Naproxen Sodium New "Magic Bullet For Migraines?"

Question

Asked by Anjann

Naproxen Sodium New "Magic Bullet For Migraines?"

UGH help! I'm so tired of hearing this! I live in Virginia, I am 37, and I have had migraines since I was 16. I left my neurologist in August because he cut my zomig back to 8 a month from 12 and insisted that I take Aleve when I got a headache! Hello! Don't these doctors think we are smart enough to have tried NSAIDS before resorting to seeing a doctor? I would have gone to the grocery store and bought a bottle of Aleve if THAT would have worked instead of wasting my time arguing with him! Well after waiting 6 weeks for an appointment with the only other neurologist in this town, the new guy tells me the SAME THING. . . that zomig, and all triptans for that matter, is heart damaging, and that if I can't get by on eight a month I just need to take Aleve. OK, I guess. Ugh! Please help me understand why Aleve, a mere NSAID that has been out for at least 10 years as OTC or probably more, is now all of a sudden this wonder cure for migraines? Other than an unlabeled treatment for vascular headaches I found in one of my nursing books, my only other guess would be because the 10 year generic patent amnesty on imitrex is getting ready to run out in December (I think) and the drug company needed to re-invent imitrex/Aleve as the new wonder drug, since plain imitrex will now be available in generic. Please tell me this is not the only reason I am being handed a script for naproxen and shown the door.

Is anyone else getting handed this bull sandwich? Any MD who has ever had a real migraine for three days and thrown up from it would know that you could eat a whole bottle of Aleve, and it wouldn't matter. Well, if I can't have my zomig, (8 a month is grossly deficient at times, and no it's not because of rebound or NSAIDS) and if Aleve isn't going to work, what exactly am I supposed to do?

The other thing I'd like to point out here is that I don't like Aleve in particular because you can't take any Advil within 12 hours of taking Aleve, so if the Aleve doesn't work, you can't take anything for 12 hours-- no more Aleve, and no Advil at all!

I brought this to my MD's attention, and now, all of the sudden, it is ok to start mixing Advil and Aleve and Tylenol, because the makers of Aleve are pushing this so hard! I still feel mixing these would not be a good idea, and I ripped up the naproxen script.

Can you tell me why there is such a big naproxen push right now, such a big triptan backlash right now, and whether or not Advil, Tylenol and Aleve should be mixed together? As a nurse, I know this is ridiculous, but both of these MD's told me that it is "ok," and I can only assume that it was the drug company that told them that.

Answer

Anjann,

I don't see how the release of Treximet would have anything to do with your doctor reducing your Zomig and telling you to take Aleve. If his decision were related to the release of Treximet, he'd have given you samples of Treximet and a prescription for it.

Really, I haven't heard of a big naproxen push other than the release of Treximet, and in clinical trials, the combination worked quite well. Drug reps would have no reason to be discussing mixing over-the-counter medicaitons with doctors.

Here's a question for you -- are you sure it was the doctor's decision to limit your Zomig? Could it have had anything to do with your insurance coverage. Most insurance companies are limiting triptans to 6 to 9 doses per month.

I have known some doctors to reduce the number of triptan doses they prescribe per month if patients won't work with them on finding effective preventives. Were you and your doctor working on finding preventives that work for you?

Obviously, I can't know what your doctor was thinking. As a nurse, you probably already know that using triptans more than two or three days a week can lead to medication overuse headache, aka rebound, but even at that rate, you could go through your original 12 tablets with no risk of rebound.

At this point, the best suggestion I can offer is to find a good Migraine specialist. Take a look at the article Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special?

Sorry I don't have a better answer for you.

Teri