HeadWise HeadWise: Volume 4, Issue 4 - Page 12

reader mail You ask. Our headache experts answer. It’s time to learn from those in the know. In every issue of HeadWise®, our experts respond to reader-submitted questions about migraine and headache disorders. Amitriptyline In Headache Treatment Has anyone been prescribed amitriptyline for chronic headaches and migraines? If so, how did it go? I’ve just been prescribed it but want to know more before taking it. Did anyone get any side effects? –Facebook visitor “Since 1962, amitriptyline has been prescribed for chronic headache. It is the most frequently prescribed generic drug for this purpose. The stimulus that prompted my career in headache medicine was my original work with amitriptyline. I conducted a study on the relationship between depression and other bodily complaints, such as arthritis, gastrointestinal symptoms, etc. The results demonstrated that amitriptyline has superior efficacy in treating these various complaints. At the 1963 convention of the American Medical Association (AMA), I presented my findings in a scientific exhibit. A physician asked me a question about the relationship between depression and headache. The question intrigued me and I then started an investigation on the use of amitriptyline in headache – and my keen interest in the subject was born. Extensive studies on the efficacy of amitriptyline in headache were not conducted in the pursuit for approval from the Food and Drug Administration for this indication. The expense of such investigations precluded their undertaking. The side effects of amitriptyline include dry mouth, constipation, and blurred vision. These side effects are usually transient. Dosage of the drug should be gradually increased for its efficacy and to minimize the side effects.” Seymour Diamond, MD Executive Chairman and Founder National Headache Foundation Chicago, IL 12 HeadW ise ® | Volume 4, Issue 4 • 2015 Aura Symptoms Without Headache I have been a migraine sufferer for 8 years (visual, sensory, and neurological auras increasing progressively but rarely get headaches). A neurologist insists I have ‘pain in my head’ as I have what I would describe as an increasing tightness in my scalp. It feels like I want to pull off my scalp and scratch my brain, a fuzzy feeling is unbearable. I also have neck pain but never need pain killers. I have been treated for chronic daily headache. Along with the symptoms above, I have developed pulsating tinnitis on the same side of head that has been affected for the last 16 months. Auras are persistent from morning to night and unrelentless, dizziness, pins and needles, visual disturbances, difficulty getting words out, chills, thirst, runny nose, nerve pain in face, nausea, tripping over my feet. Despite prophylactic meds, (topiramate, neurontin, numerous blocks, and inpatient treatment – nothing has worked and out of frustration I fell out with my neurologist 6 months ago. Currently, I am [