In a recent post, I talked about my upcoming visit with my neurologist. You can read that post at Burning Mouth & Neurologists.
The meeting went fine, and as I expected, there was nothing new for Burning Mouth Syndrome. He refilled my prescription for Klonopin ODT and I will continue my present therapy, which has helped better than anything else I have tried.
I mentioned in that post that I was going to ask about the migraines that I have been having at a rate of 8-17 per month for about sixteen years. He told me that the Botox therapy has improved, and offered to check into insurance pre-approval for that procedure, but also said there was something new that I could consider.
Pharmaceutical companies have seen the handwriting on the wall for a long time now, as America’s baby boomer generation ages. They have been researching medicines to address the aging brain, and over time, have come up with meds that help with Alzheimer’s symptoms and senile dementia.
One of these (Memantine – also known as brand name Namenda) has an interesting effect of reducing the actions of chemicals in the brain that may contribute to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
“Memantine is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor antagonist. It works by blocking an excess activity of a substance in the brain called glutamate, which may reduce the symptoms associated with Alzheimer disease. Memantine is not a cure for Alzheimer disease.” –Drugs.com
It can also be used for other purposes, and one of these may be migraine prevention.
It may be worth talking with your neurologist about Memantine because since I began the treatment, I went from having 8-10 migraines each month to having about half that in the first month and this following month (which is nearly over), I have had ONE migraine. Talk with your neurologist about dosage, potential interactions with any meds you are taking, and of course, any drug allergies you have.
How do I know?
I keep a pain diary, and migraine records go in there right along with burning mouth pain. There is no correlation between the two chronic conditions that I have found over the years, and the Memantine has no discernible effect for me on that pain.
But I am cautiously hopeful for what it has done for my migraines, even though I really only have two months of data to look at. Time will tell, but in this short period I have been taking it, I have had no discernible side effects.
Why am I cautiously hopeful?
Because with any migraine prevention, two things can happen, even if it seems to be initially effective for you. First, it can simply stop working. This has happened to many of my friends who seemed to find the magic combination for a time. Second, it can stop working as well, with more and more breakthrough migraines and this too has happened to many.
So, you revel in the good days, hope for more of them, and stay realistic in your expectations. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Burning Mouth Syndrome sufferers follow this pattern for days, years, and even decades.
Here’s to hoping for better pain treatments with fewer side effects or interactions. I will drink a toast to that!