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I have been getting migraines since I was a toddler. They are horrible, violent and last sometimes for days. They are related more with changes in barometric pressure but huge swings in my progesterone levels can bring one on too.
Over the summer I stopped taking one of the migraine preventatives I was on - a daily dosage, because it is known to cause birth defects. Since I went off it, my migraines have exploded - nearly every other day. The abortive I take to get rid of one once it starts is a Class D med and I can't take it if I'm pregnant. But I can't get through the day with one of these migraines.
Today I have another killer migraine. I am starting to think that maybe getting pregnant isn't such a good idea. How can I get through another pregnancy with horrible, daily pain like this?
I get cluster headaches. One of the ladies at my work suffers with migraines and when she gets one it lasts for days. She tried all sorts of meds, therapies, acupuncture. ..... but the last doc she went to prescribed her epilepsy medicine. She doesn't get them as often and when she does their not as bad.
Laura - That epilepsy med is called Topamax. I was on it for 8 years, but it can cause organ damage after prolonged use, so my Neuro weened me off it just this past July. That is the med that causes birth defects as well, so it was another reason to stop taking it. It does work though, my migraines were much less frequent and not as severe when I was on it.
Thanks ladies, for the responses. I've been on medication for migraines for 10 + years now, and unfortunately, there are few meds that are not Class C or Class D. I'm on the one remaining one, Innopran, that is Class B and therefore safe during pregnancy. But it doesn't do the trick. ALL of these meds affect blood flow at the very least, so they are not safe especially in the early stages.
I've tried herbs and teas, Chinese, Indian and even Isreali, but as with most anything that is for headaches / migraines, they affect blood flow and vein/capillari function. Not safe during pregnancy.
I feel stuck. When I was expecting my son, I was on Topamax because the drug had just been approved for Migraines and there were no studies. But now, 10 years later, we know that this drug affects development in wks 4 - 6. After that, I can go back on it if I want to risk organ damage. I don't know what to do really. They have been so bad the past 6 months.
I just spoke to the lady I work with and she said she is on Topamax and was not aware that there were any major side effects. She said she is definitely going to look into it though. Thank you Leia for letting me know so I could let her know
Laura - there are a few side effects of Topamax that are pretty manageable. Tingly fingers, difficulty finding or getting through a sentence or phrase, Strange dreams. But the one that has come up in the past 2 or 3 years is birth defects - specifically Cleft Palette. Since the mouth develops between 6-8 weeks, as do the nasal cavities, it is recommended that you stop taking Topamax if you are TTC, until you are into the 2nd trimester (just to be safe).
For anyone taking it, long term use can cause Liver damage and Kidney stones and damage.