05/28/07 #2 - Zolmitriptan reaction, Migraleve, exertion trigger?

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  • Full Question:
    The last migraine I suffered, I tried taking Zolmitriptan, for the first time, but I found that I experienced a tight chest, breathlessness and tingling and numbness in my right arm, hand and lips on the right side (top and bottom lip). I had never experienced the tingling in my lips before, so I did feel quite worried when this occurred. Do you think that I was experiencing side effects of the drug?

    I am unsure of what to take next time I have a migraine, as I do not want to go through that again.

    I have been to a GP and he said that 'the tingling in my lips was probably lack of oxygen, as I was panicking!'. If that was the case wouldn't I have had it all over my lips, not just on the right hand side?

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    He has now prescribed Migraleve, do you think this will be of benefit?

    Also, I seem to have experienced the last few migraines after exercise, ice skating, aerobics, riding a bicycle. I have had neck problems and lumber spine problems, could this be linked to trapped nerves, causing the migraines?  Thanks Cara



    Dear Cara;

    What you describe could have been side effects from the zolmitriptan, but some could also have been the Migraine itself. Tingling and numbness are not uncommon Migraine symptoms. There are six more medications in the same category as zolmitriptan – Imitrex (sumatriptan), Maxalt (rizatriptan), Amerge (naratriptan), Relpax (eletriptan), Axert (almotriptan), and Frova (frovatriptan). It’s well worth it to try these other medications to see if they work for you. If you’re concerned about possible side effects, ask your doctor to give you a sample to try while you’re in his office.

    Migraleve is an effective preventive for some Migraineurs, but there is no way to predict if it will be beneficial for you. Only trying it faithfully for 90 days will tell.

    Exertion such as you describe can trigger Migraines, regardless of any lumbar issues. The exertion itself is a trigger for some people. Some doctors recommend taking an NSAID such as naproxen before this type of activity to prevent Migraines triggered by exertion.

    It’s great that your GP has been trying to help you, but it may be time to consult a neurologist or a true Migraine expert.

    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

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Published On: May 28, 2007