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Fainting at the start of migraine. Temporal and occipital throbbing and ear sounds with each heart beat. Eyes throbbing.

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  • Fainting at the start of migraine. Temporal and occipital throbbing and ear sounds with each heart beat. Eyes throbbing.

    I remembered that some lovely COTH member had had a temporal artery biopsy and I am wondering if I need one. I discovered that it was Cora'sMom. Doctor's originally suspected temporal arteritis, also known as giant cell arteritis. This can be associated with autoimmune disease polymyalgia rheumatica. Unfortunately, that was not Cora'sMom's diagnosis and she was diagnosed with a different autoimmune disease, I am so sorry to hear.

    Regarding the title, has anyone ever had fainting at the start of migraine or any of the other symptoms listed? What was the diagnosis and what was the treatment?
    Last edited by Color of Light; Aug. 3, 2019, 03:51 PM.

  • #2
    Ive suffered with migraines for many years and went through a period of fainting followed by migraine a few years ago! My BP was alarmingly low, which was causing the fainting..,,,it got to where I could not stand still for more than 5 mins and my BP was a scary 90/50 when I’d go down. Mine turned out to be an easy fix after migraine meds had to be adjusted and my BP went back up to normal. I cannot be on BP medications for migraine (very popular here as mine and many others have pressure related migraine due to our altitude and chinooks which cause hellish migraine). I take an anti seizure medication called Topomax which manages my auras but again I’m closely monitored as if the dose gets too high for too long, my BP starts to drop....but now we know what to watch for! I also get a yearly CT scan to monitor my brain to make sure there are no changes! Calgary is very used to migraine so we get them treated very well!

    Get yourself to a dr who will send you to a neurologist.....fainting and migraine is not to be messed with! It could be as simple as you need some migraine meds but it could be heart issues or worse!
    I have cancer but cancer doesnt have me!


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by eclipse View Post
      migraines for many years

      I just knew someone on COTH had to have experienced this, too! Thank you for responding so quickly. Wow! That is some low BP! Mine has always been 65-75/110-110. Now that I've fainted, I would not want to take propanol or other BP medications. I've had migraines for a very long time, but nothing like this. This is the one and only time I've fainted then had aura start, then had a raging migraine that earned me a 911 call, being surrounded by a bunch of hot firemen and hot paramedics, and a bumpy painful ride in an ambulance to the ER. I've never fainted before except when I nearly did while watching or assisting a surgery a long time ago, and I've certainly never fainted or nearly fainted at the start of a migraine. Following the fainting/migraine episode, about three weeks later I had a day where I nearly fainted when I was at a business. I was squatting down examining something. When I stood up I almost fainted. Everything was spinning for a little while. I thought I was going to get a migraine, but I didn't. Later that evening at home I also experienced near-fainting. A few days later, it happened again. That was a month ago and it has not reoccurred.

      I have been seeing two neurologists all spring and for a few months before this fainting migraine happened. I am not impressed with either. I had MRI and MRA's and they were all normal. Just this week I had my PCP refer me to a migraine specialist. I am also now wondering if this could be caused by a disc problem or spinal nerve problems? The reason I'm thinking along these lines is that I pulled out some expired 5% lidocaine patches that I discovered a few months ago are still somewhat effective. I am currently wearing three. They have decreased my pain and throbbing to a slight degree. My temples are still throbbing but the rest of my head feels a little better. I am going to ask my PCP to refer me to a neurosurgeon. My last cervical and thoracic MRI's had minor disc issues and slight arthritic changes. Nothing alarming or serious.

      I've used Imitrex/sumatriptan for decades. It has recently decided to stop working. I tried Topmax AKA Dopamax for two days this week. My dosage is supposed to be only 25 mg twice a day. I only took it once a day, at night. There is no way that I could take it during the day. The morning after I awoke with no migraine but was pretty drugged for almost half the day. How do you take it and at what dose? Do the dopey side effects eventally taper off? Once it wore off, the head pain slowly came back. Today I did not take Dopamax and of course my migraine is back with a vengence. Do you use a migraine treatment too besides the preventative Topamax?


      • #4
        I take 50mg of Topomax at night.... when I first tried it (you have to titrate up slowly) I had bad side effects, that did get better.... stumbling or forgetting words, I hated the taste of pop (it all tasted like Soda water).... I went up to 100mg per day, my migraine decreased after 4 months the side effects decreased but after a year the fainting starting. So we decreased the dosage slowly and weaned me off, but my auras came back terrible along with my migraine! It really is a great medication but you have to get used to the side effects and they do go away....also drink lots of water as your fingers will tingle (common with lots of meds)

        So, we tried again.... this time I’ve had no side effects at all and now take 50 mg once a day. It took the aura away but not the migraine completely. When i have a migraine I take Relpax.

        Now.... since I’ve had breast cancer which was estrogen driven and am now on a daily dose of Tamoxifen my migraines have become almost non existent! But my oncologist has also kept me on the Topomax for my pressure (weather) related migraine as Now I only get weather headaches not the terrible, apparently hormonal driven migraines I was also suffering from. There are apparently a few drs that will put their migraine patients on Tamoxifen but it’s pretty rare from what Ive read! But it might be worth asking to see if your hormones could be causing your headache! If you’re near menopause age, my oncologist said the extreme swings in estrogen and progesterone levels can really cause a lot of women to suffer, and there maybe some other treatments that will help relieve some of your headache!
        Last edited by eclipse; Aug. 4, 2019, 12:57 AM.
        I have cancer but cancer doesnt have me!


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by eclipse View Post
          I take 50mg of Topomax at night

          Now I really think that these migraines have something to do with my neck. I'm not sure exactly what did the trick last night or was it the combination, but I awoke this morning free of a throbbing migraine! Was it the lidocaine patches? The 20 mg nortriptyline (Amitryptiline is typically used as a migraine preventative. I chose nortriptyline based on the very high reviews found on drugs dot com.)? I was laying there in bed hours later with my head on IceHorse ice packs and I still had a throbbing head. I decided to crack my upper neck/occiput each direction. It was the crack on my left side that slowly got the throbbing to subside a bit. Then, for the first time since I can remember, I did not awake with a throbbing head and brain fog! This is nothing short of a miracle! I just hope that once the lidocaine wears off and the nortriptyline wears off, the migraine stays at bay.

          Tamoxifen eliminating excess estrogen and eliminating migraines makes total sense. Excess estrogen is known to cause migraines. I've had my estrogen and progesterone checked for the last several years. All doctors said they were fine. All this year with this new onset of migraines I have wondered about estrogen dominance. Doctors who ordered those tests for me through the years all said mine were fine even though I thought they looked off. Just two months ago I discovered that there is something called a progesterone estrogen ratio. I calculated mine labs from last year one back a few years. Huh! A totally horrible ratio! Estrogen dominance. Very low progesterone. Doctors fail again! No surprise here. That is very interesting that some doctors put their migraine patients on Tamoxifen! I will have to remember that. I'll also do some research on the subject of using it for migraines. The only concern is that once menopause really hits and estrogen decreases, I wonder what that would do to my body? I do not want to go on HRT if I can help it, but if menopause is a complete hell that causes more migraines or other unbearable symptoms, I might have to.

          And so funny that you mention hormones......At the same time that these migraines suddenly changed and increased this spring my period suddenly changed and was late. Until now I have had no period problems. I am approaching 52, so figured I was suddenly perimenopausal. Then I found out about my excess estrogen. I read up on progesterone supplementation, topical creams, and vegetable-based prescription pills. I got a script for the pills, ordered cream. Took the progesterone to jump start my period again. It's taken the last 15 days of your cycle and it got me back on track. Increasing my progesterone levels also decreased my headaches. The fainting migraine happened before I started the progesterone.

          A known strange side effect of Dopamax is taste perversion. Carbinated drinks taste flat and coffee is supposed to taste like a dirty diaper. I don't drink carbinated drinks, so I have no experience with it there. I do drink a little coffee but for the two days that I took 25 mg Dopamax, my coffee tasted normal. That is just awful that it caused you to faint! I really did not like taking it at all. I could not function for half of the day on only 25 mg. If I decide to try it again, I'm going to try half of that dosage and see what happens. Good to hear that you are again taking it and at a lower dose, and you have no side effects.

          Relpax is also a triptan (eletriptan) and is one that I haven't tried. Is it also dispensed in only 9 pills per month like the sumatriptan, frovatriptan and rizatriptan that I've tried? What dose do you take?


          • Original Poster

            Grr! I typed out a long reply, then because I spelled out drugs doot cong but with the normal spelling, it was all deleted. I'll re-write it a bit later.


            • #7
              Migraines for 28 years now. About 15 years ago I started with Immitrex/Sumatriptin and it was a lifesaver.

              It turns out a huge cause my bp. It was too high though. I was going over 200/120.


              • #8
                About the neck/migraine connection. I have both arthritis in my neck and have suffered from migraines since my 20's. I was told at one point that yes, the neck issues can worsen the migraines. I can't remember if it was the rheumatologist or the neurologist that told me this, I have a feeling in was the neurologist.
                I have never fainted during a migraine but I am all too familiar with the occipital throbbing.
                Topamax and cyproheptadine are what I take. Along with a beta blocker.
                I Hope you find some relief soon. Migraines suck. I just had a bad one two days ago.


                • #9
                  My Relpax is in packages of 6 pills...I get 2 packages at once, simply due to cost! I pay $86 per pkg in Canada. I only take a pill at onset of migraine, lay down and it goes away but it only work on a true migraine, all triptans. I tried other meds, and this was the one that worked best for me!

                  Im now at peri menopause age, and since breast cancer can never have any kind of HRT .....since the Tamoxifen for my cancer I’m actually feeling better than I’ve felt in quite a few years simply due to the lowering of the “pms headaches” I no longer get! Some women, like me.....don’t suffer from hot flashes etc! Once I actually am fully in menopause (my oncologist will confirm with a blood test ) I will transfer to an aromatose inhibitor as estrogen is still produced in the adrenal glands and I need to have it completely shut off! I’m still currently producing estrogen, the Tamoxifen just lowers it and stops it from binding to breast oncologist thinks the extreme spikes I was probably getting pre and post period was probably causing a lot of my migraine seeing as now they’ve gone! BUT some women who never suffered before start getting migraines when they go on Tamoxifen......everyone’s different....hormones are weird!

                  but, like others have said.....blood pressure meds are life savers for many as well! Sadly for me, they lowered mine too much AND brought out asthma we never knew I had (I started coughing all the time on them)....although they did take the migraine away! My sister is on proponolol (sp) for her pressure headaches .....hers start in her neck, and it’s been a lifesaver for her!
                  I have cancer but cancer doesnt have me!