Is doctor prescribing Tegretol to treat Bipolar II?

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  • Full Question:

    I have had chronic daily headaches and periodic migraines for 5 years now.  I have a new neurologist who has prescribed Tegretol for my chronic daily headaches and periodic migraines.  She wanted to prescribe zonisamide but I have a sulfa allergy which prevented this.


    My psychiatrist has suggested I take Tegretol a while back for a possible Bipolar II disorder.  He knew of my chronic headaches and migraines and he did not think this medicine would help with them.


    What do you think?  Is my neurologist trying to treat the Bipolar II disorder thinking that will help the headaches?

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    I'm hesitant to try another medicine that has some unpleasant side effects unless there is a good chance of it helping the headaches and migraines.


    I appreciate any help you could give me with this, Amy.



    Dear Amy;


    When we didn’t have any of the newer agents in our roster, Tegretol was a big player in my toolbox. It still is used for a number of clinical problems, including bipolar disease and can be helpful for headaches and migraines. You would have to ask your neurologist the reasons that the medication is being tried.


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert



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    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    Last updated July 30, 2010.

Published On: July 30, 2010