Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankful for Imitrex

Some bloggers are writing every day this November to describe something they're thankful for. It sounds like a good exercise, and I've been finding John Scalzi's posts particularly worthwhile (especially the ones on luck and why he doesn't drink alcohol), but I think my maunderings on my own life would get boring pretty quickly.

However, I did want to mention one great advance of the modern age that has improved my life immeasurably: the migraine drug Imitrex (generic name Sumatriptan). I understand from my mom that her father had migraines, and when one came on, all he could do was lie in a dark room until it went away. I used to know that feeling.

I didn't realize I had migraines until the late 1990s. I had headaches, but thought they were just regular ones that everyone had. I took a lot of ibuprophen for them, which didn't seem to do much. They got worse around that time, sometimes triggered by light and with both light and sound sensitivity, plus an occasional visual aura. (It's always fun to look at another person and not be able to see his head.) Soon after, my doctor gave me a scrip for Imitrex.

It is amazing stuff. In my case, it has a minor side effect that causes an odd feeling in my chest, and it's best to take it with food in the stomach, but other than that, it's very straightforward: take it, and within an hour the pain is completely gone.

I've heard it doesn't work for everyone, but if you have throbbing headaches and haven't tried it, I would recommend asking about it.

This is not a drug ad. Just a real-life story about something pharmaceutical companies did right, at least for me.

1 comment:

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

It's good to hear that something helps with migraines. I used to have terrible headaches, but never with the classic migraine symptoms like seeing auras.