Reader’s Mail: Headaches Return after Taking Triptan

Q. I have had a kidney removed due to cancer. Consequently, I’ve been told to avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and other pain relievers that are metabolized through the kidneys so as to not stress the remaining kidney. Acetaminophen no longer provides any relief for my migraines. The triptans work, but always result in a bad rebound headache about 20 hours later. Are there any acute medications for migraine, other than the triptans, that are not metabolized through the kidneys? I have 9 to 11 days a month of migraine and have not found a preventive medication that works. Continue Reading

Sharing My Headache Story with NHF – Carrie

I have been having headaches since I was in my early 20’s and I am now 51. So, you can tell I have been going through this for a while. I have been on various medications, both preventive and abortive. They range from Fiorinal, Topamax, Aleve, Imitrex, Excedrin Migraine, Neurontin, Treximet, DHE 45 injections, and hormone replacement therapy.

Currently, I am trying out a new machine that pumps cold or hot water into a mask and doing relaxation exercises. I struggle because most of the symptoms are managed, but there is no specific “cure” for me. Other things complicate my case because I have a mood disorder and am trying to reduce my stress. My daughter is 11 and struggles with ADHD and a chronic anemia problem. I have had a gynecologist, a neurologist, and two headache specialists, but I keep on trying because life is too short to let pain get in the way.

Waking with Headaches “Every Day without Fail”

Q. For about six months I have been waking up with what are, for me, unusual headaches—at the front of my head above my eyes. They start in the very early morning between 1 am and 3 am and are still there when I wake up at 7 am. This happens every day without fail. The headaches disappear about an hour after waking. I also have lightheadedness and some blurred vision.

Two weeks ago my doctor diagnosed high blood pressure (220/114). He put me on amlodipine. My lightheadedness has nearly disappeared, but I still get the headaches even though my blood pressure is now down to 145/79. Do you think these headaches are still linked to hypertension or are they something more sinister? Continue Reading