Switching preventative medication - topirimate to propanolol

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Hi all.

Looking for some advice. I have had a discussion with my GP recently about my current medication. I am on 150mg topirimate (50 in morning, 100 at night) but lately I feel like I am experiencing a lot of side effects from it. I feel like I am in a bubble, with my memory somewhat affected and just a general sense of forgetfulness and slowness.....

GP has suggested a switch to propanolol. A few years ago I tried to completely come off topirimate and it was a disaster - weeks of migraines so I am wondering if anybody has successfully switched long term medication and can give me any kind of feedback? 

I cant afford to have these side effects at the moment, but equally can't run the risk of weeks in bed...?? Tough one ey?

TIA

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Kate,

    Well when I had to change preventative meds I needed steroids while I had a new one introduced.  This worked very well and the transition to the new one was a good one.  I had to gradually bring in the new one while reducing the steroids.

    Best of luck, hope this helps and the headaches keep at bay.  Let us know how you get on.

    Best wishes and take care

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the feedback. Quite useful. I am a bit apprehensive to make the switch after 8 years on topirimate, but good to hear a success story!
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  • Posted

    I have been on both Topiramate and Propanolol. I did not have any luck with the propanolol, but I have had tremendous luck with the Topiramate. Everyone's body is different. I first took propanolol, and it didn't relieve my symptoms, but it also did not cause any side effects. My Topiramate has not caused side effects either since I first titrated up to my 200 mg dosage (All taken at bedtime).

    I did have success switching between these medicines. It's a personal decision. But if you can not handle the side effects in your day to day life, another medication that is less likely to cause side effects may be the way to go! Switching worked for me. I hope it works for you if that is what you decide to do, I'm sending my prayers that everything works out well.

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    • Posted

      Yes I am a bit apprehensive to make the switch as I know topirimate is generally more effective than propanolol, but does have greter side effects! 

      Tough call to make! I can be a bit of a cynic at times and wonder if my GP (who I have only been with a number of months) is in the best position to advise on this matter. I have queried whether I should be refered to a specialist. I was previously under the migraine clinic in Dublin but have since moved to the UK. 

      Thanks for your input :D

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  • Posted

    Also do you get headaches? I'm trying to figure out what I'm having, if I am having vestibular migraines, I contabtly feel like I'm moving like on a boat.

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    • Posted

      Yes I get aura, headaches and numbness on my face and arms and legs. All a horrible sensation! the preventive medication has made it better, but not totally gotten rid of it.
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  • Posted

    I have no headaches at all
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    • Posted

      Nortriptyline is extremely familiar, but if iv taken it I don't remember it.

      I don't have headaches except extremely rarely now.

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    • Posted

      But did you have headaches before you started the migraine meds? I'm trying to figure out if I have vestibular migraines but I don't have headaches

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    • Posted

      Oh, yes. I had migraines chronically before I started the preventative medicines. My pain was 20 days or so of the months generally.
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  • Posted

    Hi, I switched from taking gabapentin long term, over the space of a week my gabapentin was reduced by 100mg every three days days until I was back down to 100mg then I stopped taking it and then I started on pregabalin once a day and every three days the dose dose was doubled until I was taking 150mg of pregabalin per day, I suggest u go and see ur gp about possibly switching to pregabalin because it works really well.
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    • Posted

      I have been doing quite a bit of reading lately, and currently there is not a lot of research on pregabalin so I think I would put off a switch to that one for now. But thanks for the input! 
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    • Posted

      No, that isn't something I experience. Often pressure in my face, underneath my cheekbones in my eye socket. I get an aura and bad numbness and pins and needles in my limbs, usually just on one side though....and the headache of course. Have got the nausea under control in the past few years by taking tablets at onset of aura.

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