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Verapamil v Prednisone


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In my fight against my cluster headaches I have asked my doctor for a prescription for something to stop the headaches.  Years ago when I had the headaches I used lithium and it worked great for many episodes and then the last time it stopped.  I asked to try lithium again and my doctor gave me the choice of verapamil or predisone.  i don't want predisone because of the side effects.  I had weight loss surgery six weeks ago and taking something that makes me gain weight is almost the last thing I want.  I say almost because if it is my only choice I will take it. :-/

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Prednisone, in my experience, is way more effective than Verapamil. That being said, I take Verap when I am hit, because of the side effects of Prednisone. I don't mind the weight gain so much, but in the long term, it could be pretty damaging (if taken pretty often or in high doses). My uncle underwent hip replacement surgery in both hips because of his prednisone use. That was kind of an eye opener for me.

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No luck at all with Verapamil.  Prednisone was my go to for the last 15 years.  Always kills the cycle IF and only IF I take enough.  I do everything I can to avoid it now because of this site.  nothing has come close to the effectiveness of Vitamin M!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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...i don't want predisone because of the side effects.....if it is my only choice I will take it. 

nothing has come close to the effectiveness of Vitamin M!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi Kristi, I think Ajax mentioned something there that pertains to the "if it's my only choice" issue, which is there are a whole lotta CH'ers (not to mention medical researchers) who've found that busting is indeed a more effective preventative choice than any med out there.

Prednisone is horrifically dangerous in sustained high doses beyond the conventional burst/taper dosage. And the likelihood of hip replacement surgery for anyone who goes there is just the beginning of the risked permanent side effects. So yep pred is just a transitional med, commonly used while buying time for the verap to kick in.

You might find the video of the talk by the founder of this site, Bob Wold, on his long journey with all the meds and eventually busting, to be very pertinent. It has a happy ending. :) Here's the link:

http://vimeo.com/10918637

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I'm new, first posting.  Have done reading on "vit. M" and would love to try, worried about how to get good quality, no controls on that one?  Over the past six years, pretty much tried it all.  Verap. no good, same throwing irreg. heartbeats.  Steroids, they work just great, but so bad for the body over time.  O2 never had any luck with that.  Acupuncture, works well, very well, but they won't issue any of us a home kit for when the pain starts AGAIN.  Massage and chiropractic, can help temporarily but sometimes trigger pain afterwards.  Tried all the neurological drugs, with no success and with many side effects.  I use vicodin, not much but enough to make it through.  I do believe drinking more water helps a bit, getting more sleep is a huge factor in coping with the pain .. I have used clonazepam to sleep, it helps me to get a least 6 hours in a row usually.  Had occipital nerve dissection a Georgetown Hsp. Ctr.  last year.  All my pain is on the left side of my skull, back and front.  The back is now just numb since the surgery, with some pulling sensations but not level 10 pain.  Now just the stabbing pain in the left eye, brow and left side of nose, sometimes shooting into my teeth on the upper left side.  So they said I should share my story, there it is!  haha  Making it, less depression in last 9 months.  Got hope after finding so many more people who are looking for a solution to our pain.  I want to try "vit. K" just not sure how to proceed. 

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Welcome, MLE.  Thanks for the thorough report.

Here's my broken-record spiel: There are a very small number of people for whom O2 doesn't work.  In case after case here, when people say their O2 didn't work, it often does work when they either (a) have the right system, which they usually didn't have in the past (15 or more LPM of flow, a non-rebreather mask); or (B) upgrade their system in any of a variety of ways.  You can read about that here, and I urge you to do so:  http://clusterbusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/OXYGEN-12-2012.pdf

Many people here use LSA from seeds to treat CH very successfully.  If you don't have a reliable source of psilo, you can grow it, but that takes a while.  I'm sure that  most folks here would tell you that if you're seriously wanting to try busting and you don't have psilo, LSA is definitely worth a try.  Read more about that here, and read the other numbered files in the "Clusterbuster Files" section, too: http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cb/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1290128974

It is widely, though not universally, believed that vicodin, as an opiate, will interfere with busting.  So you'd probably want to "detox" from that for five days before taking psilo or LSA.  I don't know about the clonazepam, but someone here surely does.  Getting through the detox period is a lot easier if you have O2 that works.

Have you tried energy drinks?  Melatonin?  The D3 regimen?

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Hey There LeftEye,

I like what CHfather and BlueB said.

A lot.  :)

Ya came to the right place.  8-)

Have done reading on "vit. M" and would love to try, worried about how to get good quality, no controls on that one? 

I doubt you have to be concerned about quality controls  when ordering spores for growing, since they are legal to order in most states (assuming for now that you're in the USA). It's not like a black market thing. We've seen legions upon legions of CH'ers report ordering spores, and other than some that didn't produce fungi for whatever reason (likely due to growing conditions), I don't recall anyone having other problems with what they've received.

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I finally got my non-rebreather mak and it is not working at all, I got more relief from the one that just went in my nose.  Could i be doing something wrong?  It does seem, a little big but i am trying to seal it against my face.  I also started the verapamil 80 mg 3x a day. and don't know if I can still take imitrex because the pain is heading to the unbearable level.  I know that there are other options but right now I don't have access to them. :question

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Hi Kristi,

Sorry, not sure about the O2/mask issue - hopefully someone will be along to help sort that out.  :-?

Regarding the other preventative options - The RC seeds CHfather mentioned can be (legally) ordered for next day delivery, though I suppose that'd be sooner than you'd actually need them since you'd first need to detox from the imitrex for 5 days.

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I finally got my non-rebreather mak and it is not working at all, I got more relief from the one that just went in my nose.  Could i be doing something wrong?  It does seem, a little big but i am trying to seal it against my face.  I also started the verapamil 80 mg 3x a day. and don't know if I can still take imitrex because the pain is heading to the unbearable level.  I know that there are other options but right now I don't have access to them. :question

Hi Kristi,

     As far as the mask goes ... I have a few pointers.  First, cut the strap off.  You will find that holding the mask against your face will give you a much better seal than just the strap by itself.  Also, falling asleep with the mask attached to your face and your air on (passing out from the pain) can be fatal.  Once your blood gets over saturated with oxygen your brain tells your heart to stop pumping and thats not a good thing.

     Second, I recommend taping off the little breather holes on one side of the mask.  When I used the regular non-rebreather mask I held it to my face and covered the non-taped holes with my thumb during inhalation.  This just assures that you are getting PURE o2 and not a mixture of o2 and "regular air".  You might even try taping off the holes on both sides until you get the hang of it.

Before I got my demand valve and mouthpiece I actually found it better to just take the oxygen straight from the hose with no mask at all.  Just pop the bare hose in your mouth, turn the o2 on,  inhale until you feel like you are going to explode, and then flip the air off and hold in the o2 as long as you can.  Exhale...... repeat.

Just please cut that strap off the mask ..... please.

I'm not a doctor, but your verapamil dosage seems low?  I know it is different for all of us (depending on body weight and other factors) but I was up to 4-5 times more than you are taking at the height of my pharm days.

Lastly, I am not real certain what you are asking about the Imitrex ..... but yes, you can take it if you need to.  The presence of oxygen, or verapamil does not negate your ability to take the shot.

Best of luck, and feel free to p.m. me if you have more questions.  I don't look at the boards everyday, but if you p.m. me I will get a notification in my email and I do look at that every day.

Best regards,

steve

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I finally got my non-rebreather mak and it is not working at all

kk, some basics:

Does your mask look like this?

non-rebreathermask.jpg[/img]

Is the bag attached to the mask filling up with oxygen, and then going down as you breathe in the oxygen, and then refilling so you can breathe in again?  That's what should be happening, and the refilling should be happening quite quickly if you're at 15 lpm.  Have you checked the setting on your regulator to be sure it's at 15, or at least 12 lpm?  The settings for cannula usually are much lower.

The white dots on this mask in the picture (and probably on your mask) are the "little breather holes" that b.g. was talking about. Block them off as you breathe in.

If you're not doing it now, try swigging an "energy drink" (RedBull, Monster, etc.) or at least some coffee just before you start on the oxygen.  Be sure you get on the oxygen at the very first sign of an attack.

Hope this helps!

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