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Sumatriptan 50mg tablets

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#1 Wed, 16/12/2020 - 16:05
John4703
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Sumatriptan 50mg tablets

I am new to this.  I started having extreme headaches about three weeks ago.  I saw my GP who sent me to hospital where I had a CT scan and answered loads of questions.  He was concerned that as I am 73 I am rather old to start having these.

I was discharged with a diagnosis of Cluster Headaches and a pack of six Sumatriptan 50mg tablets.

I asked my GP for more and he has prescribed another six tablets.

Is there any reason why I can't get a pack of 28 or more?   I have taken one most nights, as they almost stop the headache.  I can phone my GP again but want to know what is reasonable to ask for.

John

Thu, 17/12/2020 - 20:14
Moonboys5
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Hi John,
Would contact your GP and ask to try something else if Sumatrupan are not taking the headaches away. Believe there is a dosage limit hence 6 only.

Fri, 18/12/2020 - 19:08
John4703
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I put the repeat prescription form in the box at the surgery yesterday.  I attched a letter asking for a more reasonable number of tablets.  I will go to the pharmacy next week and see how many I have been given.  

 

John

Sat, 19/12/2020 - 02:04
briggsmarkj@hot...
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Hi John. I'm sorry, if you are getting cluster headaches, and I have every sympathy if you are. The sumatriptan tablets won't really do much to help. You need the injection version of it. Other than that as a longer term solution take verapamil tablits, but they effect your heart so would need regular check ups. I feel for you if you have somehow developed CH that late in life. Hope you can get some relief. All the best

Sat, 19/12/2020 - 02:10 (Reply to #4)
briggsmarkj@hot...
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Also didn't mention, most GP's dont even understand what a cluster headache is, so won't prescribe them! You need a specialist neurologist to diagnose. And then a hospital confirmation. I spent years doing that but eventually got prescribed the injection. It's the only way to abort an attack. I now take verapamil daily and get through life ok with it. Still get them but not often. The few side effects far outweigh the benefits.

Sat, 19/12/2020 - 09:43
John4703
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Thanks for all the replies.  My GP diagnosed cluster headaches and sent my straight to hospital for a CT scan, blood tests etc to make sure it was nothing else.  At the hospital the consultant said there is a Headache Clinic in a different local hospital and if I need to I'll ask for a referral to that one.  I should get an MRI scan soon to further check for causes.
The great news now is that today I am breathing through both nostrils and did not have a headache last night smiley

John

Sun, 20/12/2020 - 11:34
Val
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John4703, hello, 

Have a read of the cluster headache basics document, it will outline both how to get a referral to a headache neuro and secondly how you can get the correct meds from your GP.  The tablets are not strong enough for CH, as you yourself have said they don't quite get rid of the attack.  You need either the nasal sprays or the self injection sumatriptan and high flow oxygen - provided of course you have no circulatory or chest conditions.  Seeing a headache neurologist is important as they will write to the GP saying what you should be prescribed.  All the meds I have mentioned can be prescribed by a GP, and if you have the back-up of a headache neurologist there shouldn't be a problem with prescribing.  

Hope this helps. 

Val

Wed, 23/12/2020 - 13:55
John4703
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Thanks Val,

I collected 12 tablets yesterday so they will get me through the festivities.

I've got an MRI scan on 5th January and will see what the resuts of that show.  I expect a referal to the local neurosurgical unit once the covid chaos ends

John

John

Wed, 23/12/2020 - 22:44
DavidH 7
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I've always believed that Cluster Headaches tapered off with age, so it might be useful to be ... curious (though perhaps someone wiser/qualified could add to this?)

I have to confess that when I was first prescribed Sumatriptan tablets, I thought they were a thing of wonder but, honestly, I'd echo the suggestions that you really want the injections, if safe for you to use.  They really do improve the quality of your life during an episode.

Thu, 04/02/2021 - 20:35
John4703
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I phoned my GP today and the MRI Scan results are still not back, it is over 4 weeks and I was told 2 weeks for the results.
I'm getting really fed up with one eyelid drooping.  The easiest way to see to type this is to close one eye.  

I think I am just posting here because I'm fed up waiting and hoping the scan told them something.  The good part is no headaches for weeks so I am happy about that but dreading the next cluser

John

Fri, 05/02/2021 - 19:14
John4703
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I'll update to say I phoned the hospital and the lady I spoke to said she would scan the report and send it to my GP.   Really nice and helpful peple at the hospital.  I hope to speak to my GP next week. 

John

Sun, 07/02/2021 - 19:04
John S
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Hello John,

Just to respond to your question on age. I am an epsidic sufferer and for many years I had one bout of CH lasting for 5 or 6 weeks occurring every 5 months. My last gap between bouts was 18 months and I have now gone 10 months since the last without another bout so fingers crossed at the age of 67. 

I use high flow oxygen with a demand valve to abort attacks and when I am out without oxygen I use sumatriptan injections. Both stop the attack after about 6 minutes. At the peak of my bout I sometimes get attacks at night and I find one 50mg sumatriptan tablet taken just before bed prevents this. 

Good luck, hope you get sorted soon.

John

Mon, 08/02/2021 - 17:17 (Reply to #12)
John4703
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Thanks John S,

I am slowly learning about all this (I wish I had never had cluster headaches) 

Your support is appreciated

John

John

Tue, 09/03/2021 - 09:42 (Reply to #13)
Speedbuggy
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How did you get on john with your MRI scan, are you still cluster free?

Bev

Wed, 10/03/2021 - 12:48
Mark99
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John4703

Sorry to be late to the party, have only recently joined Ouch. I'm 65 (and 2 thirds...) and was diagnosed with CH by a neurolagist a couple of years ago. So, like you, I'm a late starter. I get attacks in February or March, usually at 01.30 ie early hours although this year I've had additional attacks during the day. The phase lasts for 3-5 weeks then (so far) disappears until next year. So I think I get off lightly compared to many others!  I want to echo the comments about Sumatriptan injections - on me they work extremely well and take 5-10 minutes usually to work, after which I'm pain free. The neurologist was a headache specialist and prescribed the Sumatriptan injection as a known effective solution. Due to time constraints (I was in early part of the phase and suffering) I bought my first pack of 2 pens for about £25 (!) from a Tesco pharmacy, after which my GP prescribed them. GPs may not want to prescribe injections due to cost (I bought a packet of 2 tablets as an emergency reserve for £8 so they're a lot cheaper. But It doesn't matter how cheap stuff is if it doesn't work). I would see your GP, make it abundantly clear how painful and debilitating CH is, quote some references about the effectiveness of injection vs tablet and ask directly for the injections to be prescribed. Assuming you win, and the injections work effectively, make the GP aware by email (so there's an audit trail) of just what a wonderful difference it's made to your quality of life. Additionally if I have a relatively mild attack I've found that taking 2 parcetemol plus 2 fast-acting ibuprofen (the red liquid ones) together has some effect,  but nothing like as good as the injection pens, which in my experience are absolutly brilliant. My own preference is for the Sun ones because they are easy & ready to use- take the end cap off, press that end against your skin (upper leg for me), press the blue button which will click, the injection starts, wait 2-3 seconds for the 2nd click which tells you it's finished, lift the pen away, check that the clear window in the side of the pen has turned blue, wait 5-10minutes for it to work, job done. I take the used packets back to the pharmacy for safe disposal.

Hope this all helps, and good luck.

Cheers, Mark

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