*Some exclusions apply. See full Terms and Conditions. Please note: This co-pay card is not health insurance and is only accepted at participating pharmacies. Savings limited to $150 per month for 12 uses. Card may be used once per month. For help with the RELPAX $4 Co-pay Card, call 1-800-926-5334, or write: Pfizer, ATTN: RELPAX, PO Box 4937, Warren, NJ 07059. www.pfizer.com
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EMILIE HOYT

Guest Blogger

Emilie Davidson Hoyt may be a Huffington Post lifestyle blogger, but she’s also a lifetime migraine sufferer.

Emilie Davidson Hoyt may be a Huffington Post lifestyle blogger, but she’s also a lifetime migraine sufferer.

Emilie Davidson Hoyt may be a Huffington Post lifestyle blogger, but she’s also a lifetime migraine sufferer. She learned that many of her headaches were triggered by synthetic fragrances in her mother’s beauty products. After learning at an early age that natural ingredients have a positive effect on both her body and mind, she founded Lather, a natural skincare products company.

Emilie is a long-time supporter of the National Headache Foundation for migraine awareness and education and has received the organization's “Patient Partners” and “Golden Trumpet” Awards. She lives in Pasadena, CA, with her husband, Rob, and their 2 children.

In this blog, Emilie shares with you stories of her experiences with migraines, her struggles, and her triumphs.

Emilie is not a representative or employee of Pfizer. She is not being paid for her blog on RELPAX.com, though Pfizer has reviewed the content of her posts. Emilie’s Migraines represents her personal migraine experiences only, and may not reflect the experiences of all migraine sufferers.

The Huffington Post is not involved in the Emilie’s Migraines blog on RELPAX.com. "The Huffington Post" is a registered trademark of TheHuffingtonPost.com.

Diary of a Migraine
April 4, 2016

There's a division in my life before and after I started recording and cataloging my migraines. I have had migraines for a very long time. I don’t remember a lot from the first one I had, but what I do remember is lying in bed and feeling like an axe was stuck in the side of my head, right near my eye. The morning light streaming in through my window was unbearable. It was painful, debilitating, and most of all, frightening. Even then, I felt a loss of control. During the years that followed, my migraines continued and so did the feelings of losing control. Other than the pain, I think this is what has always bothered me the most about my migraines.

Doctors, medications, changes in lifestyle, and support from family all helped. In fact, these were the crucial elements for me to be able to feel better. In time, I used many tools to help manage the condition and help me cope. But I think one of the most important steps for me to feel in control of my own well-being and to improve my condition was to begin tracking and calendaring my migraines.

Tracking my migraines led to 3 key takeaways:

It was a tool for my doctor.

Having this record was a great tool for my doctor and me to help improve my condition. Conversations with my doctor used to sound hazy and vague: “Well, it started when I was at that block party, and I think I may have had a hot dog; maybe that triggered something.” I would leave his office feeling unsatisfied, always forgetting something. Now that I have this record, I can show him on paper and provide definite details without having to rely on memory. I am more relaxed during my doctor’s visits, and I feel more comfortable and certain that he really understands what is happening. This helps me feel confident and in control. We review sleep patterns, food choices, and even weather changes. And, by keeping a record, we can determine whether or not a new medication worked for me.

It was something to show my family and friends.

I have dealt with many reactions when explaining my migraines to family and friends. But there are 2 extremes that are the most bothersome. At times, people have been dismissive of my symptoms and that is hurtful. Others have expressed the opposite reaction with over-the-top, unnecessary worry and concern. In both instances, just sharing with them that I am tracking my migraines has seemed to help in getting the support I need. In addition, showing my records went a long way to reassure those who were worried about me while helping educate others who did not understand the severity of my migraines.

Finally, reflection for myself.

There have been times when my migraines have been so excruciating that I have felt depressed and defeated afterwards. I have sat in bed the next day following a migraine and felt like I would never be able to get up. For me, the simple act of recording what happened has been healing and more importantly, empowering. Tracking my migraines has been an effective way for me to own and process my emotions, recognize patterns, and take the first step of moving on. It feels tangible.

I feel like I was taking a memory of extreme pain that can seem abstract and is difficult to explain to someone, and making a permanent record of it. It can’t be erased. It is captured in my own words. For me, this is healing.

From noting it on a calendar to using a mobile-based app, I encourage all migraine sufferers to keep some sort of record of their headaches, however it works best for them. It can provide such a helpful tool. I know that for me, feeling like I have control is an important step in feeling well. I may not be able to always know when a migraine will start. But I have control over the information and look for patterns once it finishes. I thrive when I know that my doctor and I are making a difference in my health.

My Migraine Resolution
October 15, 2015

Do you ever feel like “the most wonderful time of the year” is really the most painful time of the year? For me, like many people, the holidays are not only incredibly stressful, but also physically painful—as in pulsating, one-sided-headache painful!

There is already so much to think about during the holidays: from selecting the perfect card to hosting a great cocktail party to making sure every wish is granted Christmas morning. But what really pushes me over the top is anticipating the migraines that I know, like clockwork, will be hitting me as soon as the seasonal rush is over. After saying goodbye to the in-laws, cleaning all the dirty dishes, and picking up bows and bits of torn wrapping paper, I take a moment to walk around the quiet house and, sure enough, that is when a migraine will come. Right when I finally have a chance to relax. Great. It’s as if I just had a final exam and it’s over, but instead of enjoying relief I now have to deal with horrendous, splitting headaches.

In recent years, instead of spending those post-holiday lazy mornings as I’d like to—with my children jumping on the bed, showing me their latest LEGO®* creations or Barbie® dolls from their holiday booty—I end up sending my husband and kids out ice skating or to the movies while I lie down in a dark room all day. “Let’s have some fun!” is replaced with, “Sweeties, can you go downstairs and play quietly? Mommy has a headache.”

Migraines seem like such an injustice after working so hard to make sure the holidays go off without a hitch. No—I take that back. They are an injustice to me. Not only am I in pain, but also I feel that I’ve failed my family and myself by not being able to spend time with them. And I know I’m not alone in experiencing this. Migraines steal those precious moments that are the very reason we go through the pre-holiday hassles in the first place.

As Albert Einstein famously said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” That’s why this New Year, I plan to resolve to try something different, and if you suffer from migraines like I do, I hope you will, too. Instead of resolving to lose 10 pounds or learn French, let’s resolve to get a few more memories with family back. A few less dark days in bed. Let’s lower the expectations on the holiday madness, and finally fill out that migraine journal (and not just the first couple of days after a bad one!). Let’s talk to our doctor—really talk this time—and figure out the best ways to manage our migraines. That way, next holiday season, we might be able to have more of the fun that is rightly ours to enjoy.

*LEGO is a registered trademark of the LEGO Group.
Barbie is a registered trademark of Mattel Inc.

Finding My “Migraine Buddy”
July 28, 2015

Migraines can be lonely. We all know they can be painful. They can be disruptive. But they can be very lonely. After you have them awhile, you sort of get the feeling that not a lot of people truly understand. You get the feeling that not a lot of people want to hear about your headaches.

I can’t remember when it first started happening for me, but after a while, I just stopped talking to people about my migraines. I guess maybe it was too many encounters of well-meaning people giving me suggestions: “My mother-in-law has migraines and she swears by this tea” or the response that goes something like, “Oh I had a headache yesterday, I couldn’t even work out.” I didn’t have the energy to try to clarify what I was going through, so I think I slowly gave up trying to find anyone who would understand. Usually if I had to cancel something, I made it short and sweet. I simply said I didn’t feel well and left it at that.

Then one day, all of that changed. I was dropping my daughter, Ellie, off at preschool and she really wanted me to meet a new friend of hers, Amelia. We walked in the classroom together, where she eagerly ran up to Amelia. Amelia instantly turned to Ellie, let out a happy scream and started jumping up and down. “Amelia, ugh!” Her mom turned around, sounding annoyed. I was at first surprised at what I thought was an unnecessarily harsh reaction. I noticed she was wearing sunglasses inside. She looked at me and said, “Oh sorry, I’m Maria, Amelia’s mom. I’m recovering from a migraine and the noise in here….” I introduced myself and mentioned that I suffered from migraines, too. She nodded, unimpressed, with a half of a smile and said, “Yeah it’s rough, nice to meet you.” And then she quickly made her way out of the classroom.

I didn’t talk to Maria again for a while after that. But our daughters became quick friends, and over the course of the school year we spent the usual play dates and birthday parties making small talk. Slowly, we began to confide in each other about our migraines and what we were both dealing with. It was revelations like, “You get the zigzag lines before the pain starts too?!?” that bonded us in a way no one else could understand. It was through this that we became such close friends. Being able to be vulnerable with someone who you know understands, and being able to question, vent, and cry about migraine pain is invaluable.

The next year was kindergarten, and our kids were off to different schools. Amelia took up soccer. Ellie wanted to do art class. Our paths really didn’t cross much at all, if ever. But we remained close, meeting for long lunches, and texting each other. Usually after exchanging news about the kids, the talk would turn to, “So how have you been feeling lately?” To this day, more than 5 years later, Maria is one of my closest friends.

I hadn’t realized how much I had been missing out before, not having a “migraine buddy” like Maria in my life. I had been keeping feelings inside and not sharing what really was the most painful part of my life. Once I found someone who really “got it” there was such a freedom found. With Maria, I can complain about what I go through as much as I want and I never feel judged. And you know what, we usually end up laughing.

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REAL MIGRAINE SUFFERERS. REAL EXPERIENCES.

We reached out to migraine sufferers about their experience with migraine pain and RELPAX. This is what they told us.

  • Laura
  • Amy
  • Laura’s Story

    Laura is a real patient

    Laura spoke to us about the difficulty of living with migraine pain before visiting her doctor. This is how she found relief with RELPAX.

  • Amy’s Story

    Amy is a real patient

    We asked Amy about her experience with migraine pain and RELPAX. This is what she told us.

patient-stories-mobile

Laura
3060450750001

Laura’s Story

Laura is a real patient

Laura spoke to us about the difficulty of living with migraine pain before visiting her doctor. This is how she found relief with RELPAX.

Amy
Amy
3060503059001

Amy’s Story

Amy is a real patient

We asked Amy about her experience with migraine pain and RELPAX. This is what she told us.

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IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Do not take RELPAX® (eletriptan HBr) if you:

  • Have heart disease or a history of heart disease
  • Have a history of stroke, transient ischemic attack
  • Have a history or current evidence of hemiplegic or basilar migraines (if you are not sure about this, ask your doctor)
  • Have peripheral vascular disease (e.g. narrowing of blood vessels to the legs, arms, stomach, intestines, or kidneys)
  • Have ischemic bowel disease (inadequate blood supply to the intestine)
  • Have uncontrolled blood pressure
  • Have taken other migraine medications in the last 24 hours, including other triptans, ergots, or ergot-type medications
  • Are allergic to RELPAX or any of its ingredients
  • RELPAX should not be used within at least 72 hours of treatment with the following medicines: Nizoral® (ketoconazole), Sporanox® (itraconazole), Serzone® (nefazodone), TAO® (troleandomycin), Biaxin® (clarithromycin), Norvir® (ritonavir), and Viracept® (nelfinavir)

All brands are trademarks of their owners.

Patients taking RELPAX may experience serious side effects, including:

Heart attacks and other heart problems. Heart problems may lead to death. Stop taking RELPAX and get emergency medical help right away if you have any symptoms of heart attack like discomfort in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back; chest pain or chest discomfort that feels like an uncomfortable heavy pressure; squeezing, fullness, or pain; pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach; shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort; breaking out in a cold sweat; nausea or vomiting; feeling lightheaded.

Medication overuse headaches. Some patients who take too many RELPAX may have worse headaches. If your headaches get worse your doctor may decide to stop your treatment with RELPAX.

Serotonin syndrome is a serious and life-threatening problem that can happen when taking RELPAX, especially when used with certain medications commonly used to treat depression such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Tell your doctor right away if you experience mental changes such as hallucinations, fast heartbeat, high body temperature, trouble walking, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

Changes in color or sensation in your fingers and toes (Raynaud’s syndrome).

Stomach and intestinal problems like sudden or severe stomach pain, stomach pain after meals, weight loss, nausea or vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, fever.

Problems with blood circulation to your legs and feet (cramping and pain in your legs or hips); like feeling of heaviness or tightness in your leg muscles, burning or aching in your feet or toes while resting, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your legs, cold feeling or color changes in 1 or both legs or feet.

Most common side effects are dizziness, nausea, weakness, tiredness and drowsiness. If you have these symptoms, do not drive a car or do anything where you need to be alert. Tell your doctor about any side effects you have.

RELPAX should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

INDICATION

RELPAX (eletriptan HBr) is indicated for the acute treatment of migraine with or without aura in adults. RELPAX should only be used where a clear diagnosis of migraine has been established. RELPAX is not for the prevention of migraines or other types of headaches, including cluster headache.

Click here for the full Prescribing Information and Patient Information for RELPAX.

You may report an adverse event related to Pfizer products by calling 1-800-438-1985 (U.S. only). If you prefer, you may contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) directly. The FDA has established a reporting service known as MedWatch where healthcare professionals and consumers can report serious problems they suspect may be associated with the drugs and medical devices they prescribe, dispense, or use. Visit MedWatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.