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Palladone Removed from Market

Palladone and alcohol have been found to be a potentially lethal combination. The risk is increased with higher doses of the drug. Palladone, which is prescribed to patients with moderate to severe pain who need continuous relief, has been pulled off the market until the safety issues can be addressed.

Symptoms of the interaction include slow breathing, seizures, dizziness, weakness, loss of consciousness, confusion, coma, tiredness, cold and clammy hands, and small pupils.

I don’t know how commonly Palladone is used for headache patients, but I’m blogging about it just in case one of you happens to take it.

Palladone Pain Drug Pulled Off the Market

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Migraine Preventive Lamictal & the Pill

Lamictal, an anticonvulsant sometimes used for migraine prevention, can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. If you’re using any sort of hormonal birth control (like the patch or a vaginal ring) and are prescribed Lamictal, consider using a back up method of birth control.

12/14/05: The link to the news article on this no longer works. While searching for it, I found old information that says that Lamictal doesn’t impede hormonal birth control. I’m sticking with the article I posted on — as they say, better safe than sorry.

2/9/10: I’ve asked several doctors about this potential interaction. All have said it isn’t an issue.

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Medical Marijuana in California

This has been all over the news since Saturday, but I missed it somehow. In case you did too, here’s the release: California Suspends Medical Marijuana IDs.

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Topamax: $5 Off & New Prescribing Info

If you take Topamax, you’ll get a $5 check to offset the cost of your prescription if you register your information with the company.

Also, in June the FDA approved new prescribing information for Topamax. The current version is on the Topamax site. From the document that the FDA also published, I’ve put together a document with only the pages about the findings for treating migraines.

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Potential Problem with Pain Drug in Trial

In clinical trials of pregabalin, a new drug for treating pain and seizures, a participant abruptly stopped taking the medication and developed headaches, confusion, hallucinations and other neurological symptoms. An MRI, done three weeks after the symptoms began, showed an area of fluid buildup in her brain. This is the first case of such problems with the drug and does not indicate whether it is a rare or common response; it just tells the researchers and participants to watch out for similar cases.

How does this affect you? Anticonvulsants, like Neurontin, Topamax and Depakote, are frequently used to treat chronic pain. In particular, Neurontin is chemically similar to pregabalin. Epilepsy patients have long been warned that going cold turkey with any of these drugs could trigger seizures, but those risks didn’t seem to apply for people taking the meds for other reasons.

While many of us don’t follow our doctor’s instructions to the letter, it’s not a good idea to be a maverick on this one. Just as you have to taper off antidepressants, also frequently used for headaches, you need to decrease the amount of the anticonvulsant slowly. If you decide the drug isn’t working or you don’t like its side effects, get instructions from your doc on how to cut your dose.

Read the full article: Report Describes Potential Problem with New Drug for Seizures, Pain