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Study: Epilepsy Drug Helps Migraines


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09/23: AOL Health News: Study: Epilepsy Drug Helps Migraines


Study: Epilepsy Drug Helps Migraines


.c The Associated Press


WASHINGTON (AP) - The epilepsy drug topiramate appears to prevent migraine headaches - and unlike some other migraine medications that seem to attract pounds, its main side effect is weight loss, said a study released Monday.


Some 28 million Americans suffer from migraines, an intense, pulsing headache that can last hours, even days. There are a number of drugs sold to prevent migraines, but they don't work for everyone, so scientists are seeking new medications.


In recent years that search has included epilepsy drugs - after scientists discovered that migraines are not caused by the abnormal blood vessels once blamed but by a unique electrical disorder of brain cells.


Somewhat like epilepsy patient do, migraine sufferers have abnormally excitable brain nerve cells that, when triggered, fire across important pain centers to awaken nerve pain and inflame blood vessels.


Some drugs that fight epilepsy also suppress abnormal neuron firings, and one, Depakote, is often used as a migraine preventer. Now scientists have found that another epilepsy drug, topiramate, may be useful, too.


In a study of more than 400 migraine sufferers given varying doses of topiramate or dummy pills for four months, about half found their number and duration of migraines cut in half, said Dr. Stephen Silberstein of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He was presenting his findings at a meeting of migraine researchers Monday.


The best-treated patients took 100 or 200 milligrams of topiramate a day, a lower dose than is used for epilepsy. But like in epilepsy patients, the migraine users experienced a side effect that would cause few to complain: weight loss. Patients lost, on average, 3.8 percent of their starting body weight, Silberstein said. For a skinny person that could be a problem, he acknowledged, but most patients in the study were overweight.

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My neurologist, Dr. Randolph Evans, has published many papers on the use of this drug for migraine prevention. I am one of the few of his patients that have not lost weight on this drug (imagine that)...


But, I do believe that it has helped me from gaining more than the ten pounds that I gained this last year.


An office mate of mine does have epilepsy and does take this drug, and she has lost 40 lbs... and looks wonderful!


The drug can give you the tinglies in your hands and feet and this is easily remedied (from what Dr. Evans told me) with potassium supplements. It worked for me. I also realized that I needed to keep up my multivitamins too.


Sometimes, I still have migraines. I have a 'buster' for those and they only come maybe once a month now. If you do have migraine headaches... see a neurologist that specializes in managing these headaches. Don't suffer needlessly.


Thanks Mary...  :(

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