2 week migraine aura!

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Hi I hope someone can help. I have recently been diagnosed with migraines after a lot of twoing and froing from hospital and they have prescribed me a new drug, amitriptyine. I am 1, worried as I am already on citrolapam for depression and 2, does anyone know if it will combat the auras? My auras are numbness down my left side, speech issues, confusion and others which have been going on for two weeks. Any advice would be great.

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  • Posted


    That sounds like Hemiplegic Migraine that you have, as symptoms are similar to what I get.  It always feels like I have stroke coming on.

    I think the amitripyline will help, but my consulant who is a headache specialist in London has put me on Flunarizine and I have Botox, which for me has cut my episodes down a lot.  I was having an episode, which would hospitalise me, every other week at one time, now none since last year.

    I hope this helps.  Btw Nortripyline is an updated version of Amitriptlne.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.

    Best wishes and take care

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  • Posted

    Hi Joanna,

    I believe amitriptyline, which has been used as an antidepressant for many years, can indeed help some kinds of migraine. This is due to a spin-off from the way it works, not because migraines are caused by depression. It's one of the old tricyclic group, so an entirely different group of antidepressants from citalopram. Therefore the fact that citalopram doesn't help your headaches doesn't mean amitriptyline won't.

    The one bit of information missing from your post is whether or not you told the doctor at the hospital you were on citalopram. If he/she was aware of this and told you to go ahead and take the amitriptyline, that's fine. You also need to share this information next time you see the doctor who's prescribing the citalopram.

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  • Posted

    Thank you both for your replies. I'm on Citrolopam for depression and anxiety which has been going on for 20+ years. I do wonder if there is a link between depression and migraines considering the same medication. I was concerned wether both drugs were going to mess with the depression but since the migraines started I have been very emotionally numb and normally I am the sort of person that would cry at anything!

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    • Posted

      Well, I'm sure migraines don't help when you're already feeling depressed, and the stress of depression could well bring on more migraines. However, I don't think there's any direct link. Most people who have migraines aren't depressed, and migraines aren't a symptom of depression.

      ?In fact, citalopram and amitriptyline are two entirely different medications. (I'm a former nur se btw.) They both work on depression but by different routes. Citalopram is an SSRI (selective serotinin reuptake inhibitor) whereas amitriptyline is one of the much older tricyclic group. The SSRIs were introduced because they are thought to be more effective at treating depression than the tricyclics, but this can vary from person to person.

      These days amitriptyline is as likely to be used for its secondary effects as for depression. This is a common story. Many drugs that are used for one purpose were originally developed to treat an entirely different condition.

      Amitriptyline has been around for about 60 years - long enough for other beneficial effects to have been noticed. It's been found to be very effective for all kinds of chronic pain. It's also used for treating one class of sleep disorder because of its effectiveness at suppressing REM sleep (the phase of sleep in which we dream).

      I'd say don't hesitate to give it a try. I've experienced the pain of migraines myself, though I don't get them any more (fingers crossed!) and would have tried anything to control them.

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