Saturday, October 25, 2014
Monday, November 10, 2008 Andy, Community Member, asks

Q: My wife is a migraine sufferer and she is in the Kaiser system. Anyone have any advice?

My wife keeps getting the set limit of Imitrex and the only pain med that helps is percocet.  However, she is being viewed as an "addict" because of the amount of percocet she uses.  The Kaiser doctors seem to not be as interested in helping her as they are in controlling the amount of percocet she takes.  I am at my wits end and am desperate for some help.  Can someone give me some names of doctors in Colorado that actually care about their patients pain management?

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Answers (9)
cking, Community Member
11/13/08 12:29pm

PS.  Forgot to mention that this website offers a state-by-state listing of headache specialists recommended by participants.  Colorado has two listed, both in Engleside.  I'm not sure of the best way to access this listing as I am not a moderator, but I went to the search window and did a search of "headache specialists", and saw that two were listed in Colorado.  Whether or not your Kaiser facility would pay for your visits would have to be determined. 


Linda, Community Member
11/13/08 4:16am

Our family is a memeber of Kaiser Health Care as well.  They have changed since they first started treating patience.  When I have had difficult recieving the care that I felt was reasonable I went to member services and BAM!!  Things changed fast.  So keep track of your issues and then go to member services and also let them know that you are going to contact the Hospital Administration.  Those words seem to help me as well.  When I recieved some miss care that I felt like I needed, I just got up and left and went over to my doctors office (as he had sent me to the ER) and asked the people behind the desk to see my doctor they told me that he was busy with a patient and I told them to deliver a message from me and I had both the ER doctor and my doctor on the phone trying to get in touch with me by the time I got home.  I also can site a situation where my doctor denied my request of Celebrex and a short time later they were posting that it caused heart attacks!  So, I guess a person has to take things case by case.  Perhaps your wife would best be served if she went to a different doctor. 

cking, Community Member
11/13/08 12:22pm

Hello--I am also a member of Kaiser.  I really do appreciate my physicians there, but the policies regarding use of Narcotics is highly flawed.  I am sorry your wife is going through this also.


I came into the Kaiser system on certain migraine meds that were not covered under the plan, and presented my Internist with an article explaining why these meds were needed.  She approved "off formulary" purchase of these meds, which was great (I have to pay slightly more).  My headaches were still not controlled, however, and were so severe that neither she nor the Kaiser Neurologist could figure offer new options.  I paid on my own to see a headache specialist outside the Kaiser system (2-3 hours away) who diagnosed severe Hypnic headaches (rare) in addition to severe hormonal migraines.  He prescribed many meds, and my Kaiser Internist and Neurologist have approved everything he has done, so that I can get my prescrptrions covered at Kaiser (I pay slightly more since they are non-forumulary).  I am also now being referred by my Kaiser Neuro to a Kaiser clinic in another city for a trial with Botox.  Kaiser is doing everything possible to keep me out of the ER, and I must say my physicians do care.  However, the only narcotic they will prescribe is Stadol (nasal) which makes me very very ill.  Nor does it reduce the pain very much or allow me to sleep.  This is the most frustrating part.  I cannot keep oral meds down during my worst migraines or hypnic headaches, but the Stadol is the only non-oral narcotic they will prescribe.  Even the specialist outside of Kaiser will not consider anything else.  Unfortunately, things may not change unless your Kaiser experiences seeing your wife in the ER a few times to recognize the severity of her needs.  I intensely dislike having to go to the ER because my head pain escalates when I sit down, and I don't like being in my husband's car (can't control my vomit or bowels).  But after 8-10 hours of intense adverse reactions to Stadol, I have no recourse.  A friend of ours has recommended that I visit a pain clinic rather than a headache specialist.  Perhaps your Kaiser has a pain clinic on location, what might understand your wife's needs and can communicate with her primary care physician.  I hope things improve, for her and for you as her concerned husband.


joann, Community Member
11/13/08 3:34pm

I know my sister had really bad headaches when is was a teenager, she had

to stay in dark room with no noise and no music and just rest it out,until she

found out that she had an allergy to eggs.

TRACY, Community Member
11/13/08 5:05pm

I dont live in Colorado, but I too have had the same problem with Kaiser and I live in No. California.  Kaiser sent me to the Headache clinc they offer(Have you done this yet?) and for the past year they have tried every preventative medication for migraines they could.  I am drug sensitive and many of the drugs did not work for me.  I went back to what was working in the past( relpax, imitrex-injectable and percocet).  What I am trying to lead to is that I have learned that with Kaiser you have to take control and gently get them to do what you need and expect of them.  I tried it there way and now I am back to taking the meds I took before they tried all the preventatives.  If something works stay with(giving you the necessary meds to get through the migranines) it until they can get results from something elce.  I dont know if this information helps, but maybe the Headache Clinic could help you wife. Kaiser now has computers in each exam room so they can see your wife records and eliminate the "drug seeking" they use to tag on many of migrainers.  Good Luck

Sherri, Community Member
11/13/08 6:46pm

Dear Andy,


I, too am a sufferer of severe & chonic migrianes.  I've tried everthing suggested &/or perscibed.  Presently, my neuologist in Boca Raton, FL (where I live) is also a migraine sufferer & is extremely knowlegdable & empathetic.   Presently he has me on a "coctail" consisting of: Relpax prn, Fioricet prn,Depacote 750 mg daily, Trazdone 100 nightlly, Imitrax Statdose prn, Cymbalta 60 mg. daily, Compazine 10 mg pills prn or compazine suppositories 25 mg prn, and Stadol nasal spray prn. I've had to quit my job as a spycholigist due to the severity chronicity of my migraines.  I applied for disability, medicare,etc.; unfortunatellly this is at least a 3 year process.


I know Kaiser from when I was a consultant with them in LA.  I'm sorry, but I have no referrals in Colorado.  My advise is to pay for another insurance company, a nerologist or anyone that you perceive as potentially helful.  A pain magement clic could also be an option, along with psychotherapy, accupuncture,  &/or accupressure.  If all else fails, go to the ER.


Good luck!  My thoughgts and care are with you.



Denise, Community Member
11/24/08 5:48pm

I finally read about another just like me!  I have had migraines for 28 years and percocet is the only med that takes them away.  I have had every test in the books and been through every MRI type test there is.  I am so tired of Doctors thinking that I just want the drug for fun.  I hate being treated like an "addict".  I went to an urgent care and they really treated me like a drugie.  I complained but haven't heard back from them.  Next on my list is to try Dr. Gilder in Englewood Colorado.  I have heard she was not blessed with the best bed side manner, but I have no one else to try.  My primary care has about had it with me.  I really get nailed when a low pressure come in and usually have to go in for a shot.  I hear you.........and I feel for you.  We are two in the same boat.

Julie, Community Member
4/18/09 8:05pm

Im not a member of any this at all, however I have suffered from Migraines for over 10years. I have taken everything on the market from percocet, to percodan, to Imitrex, to the Imitrex injections, which do work for a short while. But what really works for me and I have not hear anyone on here mention is FROVA. Its made for menstrual migraines, but works for most any hormonal migraines. Its a truley amazing drug with little to no side effects. You have to be very careful with narcotics because they will give what is called a rebound headache and will only cause more migraines, at least thats what I went through.  I love my FROVA. I only can get 9 a month though, when I run out of those I do have to take an injection. Management is the key, taking it at the onset of the headache instead of waiting until it has gone full blown, cause you dont want to waste those babies.

C Lynne, Community Member
8/ 5/11 1:32pm

Im am in Kaiser and have the same problem. I am having bi lateral knee replacement in Sept. My GP will not give me pain meds even though it means I can not walk. I am going to switch doctors and see if that will work. CDRP definately 'black listed' me. I got addicted or dependent upon vicoden due to a shoulder surgery. My doc said go to CDRP they will help you get off them. I did and passed the one year program with flying colors, no bad tests, nothing. And yet now, my doctor will not treat my real pain. It's crazy! I wish your wife all the luck in the world. Try changing practictioners. If that doesnt work after surgery I may need to change health care coverage! Which is crazy.

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By Andy, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/23/12, First Published: 11/10/08