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I have suffered with migraines for almost 25 years. I started taking Topamax in Feb. It has worked GREAT for my migraines 25 days a month. The 5 days of my period I still get headaches. They are not as bad though. I have had every side effect Topamax has to offer! Deppression, moodiness confusion, word loss, it feels like I have ADD, I have lost interest in most of my daily activities and feel like I am only "making it through the day", BUT I am headache free, most of the month!!! I am normally the happiest, funniest, friendliest person to be around. My husband has said the medicine has completly changed me. He says, I am not the same person at all. I know I am not. What is the trade off? Live pain free for the first time in my life?? It is so wonderful to actually wake up with out a headache day after day!! But, then I cry as the day goes on becasue I am deprresed because of the medicine. My doctor has suggested Cymbalta to take along with the Topamax. But then I can't take my Treximet if I get a full blown Migraine b/c of the interactions btwn. the two medications. That terrifies me, not being able to have my migraine medicine. My question is...Does anyone take Topamax and Cymbalta together? Has anyone had the problems with Topamx I am having? Should I stick with it??
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 05-17-2009Report This Post
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Christine,

-:¦:-•:*'""*:•.-:¦:-•*Hello!*•-:¦:-•:*'''''*:•-:¦:-•*Welcome to the family!*•-:¦:- •:*'""*:•.-:¦:-

Our goal is to provide everyone with the information and support that we all need to manage our Migraines and/or headaches. To that end, we consider this a “safe harbor,” where nobody tries to sell us anything, and we all use “family-friendly” language so parents are comfortable letting their children read the forum with them.

Please take a few minutes to review our policies and guidelines along with the other information in the START HERE folder. For information about Migraines, a good article to begin with is Learning About Migraines - Where to Start.

First of all, there doesn't have to be a trade-off. It's highly unlikely that Topamax is the only thing that will work for you for prevention. I know how easy it is to feel as if you've tried everything out there, but there are so many medications that can be used for Migraine and headache prevention that it's literally impossible. You can find a list of potential Migraine and headache preventives in Migraine preventive medications - too many options to give up!

Personally, unless absolutely necessary, I'm against adding a medication to counteract the side effects of another one.

As for taking Cymbalta and Treximet, the warnings say to observe for symptoms. They don't say not to take the two. Please take a look at Antidepressants, Triptans, and Serotonin Syndrome.

And, yes, others have had the problems with Topamax that you're having. The side effects were too much for me.

Welcome again!



Teri Robert
Lead Health Guide, HealthCentral Migraine Community
terimmc@helpforheadaches.com

Author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches

Stay up-to-date on Migraine info with my free weekly newsleter. Subscribe here

visit me on or

 
Posts: 4220 | Location: West Virginia | Registered: 01-11-2007Report This Post
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Hi, Christine, and welcome! I don't think there's a whole lot I can add to Teri's excellent post, but I do have to say that I've got to agree with avoiding the meds treating the side effects of other meds thing, for the most part. That can create a vicious kind of cycle in its own right, and can get really snarly if you ever start to get fizzle out on one med or the other.



Dragondrool
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Posts: 6478 | Location: Montana | Registered: 01-11-2007Report This Post
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Hi Christine,

For me personally, Topamax worked great, but eventually after a little over a year I was having some Topamax related side effects that I just couldn't deal with any more. So, my doctor switched me to Cymbalta for migraine prevention. I took both the Topamax and the Cymbalta while I was weaning off the Topamax. Now, I am just on Cymbalta 60mg a day and I have to say, it is working great for me so far.

Just my 2 cents - I know how frustrating those side effects can be especially when you are feeling good headache wise!

Brittney
 
Posts: 22 | Registered: 04-10-2008Report This Post
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I am 69 years old and been free of migraine headaches for 10 years and in august of this year i started having a headache every day. i am just wondering if anyone has had that experience. i had been having problems sleeping for a year or so. don't know if that had any effect of the headaches. i keep thinking that something is going on in my body to cause them. i have had an mri but no doctor is looking further for any other cause. maybe this if normal for the migraines to return. just hoping someone can shed some light on the subject. i have been on topamax for about a month and i was getting very emotional and crying a lot. i am now going off topamax and going on cymbalta. yesterday was my first dose of 30 mg. i could not keep my eyes open all day. just wanted to lay down and close my eyes and dose. am anxious to see how it goes today. if this continues, i can't imagine how i will feel when after a week i go up to 60 mg. i have had only 2 headaches in the last 2 weeks. since my headaches went away for 10 years and just came back, does it make sense that they will go away again? how will i know if i am on all these meds. i have been getting 2 to 4 hours of sleep for months. to help me sleep i am now taking klonopin 0.5 mg and zanaflex 4 mg. although i just started taking both together it seems to be working. i had tried taking one and then the other and that did not work.
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 10-21-2010Report This Post
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-:¦:-•:*'""*:•.-:¦:-•*Hello!*•-:¦:-•:*'''''*:•-:¦:-•*Welcome to the family!*•-:¦:- •:*'""*:•.-:¦:-

Hello and welcome to our forum family, gran! FlowerOur goal is to provide everyone with the information and support that we all need to manage our Migraines and/or headaches. To that end, we consider this a “safe harbor,” where nobody tries to sell us anything, and we all use “family-friendly” language so parents are comfortable letting their children read the forum with them.

Please take a few minutes to review our policies and guidelines along with the other information in the START HERE folder. For information about Migraines, a good article to begin with is Learning About Migraines - Where to Start.

It's always possible for migraines to ebb and flow and change patterns. Sometimes we can figure out potential reasons why they might have suddenly kicked back up, and other times it isn't so clear. Changes in sleep patterns can certainly be one potential factor in this. A lot of people trigger off of disrupted sleep. It's also possible for migraines to suddenly decrease in frequency, though that isn't predictable. It's more a matter of "can" rather than "will".

As for the meds and their side effects you're experiencing, perhaps you might talk to your doctor about ramping the dose up a bit more slowly. I know from my experience with meds of all kinds that as I adjust to a med over time, then dose increases become a lot easier, with less of an abrupt spike in side effects. At any rate, it's still very early in your med trial, if it's only been a couple of days. It takes three to six weeks to really get started with any med and acclimate to any potential side effects, and three to six months to build up a steady, therapeutic level. It sounds like you're already experiencing some relief, so it could well be that ramping up the dose a little more gradually might make the build-up time more comfortable. If I was in your place right now, that's what I'd be asking my doctor to do.



Dragondrool
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Posts: 6478 | Location: Montana | Registered: 01-11-2007Report This Post
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Hi Christine. I know it's been a while since you posted this, but I just came across it tonight.

I've had migrianes for about 25 years, as well. I've gone back and forth with Topamax, having to titrate up on it SO slow, because of the side effects. I finally started seeing a new Neurologist, who put me on Neurontin AND Topamax. My side effects were pretty bad, and even though my husband and I discussed the potential side effects, he wasn't happy with the way I "changed". I was having up to 25 migraine days a month, sometimes, and my life was absolutely miserable. I figured it was worth a shot to try anything. The side effects eventually wore off enough that I could function more normally, but there was some damage done in my marriage already. It devastated me

Anyway, I have been taking Welbutrin for many years, but my Neuro wanted to start me on Cymbalta. I took it for about a week, but I was so tired and I was waking up with strange headaches every single day. These ultimately triggered a migraine (I trigger VERY easily), and so I decided not to take it. The weird headaches have pretty much subsided, but I'm also going through a lot of problems with an out of control thyroid gland, apparentely. It's so hard to tell WHAT is making me feel so bad, but I guess it would be a combination of several things.

I don't think the Topamax and Cymbalta together really did much, but then again... I was only talking 25 mg. of Topamax since I have been weaning off of it. It's so hard to know what to do. When you are having success with lowering your number and intensity of migraines, the answer seems pretty simple. But for me... I am beginning to feel like I will do better off living alone, so that I don't burden anyone with a) my pain and inconsistencies with plans and b) so that if my mood changes, no one else (except my poor cat) will have to deal with it.

I guess it's all just a matter of finding the right medication or combinations thereof, that we can deal with. I have not found the magic combination yet. Right now, I take:

-Levoxyl (thyroid)
-Welbrutrin (depression)
-Xanax (anxiety from depression) I have a form of depression called dysthymia. I've been going through some extreme life changes lately and the Xanax has been a God send because of the bouts of depression that can come out of no where and totally throw me for a loop. Once I move back to AZ, which will be in the next 6 weeks, I don't expect to need the Xanax at all anymore.
-Verapamil (migraine preventive)
-Neurontin (migraine preventive AND for nerve pain in my neck)

I just recently discontinued 2 medications, so this list is shorter than it was. I sometimes can't believe how much medication I take. I'd LOVE to go back to taking NONE, and then see what happens, but my doctor's tell me that's not a good idea.

Sorry I ranted on. I hope you find your winning combination. I would give anything to have my life back. I don't mean to sound negative, but my migraines make things really rough. And then the depression on top of it makes it even worse. There's got to be some kind of life lesson in all of this. The Lord will show me at some point.

Good Luck, and God Bless,

~Sandi~
Lunesta
 
Posts: 123 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: 09-20-2007Report This Post
Apprentice
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I've been interested to read this thread. I've been on Topamax for several years now, and while it's been somewhat effective, I still get anywhere from 6-12 migraines per month. When I last saw my neurologist, she suggested that we might try Cymbalta next (not sure if I would stay on the Topamax or go off). Have others had success with a Topamax/Cympalta combo?

I definitely would NOT want to try Cymbalta though if I could not keep taking Imitrex as my abortive--this is the ONE med that does pretty consistently work for me, so I don't want to mess with it! Razzer
 
Posts: 114 | Location: Upstate NY | Registered: 09-20-2010Report This Post
Apprentice
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Hi Toaster,

I take Cymbalta as a daily preventive, but not Topamax, so I can't answer to that combo. But I do use the triptans (e.g.: Imitrex, Relpax, Frova...) to abort my migraine attacks when they happen, and I haven't had any problems taking them while on Cymbalta. And just to keep the drug terminology straight, Imitrex is not a preventive med but an abortive, and I'm guessing you already know migraine abortives should not be taken more than 2-3 times a week.

Seratonin Syndrome is something to be aware of when taking multiple meds that act on the seratonin pathways in the brain, like anti-depressants and triptans, but I understand it's actually pretty rare, something that probably would have to be watched more closely if you were on a very high dose of Cymbalta (or any other SNRI or SSRI.)


Hopefully someone else who has taken Cymbalta and Topamax together can share their experience with that.
 
Posts: 227 | Location: LA County, California | Registered: 02-25-2009Report This Post
Apprentice
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Oops, yep, I did mean to say that Imitrex was my abortive (I edited my post).

If you are taking Cymbalta with other triptans, I think that is the same; the warning isn't for Imitrex per se, it's for any triptan meds. Thanks for your feedback.
 
Posts: 114 | Location: Upstate NY | Registered: 09-20-2010Report This Post
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