Migraine Drugs’ Serious Side Effects

One philosophy our culture has adopted is the belief that medications are the best way to treat medical conditions. This may be true sometimes, but in many cases medications are (arguably) not the best solution to be tried first. That’s because many medications come with serious side effects.

Migraine medication side effects

More Side Effects Than Migraine Relief

Topiramate, an antiepileptic, is the most commonly prescribed migraine prevention drug. It works for about half of all migraine sufferers, according to clinical trials.

Unfortunately, people taking topiramate may suffer some side effects. Tingling in the hands and feet is the most common side effect. Fortunately, this isn’t a sign of permanent nerve damage, and it usually passes.

People may also experience nausea, diarrhea, appetite changes, and even changes in taste perception. The side effects can contribute to weight loss, sometimes dangerous weight loss, and even anorexia.

Up to 20% of people taking topiramate experience cognitive dysfunction. This may or may not be a permanent side effect.

Acute glaucoma can also be associated with topiramate, though it’s rare. Acute glaucoma is when the pressure release valve for the eye gets blocked, causing pressure in the eye to swell. This causes the eye to push back on the optic nerve, causing permanent damage, starting at the center of your visual field and affecting color vision and detailed perception first.

Topiramate is not recommended for women who are or may become pregnant.

Antidepressants for Migraine Prevention

Antidepressants are also commonly used for migraine prevention. The most commonly prescribed antidepressant for migraines is amitriptyline, which is about as effective as topiramate. The side effects were just as common, but they were less serious. For example, people tend to experience sleepiness, fatigue, dry mouth, and weight gain on amitriptyline.

Amitriptyline does have some serious side effects, such as muscle spasms, tremors, seizures, hallucinations, and fainting. These are less common.

Avoid Drug Side Effects

On the other hand, many people can experience migraine reductions without risk of drug side effects, you should try drug-free TMJ treatment. Many people with TMJ experience migraines, often because the chewing muscles can put pressure on branches of the trigeminal nerve, which serves as a major trigger point for migraines. TMJ treatment won’t work for every migraine sufferer, but neither do migraine prevention drugs. If you have additional TMJ symptoms, then it’s more likely that TMJ treatment will work for you.

To learn whether TMJ treatment will work for your migraines in San Diego, please call (619) 299-5925 for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at Strober Dental.