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So, last night at about 7pm, I get a headache. By 7:20 it had turned into a full blown migraine. I called sis to come over and help out with the boy while I took a painkiller. Lortab 7.5mg. About an hour later, the majority of the pain had subsided and I could open my eyes again. Sis left and I put the boy to bed.

Shortly after, I really start feeling the lortab. You know, the dizzy, wobbly, slightly nauseous feeling? Time to go to bed to sleep it off. Then, the worst part kicked in. The fucking itchies. All over. Can't sleep cuz I'm busy scratching my arms and legs and stomach til they bleed. It took about an hour before I could fall asleep.

As painkillers go, Lortab usually isn't that bad. I've only ever gotten the itchies before with oxycontin. When I get a severe migraine and don't have painkillers available and end up in the emergency room, they give me demerol. Don't get the itchies with that, but it's not available for a take-home med.

So, my question is, Is there an available painkiller for migraines that don't have that effect? Cuz really sometimes I debate with myself, "Is it worth the side effects to take the pill to get rid of the migraine?" Because I HATE that drugged up itchy feeling.

And yes, painkillers are the only thing that work for me. But I only get a handful of migraines a year. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Croix

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Yeah, the itchies are the worst part for me too.

I accidently took like 6 pills once cause I thought they were sleeping pills and I itched for *days*. (OTC sleeping pills I mean. Wasn't a suicide attempt. Just ADHD induced lapse of attention plus zero tolerance to codine because I never use it. I think the pills were darvocet or percocets. And to be fair, my mom likes to consolidate all her pills into one bottle, including combining OTC and Rx...so not entirely my fault! =P)

I actually don't like codiene/morphine in general, so I tend to go for ultram (tramadol) if I *have* to take a prescription pain pill.

Ultram has a lot of weird reactions with psych meds though, so if you get it, be really sure to ask your doctor about them.

Plus taking ultram with ibuprofen is bad. Really bad. Dunno why.

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Is there an available painkiller for migraines that don't have that effect? Cuz really sometimes I debate with myself, "Is it worth the side effects to take the pill to get rid of the migraine?" Because I HATE that drugged up itchy feeling.

I get the itchies too but I also get a kind of tar-slick-in-my-head feeling from all of the codeine based pain killers, including the Darvocet I'm on nowadays. If I turn my head too fast, it's nausea time. A while back they had me on Percocet and it was just about the same, and Vicodin was the same too. When I was in the ER I got morphine, and I think that was about the only thing that really killed the pain dead cold in its tracks, but I really hated that elevator-like hit on the brain. I don't remember if I got itchy, but that's definitely in-hospital only stuff so it's moot anyway. OTC's are completely useless, of course.

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So, I spoke with doc over the phone today. He said to combat the itchies, take a benadryl. Um, I have low blood pressure, add painkiller PLUS benedryl, I do believe my heart would stop beating in my sleep and I would die. Dumbass. Is he freakin kidding me???

Croix

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I get the ichies from Percocet  and Lortab/Lorcet.  I don't notice them with Darvocet, Vicodin or Vicoprofen (which I now use).

I remember when I was coming out of my gallbladder surgery and they were giving me morphine for the pain.  Everytime I would raise my hand, more morphine in my iv.  By the time I got into my recovery room I was itching like crazy.  I remember telling the nurse that the morphine was making me itch.

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All the opiate based pain killers can cause itching.  I think if you took Benadryl with any of them, you would be pretty wasted, considering it has sedating effects. 

The hospitals combine gravol with opiates, which is both an anti-histamine and an anti-nauseant.  That would take care of 2 side effects.  But be prepared for a looong nap.

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Heya,

BTW Demerol (meperidine) *is* (in Canada anyway) avail in pills.

It is seldom Rxd b/c when your liver processes it, it has an active metabolite called normeperidine.

Normeperidine, if given a chance too build up, can cause seizures.

That's why we don't hand it out except in short-term.

Sorry to horn in on your thread (WTF?  Horn in?  <sigh> whatever) but there were Q's about Demerol I wanted to help with.

And, yah, all opioids/narcotics commonly cause itchies.

--ncc--

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When I have any dental work done, I opt for sedation.  They give me a script for Merperidine and Halcion.  I've never had any pain, even from my wisdom teeth being removed with those meds.

My step-father has severe back and knee problems (he's had surgery years ago) and he takes Merperidine.  He's a big guy and all other pain meds he has tried, just don't touch the pain at all.

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  • 1 month later...

Here is a take on this wretched side effect that also responds to some of the other posts (as of April 1 [and this isn't an April Fools joke].

1st)  Lucky you that Lortab makes a dent since this is one of the weaker narcotic/Non Steroidal combinations.  Unfortunately the more you need these things, the less they work (as you use em more).  This probably means you can try different painkillers to get the side effect profile that works for you. 

A smart neurologist might write you a two-pill prescription for several different ones so you can try them for side effects when you are not in the middle of a migraine.

2)  There is discussion in the medical research community about whether narcotic PK's (ultram, lortab, darvon, morphine, codeine, percocet, etc.) actually will work for "true" migraines at all.  But there is also some discussion about whether you can truely tell the difference between a migraine or a cluster or a tension headache anyway.  The science on this is amazingly bad, given how big a thing it is.

3)  You can get morphine outside of the hospital.  It is available in both a time released and non-time released parental (oral) formulation.  [Response to another post.]  Any of the IV or Intramuscular formulations will be hard to get though, and morphine is not well absorbed throught the gut, and you tend to get the side effects without as good of a pain killer response.  Dermerol also doesn't work orally (almost at all) so that is why most physicians don't use it in oral form.  Great for those of you who it works for.  I've personally never gotton itchy from it, and I have from almost everything else.  Some of the narcotics either don't make it mutch passed the stomach acids or are changed in ways that hurt {ha ha} their painkilling effects.

4) Percocet and percodan [oxycodone with tylenol or aspirin] work very well with oral administration.  You might find that the dose can be low enough not to have the itch thing and get the pain relief.  There is a "Demi" formulation that has the regular amount of (either) asprin or tylenol and half of the "regular" amount of oxy.  You can get oxy alone without the aspirin or tylenol as well.  It comes in time release (for chronic pain) and regular ole lasts three or four hours.

5)  The itch thing is caused by a general release of HISTAMINE so often anti-histamines work.  My neurologist writes me a prescription for ATARIX, an older prescription antihistmine to take when I have to take a big dose of narcotic pain killers.  It works fairly well.  Likewise, the cream someone mentioned is probably an antihistamine OTC cream (like benydryl cream).  It kind of works in my experience.  The itch thing is horrible but not as bad as the shoot yourself in the head headaches.

6) As I mentioned, every one is a little different on each narcotic on their own personal side effects, but I see that no one has mentioned DILAUDID.  It gets in and out of your system quick and is considered a very "clean" narcotic in that way, with relatively few side effects.  It makes me itch less than some of the others.

7)  One thing that almost got me killed about a decade back was fiornal.  Very easy to OD on since it has a barbituate in it and it can interact with other meds (if you are unfortunate enough to have a pile of 'em to take).  You can get the fiornial effect though safely, by combining Excedrin with a small does of a benzodiazepine like xanax or any of 'em.

All of this stuff is available generic and is very, very cheap.  Not sure about Ultram though, it may cost a bit more.

good luck!

ego

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There is discussion in the medical research community about whether narcotic PK's (ultram, lortab, darvon, morphine, codeine, percocet, etc.) actually will work for "true" migraines at all.

They most definitely DO NOT work on migraine for me, and often opiates and opiate derivatives are triggers for migraines for me.

But there is also some discussion about whether you can truely tell the difference between a migraine or a cluster or a tension headache anyway.  The science on this is amazingly bad, given how big a thing it is.

When Imitrex was first released in the injectable form, I was a miserable fiorinol with codeine addicted wretch. My doctor told me, "the drug is so effective against migraine as to be practically diagnositc." This has born out to be true in the 15 years, or how ever long it's been, that I have taken it. On occassion I will have a different kind of headache, tension/sinus that I think is a migraine coming on, and indeed it does not respond at all to a triptan.

But, knock on wood, triptans continue to be effective for me. Although I could have bought a small Island in the south pacific by now with what I have spent out of pocket.

Drug companies are evil.

S9

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Well, l'd rather not take morphine. Too strong for me. It can't very well work on the migraine if it makes me so nauceus that I can't keep it down.

And I only get a migraine every other month or so. What's the least strong painkiller? Maybe that'll work. And I won't get the itchies so bad. The triptans don't do a damn thing for me. At all. Tried three different kinds. Topamax worked wonders. Didn't have a migraine for the entire six months I was on it, but I had to go off.

I don't understand how the medical research community is debating whether true painkillers "work" for migraines. I'm proof they work. Also the debate about whether it's a true migraine or cluster or tension headache. I get all types. I know the difference. Anyone who gets a number of headaches each month should do their research and know which type is which and what is more likely to work with the corresponding headache. I've done it. Believe me, I know. When I have a cluster headache a painkiller won't touch it. So I don't take a painkiller at that time.

My most often headaches are allergy and cluster. But I'll get blindsided by a migraine every so often. Just looking for correct painkiller for that, that won't have me scratching my skin off.

Croix

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