Friday, 15 July 2011

Preventative number 2 - Allegron

At last I had got an appointment with a neurologist.  I was expecting the world.  A torrent of probing questions, brain scans, blood tests all resulting in a huge list of possible options.  After 5 minutes brief questioning and testing my reflexes he confirmed that I have migraines (so tell me something that I don't already know) and wrote a note for me to take to my doctors for some tablets.  I had disappointment written all over my face!  Was that it?  Where were the probes?  Where were all of the clever medical gadgets? Where was the excitement?  Where was the machine that goes "bing"?  Grasping at straws I asked what would we do if the tablets didn't work?  He advised my doctors to try two further preventatives which pretty much guarantees that I won't have to see him again for at least 4 1/2 months assuming that none of them work.

But let's not start on a negative note.  Allegron is actually an antidepressant, so if nothing else, I might still get the migraines, but I will be happy with them.  The dose for depression is 25mg three or four times a day.  So that's 75mg to 100mg per day.  I am starting on 10mg to be taken just at night and am increasing by 10mg per week until I get to 50mg so the does is well below the norm.

Let's have a look at how it went...

Week One.  10mg of Allegron
I had a cold which normally means that I don't get migraines anyway (see post migraines-vs-being-ill).  So getting only 1 migraine this week was nice but not a big surprise.  And I didn't feel overly happy so the antidepressant wasn't working at this low does either.

Week Two.  20mg of Allergron
I didn't get off to the best of starts as I forgot to take my first dose.  How do you remember to take tablets every day?  Any ideas are greatly received.  Anyhoo, two and a bit migraines this week.  The 2nd was a big one so no improvement yet.

Week Three.  30mg of Allergron
Sunday nights is a bad night for me as I forgot the first dose of 3 again.  I am still waiting for the migraines to subside and am hoping to be able to stop increasing the dose before I reach the 50mg maximum.  I really don't like taking tablets unless I have to.  As for the frequency of migraines, it was the same as week two.  Two migraines with the second one being a bad one.  I got it on the way to work which is unusual as normally I get them in the afternoon.  Not that I really want a change in that direction.  Interestingly I can feel the effects of the antidepressant kicking in a bit.  My mood is definitely lighter this week.  I can't imagine what I would feel like on the full dose if this small amount effects me in this way.  I would be floating!

Week 4.  40mg of Allegron
Ok, enough is enough.   By the end of the 4th week, the migraines are still there, just as before.  But, the intensity of them is far greater than I normally get.  The pain that I get is sharper than normal and whilst the triptans still get rid of them, until that happens, the pain is far worse.

So I call the doctors and ask them what happens next and they tell me to move onto drug number 3.  But that's a story for another blog...

Oh, and I have no idea what the picture actually depicts, but I thought it was kind of kitsch.