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Migraines & Headaches


Mary
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I have always suffered from migraines and headaches. In South Africa I would get a "migraine cocktail" from the pharmacist, it usually helped, and if it didn't, I would go to my GP who would give me a voltaren and stematil injection which worked very well - I would go home and feel fine after an hour.

I have had a headache for 4 days now, have taken aspirin, syndol and tramadol (prescription tablets given to me by a GP here), nothing has worked, and in desperation I went to the Joondalup After Hours GP this afternoon who told me that they don't do voltaren and stematil injections. Can anyone tell me about a treatment available in Australia that works for migraines? (the GP in Joondalup prescribed Panadeine Forte :blush: which I'm sure is an over the counter medicine and I just KNOW that's not going to help!)

Also can anyone tell me what the "migraine cocktail" in SA is made up of? I know there is a Migril, a Dixarit, and a Syndol, but I don't know what else. There are 5 tablets altogether.

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Hi Mary

I can relate....also took the migraine "cocktail" in SA and have not found much success with anything here either. I am going back to SA for a short visit, leaving next week-end, and plan to ask what the cocktail is made up of when I'm there. I'll PM you the details.

Hang in there!

Pixel

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The coctail usually include an antiinflammatory, like brufin, antinaussea, anti pyrexic, and pain killer. I used to suffer what I thought was migraine, and 1 day had 2 comprals, because I had nothing else. To my surprise it worked better than the voltaren, tramadol, even morphine which in my desperation injected myself.

Have a look on Wikipedia, they have good explanation of what treatment is suggested. I actually found that I do not suffer from migraine, but cluster headaches, which is worse. Neurologist prescribed me lots of medicine to put me on chronic therapy when I start with a cluster.

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Hi Mary and other migraine sufferers. I saw something about migraines on TV here about a year ago. Cant remember all the details but, it was about new research that showed migraine sufferers that were put on a very light anti depressant had their chronic migraines disappear or reduce heavily. Was a great relief to patients that had tried it all. I just thought it was interesting research.

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Thanks everyone for your help and advice....! I will take it all on board, soldier on and hope for the best :blush:

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Hi Mary

I found that the migraine cocktails made up by pharmacies in South Africa often differed from one another, and none of those really worked for me. I used the Imigran injection which helped a lot but it was VERY expensive and also quite painful (although less painful than the migraine and it helped within minutes). They are also available in tablet form but didn't help as quickly. Later on I was subscribed Maxalt which was also very expensive but using the tables or wafers was much more "user friendly"!

Just before we left South Africa I found out that there was a generic tablet for Imigran called Sumatab (I use the 50mg), and that is also what my GP here in Melbourne subscribed for me. It costs about 18 dollars for 4 tablets but they are very good and I would suggest you find out about that from your doctor and maybe get a prescription. One of those would normally break the migraine, but sometimes I need to take another one later. (The Maxalt do not have a generic alternative). Because I only get four tablets a month I use them very sparingly and only when the normal Ibuprofen did not stop the headache from becoming a migraine. Hope this helps, I know what you're going through ... have been suffering from migraines now for about 17 years. Good luck!

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Hi Mary,

I feel your pain. I hope you find something that works for you. I've had 2 migraines so far since arriving and had to just push through it (not fun). Thanks for the advice Tilla, will look into that!

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just to add that stemetil injections are available in Aus. I have seen it used fairly often so not sure why the Doc said they don't use it. It is sometimes known as stemazine. I visited my local clinic and was given an injection of stemetil when I had migraine like symptoms.

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I have always suffered from migraines and headaches. In South Africa I would get a "migraine cocktail" from the pharmacist, it usually helped, and if it didn't, I would go to my GP who would give me a voltaren and stematil injection which worked very well - I would go home and feel fine after an hour.

I have had a headache for 4 days now, have taken aspirin, syndol and tramadol (prescription tablets given to me by a GP here), nothing has worked, and in desperation I went to the Joondalup After Hours GP this afternoon who told me that they don't do voltaren and stematil injections. Can anyone tell me about a treatment available in Australia that works for migraines? (the GP in Joondalup prescribed Panadeine Forte :D which I'm sure is an over the counter medicine and I just KNOW that's not going to help!)

Also can anyone tell me what the "migraine cocktail" in SA is made up of? I know there is a Migril, a Dixarit, and a Syndol, but I don't know what else. There are 5 tablets altogether.

Hi Mary

Just to let you know that Panadiene forte is a prescription only med and it is quite strong, has helped with my severe headaches before. Generally they do not give stematil inj for migraines, ?just one of those things. You will find that the Doctors here are a lot more cautious when prescribing Schedule drugs (prescription meds) due to the medicare rules and regulations.

Hope you find something that helps.

Mandy

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I'm 3/4 of the way through studying to be a Naturopath and have found that there is a strong link between lack of Magnesium and migraines. I used to suffer from migraines and headaches for 3 weeks out every 4 - for years! I was becoming less and less functional with days spent in bed, but now I don't get migraines anymore - have not had one for... um, can't remember... maybe 2 years...

I suggest you see a qualified Naturopath who can advise you on diet (you may be intolerant to certain foods) and also the type and dosage of Magnesium you should take. Also, Epsom salts baths can help to relieve migraines - pour 500g Epsoms salts in a tub of warm/hot bath water and soak in it for at least 30 minutes.

Hope you feel better soon!

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I suffer from occassional migraine (only 1 every 12 to 18 months or so), but get regular headaches ranging from mild to severe, and it took me ages to find and Australian doctor who understood the difference. They tend to treat it all like a bad headache, probably because most patients don't understand the difference either! Like when people say they have flu when what they have is a head cold :D

Anyway, back to topic! Panadeine Forte is a prescription only medication that works well with a severe headache. It contains LOTS of codeine (roughtly 3 x the amount available in regular over-the-counter meds) and paracetemol. I keep it handy for when I can feel a strong headache coming on and sometimes combine it with regular over the counter ibuprofen. When the doctor prescribes it, ask for a script for maxolon as well as this is a good anti-nausea tablet if you need one.

When I have a migraine (and I differentiate based on the nausea / vomiting, preceeding aura and degree of photosensitivity) then I got to my doctor and he gives me an injection with stemetil (called something else, but same deal for the nausea), voltaren and pethadine. I'm normally asleep within 15 mins (and obviously unable to drive anywhere!!) and wake up with no symptoms after a couple of hours. However, I would imagine that if you suffer from migraine regularly, you'd be hard-pressed to find a doctor willing to give the pethadine injection!

Good luck - I feel your pain!

Thanks for the magnesium tip africa2aus - will give that a try and see if it helps reduce the frequency of headaches!

Ajay

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Also, Epsom salts baths can help to relieve migraines - pour 500g Epsoms salts in a tub of warm/hot bath water and soak in it for at least 30 minutes.

Interesting I will give that a try.

I sometimes if I get the initial warning of a migraine on a really hot day that if I soak for about half an hour in a cold bath (really hard to get into as I am usually feeling very hot as well) that my body seems to cool down and sometimes I can get rid of the migraine that way. Only works if it is really hot and I think that may be one of my triggers.

I sometimes try a Rennie (for the magnesium when I get the initial tingles of a migraine)

Have been wondering about trying something to knock me out sleeping drug wise when I get home as they tend to last 8-12 hours (and usually have another one the next day at a similar time) and I only seem to feel better after I have slept. But worry that any drug may cause a problem.

I tried a sinus spray the last time and I think my sinuses were worse from it.

Goodluck with them guys

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I have suffered for many years from migraine and hopefully as i head to my half century they will occur less and less but time will tell.

Many years ago a worked with someone who too was a migraine sufferer and she told me to ask my doctor to subscribe a drug called ZOMIG (or also known as zolmitriptan). I have found that you must ask for the medicine because they don't offer it for some reason. Also make sure that the doctor phones for authority when prescribing it otherwise it could cost a lot for 4 little pills. Initially i used to pay about $10 a pill but over time it has become more affordable and I am now paying $25 for 4 pills. It may sound expensive but it works and you only need to take one or maybe two if it is a bad one.

If you catch the migraine early with the Zomig you will be right as rain within a couple of hours with very little side effect. It is well worth a try and highly recommended.

Search the name ZOMIG on the internet and you will found out more about it. It is made by AstraZeneca.

Hope this helps

Bailey

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As I also get migraines quite often I brought a couple of Maxalt wafers with before we left SA in September lastyear. That I found helped me the best and usualy within half an hour the migraine was gone, side effects was the normal tiredness / sleepyness and lack of energy.

I found that the drug was registered here recently and currently the doctors and pharmacist are not aware of this fact yet. I did speak to a consultant at Merch Sharp & Dohme and they confirmed that we can get it, but we do need prescriptions for it. So speak to your GP and ask for it directly.

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There's only one thing which helps for me : Maxalt RDP10 by Merck - works within a few minutes, migraine gone! It is a wafer you place under your tongue. You don't get it in Aus though, and you need a script... You could order it from www.springbokpharmacy.co.za if you could get a script from a doctor in RSA.

Sorry I haven't read all the answers so maybe someone already suggested it. Works like a bomb! :ilikeit:

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hi all

what about the root cause for migranes?

a few i know of:

ibs/constipation/spastic colon

lactose intollerant

gluten intollerant

stress

insomnia

weak eyes

other food allergies

insufficient oxygen to the brain

swelling of the cranial nerves

the best time to figure this out is when your head is not sore.right?

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I have just read thru the whole posts answers and agree with all. I do however also believe that Abdul's post has huge merit and would like to add my own story.

I have been a migraine sufferer for about 10 years. They would range from just mild to extreme! Those ones that makes you so nauseous that you stay in the bathroom or in bed with a bucket next to you. I usually get the 'warning signs' of disrupted vision( blank spots), this would happen before the onset of any pain. If I then take a panadol immediately I would be able to stop my headache from forming. For a full blown migraine I use Voltaren 50mg and a Maxalon for the nausea. A Dr in Aus also prescribed Panadeine fort but I found these to be so strong that it made me hallucinate if I took two tabs.

I have recently (December 09) been suffering from Panic/Anxiety attacks which I believe was due to too many changes/stresses on top of each other for the past 10 years and more! See the correlation? Well after numerous Dr's visits including a Cardiologist and two 000 calls, 2 visits to a Psychologist 3 different kinds of anti-depressants (none of which agreed with me!!) I finally found/realized that I would have to face this problem in a non medicinal way.

I am now doing meditation twice a day (most days) and have found it to be FANTASTIC!! Not only have I not had a panic attack in a month but I have grown spiritually and actually understand myself and the world better. The heart palpitations, upset tummy, acidity, not being able to eat more than half a portion (if that) of anything are gone!

I would also like to add that I have stopped drinking coffee with Caffeine and no more Coca Cola.

I would like to urge you to give it a try. CDs are available in most good bookstores in Aus or on line. I'm using Dr Bernie Siegel's Morning and Evening meditations.

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I have just read thru the whole posts answers and agree with all. I do however also believe that Abdul's post has huge merit and would like to add my own story.

I have been a migraine sufferer for about 10 years. They would range from just mild to extreme! Those ones that makes you so nauseous that you stay in the bathroom or in bed with a bucket next to you. I usually get the 'warning signs' of disrupted vision( blank spots), this would happen before the onset of any pain. If I then take a panadol immediately I would be able to stop my headache from forming. For a full blown migraine I use Voltaren 50mg and a Maxalon for the nausea. A Dr in Aus also prescribed Panadeine fort but I found these to be so strong that it made me hallucinate if I took two tabs.

I have recently (December 09) been suffering from Panic/Anxiety attacks which I believe was due to too many changes/stresses on top of each other for the past 10 years and more! See the correlation? Well after numerous Dr's visits including a Cardiologist and two 000 calls, 2 visits to a Psychologist 3 different kinds of anti-depressants (none of which agreed with me!!) I finally found/realized that I would have to face this problem in a non medicinal way.

I am now doing meditation twice a day (most days) and have found it to be FANTASTIC!! Not only have I not had a panic attack in a month but I have grown spiritually and actually understand myself and the world better. The heart palpitations, upset tummy, acidity, not being able to eat more than half a portion (if that) of anything are gone!

I would also like to add that I have stopped drinking coffee with Caffeine and no more Coca Cola.

I would like to urge you to give it a try. CDs are available in most good bookstores in Aus or on line. I'm using Dr Bernie Siegel's Morning and Evening meditations.

I suffered from migraines for a very long time. About 7 years ago I started to get panic attacks...extreme anxiety, almost on a daily basis. When the palpitations started I decided to go see a Dr. who immediately referred me to a Cardiologist. I then had to find out that I have Mitral Valve Prolapse..don't ask me for how long I have had this..no idea. People with MVP will usually have these panic attacks, palpitations, stomach problems, and migraines. The doctor prescribed Propranolol and I don't get these terrible migraines anymore. Dr. told me to cut down on the coffee and excercise..very important, it makes a huge difference.

Don't get me wrong now, I am not saying that you might have MVP, but it could be something to look into. Many people (mostly women) have MVP and don't know they have it.

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I have always suffered from migraines and headaches. In South Africa I would get a "migraine cocktail" from the pharmacist, it usually helped, and if it didn't, I would go to my GP who would give me a voltaren and stematil injection which worked very well - I would go home and feel fine after an hour.

I have had a headache for 4 days now, have taken aspirin, syndol and tramadol (prescription tablets given to me by a GP here), nothing has worked, and in desperation I went to the Joondalup After Hours GP this afternoon who told me that they don't do voltaren and stematil injections. Can anyone tell me about a treatment available in Australia that works for migraines? (the GP in Joondalup prescribed Panadeine Forte <_< which I'm sure is an over the counter medicine and I just KNOW that's not going to help!)

Also can anyone tell me what the "migraine cocktail" in SA is made up of? I know there is a Migril, a Dixarit, and a Syndol, but I don't know what else. There are 5 tablets altogether.

Hi Mary,

I do sympathise with you having such terrible migranes.. I hope you dont mind me suggesting something other than medicine - but I honestly believe its worth it. There have been lots of different suggestions, and I dont know how you will decide what might be best..

Try to find your self a good Naturopath - or someone who does 'Bowen therapy' Believe me..

I was a skeptic, my daughter had been having headaches for 3 months solid :( - I took her to 5 different Dr's, 1 said 'hormones' (she's 9 byt the way!)1 suggested attention seeking :angry: and the others just said - ah some people just are more headachy than others.. Keep giving her Panadein!! To a 9 year old.. I dont think so!!

Then a friend suggested a therapist ehre in Adelaide who is into Bowen and other types of remedial therapy. (He works on people as well as race horses)

He felt around her back - and neck - and said she must have had a fall on her right shoulder - turned out she remembered falling at school playing footy!

He did what he had to so - put her onto a combination of minerals and after 4 visits.. She is now fine!! Brilliant!

Its all natural too - so what could be better!

Good luck.. Hope the headaches clear up soon. There is not much worse!! :)

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I suffer from migraines .... every now and then but it appears self infected. Too much coffee (caffeine) and on they come, figured that out after taking bio-plus tablets for a week ... and now with all this glorious coffee, my head is in for a little trouble!

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Thanks for the up and up Bluebonnet, done the Cardiologist thing with 24hr monitor and stress ECG, scans etc. Thank goodness nothing major wrong there. He also suggested no Caffeine and exercise.

Since paying more attention to my diet and doing the meditation (mainly for relaxation) I have not had a migraine or panic attack.

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Since paying more attention to my diet and doing the meditation (mainly for relaxation) I have not had a migraine or panic attack.

Good news .... bet you feel altogether better too ...

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Thanks for the up and up Bluebonnet, done the Cardiologist thing with 24hr monitor and stress ECG, scans etc. Thank goodness nothing major wrong there. He also suggested no Caffeine and exercise.

Since paying more attention to my diet and doing the meditation (mainly for relaxation) I have not had a migraine or panic attack.

I definitely agree that excercise and meditation will help a lot. (I started Tae Kwon Do...which includes meditation also) It reduces stress and migraines are often triggered by stress.

I am glad you have nothing wrong with the heart, that is good. MVP is not a big deal, it is a very common condition and at least 6% of all women have it...very strange. Only problem the doctor told me, is that infection of the mitral valve can occur, and the chance of infection can be diminished by taking antibiotics before dental treatment, including teeth cleaning , and certain kinds of surgery.

I am always concerned when people tell me they suffer from migraines...because it is terrible and it is important to find out what causes it...and not just swallow pills and more pills, which often don't even help. It is a fact that people suffering from migraines are twice as likely to have mitral valve prolapse, so maybe good thing for people to have the heart checked out.

Also, there is a link between magnesium deficiency and migraine headaches. My sister's headaches are gone since she started taking magnesium.

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