week even if i dont feel stressed or i dont drink. I have tried perservative free wine/beer and just drinking gin/vodka, but it makes no difference.

My question (sorry it's taken so long to get to the point, but i wanted to list what i've tried already) is has anyone had any success from SSRI antidepressants, whether they're depressed or not? Tricyclic-antidepressants are more commonly reported to have anti-migraine properties, but i have tried a low dose of this and it has not helped. I'm wondering whether i should go on a full dose of an SSRI (even though I am not experiencing depression) to see whether the mood lift helps. I am worried about the side effects of a full dose of an SSRI. Any thoughts on whether it would be worth it would be MUCH appreciated.

Thank you

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Old 04-30-2007, 10:16 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 2
GeoAZ33 HB User
Exclamation Re: SSRI Anti-depressants for headaches


I am one of the few men who sufferer of chronic HA and acute MI since I was 20. There seems to be a link to this from my mother. Like you I have tried about anything I could get my hands on.

One caviot to my answer. I do also suffer from mild anxiety and depresson and thus know about antidepressents and MI. We think that my depresson and anxiety has preceeded the MI in my life.

I have tried many antidepressants with my MI therapy. Topomax (Top) has been good, but I had to discontinue use because I was loosing weight I could not afford to loose. Currently, I have been responding fairly well to:

No alcahol use! (especially red favorite)
Cymbalta (SSNRI)

If you try antidepressants (especially SSRI) when you are not clinically depressed, plese look into "seratonin syndrome" and be familiar with the symptoms. I had a bad case last year that sent me to the hospital, but they sent me home with "gastritus". Various combinations of painkillers, anitemitics, cough and cold remedies, SSRIs, antianxiolitics and MI medications can precipitate "seratonin syndrom" My experience was the worst most nightmarish week of my life.


Old 05-10-2007, 09:01 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 1,400
Dakota_Skye HB User
Re: SSRI Anti-depressants for headaches

hi upanddown80

i'm on an antidepressant now, an ssnri (but was on an ssri before)--and have been on it for the past 10 years or help whatsoever for migraines...sorry (taking it for depression). however, an ssri may work for you, i don't know. i'm only speaking for myself.

hi m1e1b1s1, how many mg. of inderal are you on, if you don't mind. i'm seeing my neuro on may 21 and want to ask him about s.thing different. topamax is useless nowadays....after two years of taking it.
thanks v. much,
Be kinder than necessary,
Because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle...

Last edited by Dakota_Skye; 05-10-2007 at 09:01 AM.

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