Thursday, October 1, 2009

Migraines - The Bane of My Existence

First off, I'd like to say that I'm not a member of the medical community. You will not find this article full of medical lingo. I am however, a woman who has suffered from migraines for over 30 years.

Migraines, AAARGH! Everyone who has, or currently having migraines, just upon hearing the word, knows how debilitating they can be. The sensitivity to light, sound, smell, and the vomiting. They can also last for hours. Some people have migraines occasionally, while others, such as myself, have them constantly.

Migraines, according to the medical community, is caused by the sudden constricting and releasing of blood vessels. However, this is not always the case.

Migraines can be brought on by a number of things. Diet, food allergies, hormones, and even a faulty gallbladder. There is still research being done on the relationship between hormones, and migraines. I noticed my migraines had eased up a little when I entered menopause. Unfortunately, for my daughter, she too will suffer from migraines as they are genetic. What a legacy to pass on!

There are many medications to choose from for temporary relief. Over the years I've taken; Axert, Zomig, Maxalt, Fioricet, Topamax, Paxil, Cymbalta, Atenolol, and Toprol. There are 3 others, but I don't recall the names due to the fact, I only took them for 1 day. The only one that seems to work for my migraines is Maxalt. Make sure you to read or ask about side effects of any medications before taking them. This was something I learned the hard way, after taking a couple of the above listed prescriptions.

There is lots of information out there if you want to go the alternative health route. Herbs such as, Feverfew, and Valerian are worth checking out. Also, caffeine has been known to be of help. Do not drink too much, too often, as this may bring on migraines. I've read a couple of articles claiming sex relieves migraines as well. I think whoever wrote those articles, don't know what a migraine is. If your a migraine sufferer, my heart goes out to you. I hope, one day soon, they'll find a permanent cure.

Medicine That Delivers Headache Pain Relief

If you suffer from recurring tension headaches or migraines, talk to your doctor and find out if Fioricet is a good treatment option for you.

What is Fioricet?

Fioricet is a brand name for a combination drug used to treat tension headaches, migraines, and sometimes other types of pain (although Fioricet is not expressly labeled as a general pain reliever). Fioricet is available only with a doctor's prescription, but if you are under a doctor's care for tension-related headache problems, it might be worth talking to your doctor about the possibility of using Fioricet to control your recurring or serious headaches.

Fioricet contains three drugs: acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine.

Acetaminophen is a well-known and popular pain reliever that is also available over-the-counter (OTC). Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol and other pain relievers. Since acetaminophen is readily available (and also found in many cough and cold products), patients taking Fioricet must be aware of the contents of any medications they are taking to avoid overdose.

Caffeine is also found in OTC drugs and in many foods and beverages, including coffee, tea, and colas. In Fioricet, caffeine is used to enhance the effectiveness of acetaminophen. When a patient is taking Fioricet, he or she should be careful to avoid most caffeine-containing substances to prevent overdose and caffeine-nervousness.

Butalbital is a member of the barbiturate class of drugs. It is a sedative that is used in Fioricet as a muscle-relaxer; the purpose of butalbital is to relieve the muscle tension associated with tension headaches. Since barbiturates can be habit-forming, care must be taken when using Fioricet to avoid dependency on the drug. Fioricet should only be taken as prescribed by the doctor, and patients should never exceed the recommended dose or use Fioricet more often than prescribed, even if the current dose is proving ineffective (diminished effectiveness may be a sign of tolerance and/or growing drug dependency?addiction). Patients with a history of drug-dependency may not be given Fioricet.

There are a number of side-effects associated with Fioricet use, and very rarely allergic reaction may occur. Side-effects of Fioricet may include vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, anxiety, nervousness, shaking/tremor, lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, or shortness of breath. Some of these side-effects may actually be signs of misuse, dependency, or withdrawal, and should be reported to your doctor. Severe side-effects can indicate an overdose of Fioricet which can be fatal; if you think you have overdosed on Fioricet, seek emergency medical help immediately. It may be necessary to come off Fioricet slowly in gradually decreasing doses to avoid negative side-effects and withdrawal; this should be discussed with the treating physician prior to stopping Fioricet.

Despite its risks, Fioricet is a very effective medicine for controlling tension-related headaches and migraines. When used as directed and under the continued supervision of a doctor, the risks of using Fioricet are greatly reduced, and many people have enjoyed great results with this drug. If you suffer from severe or chronic tension headaches, Fioricet may be the right headache medication for you.