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View Full Version : Visual migraines vs. FAA Medical question.


PSM
07-21-2008, 22:36
A year ago I was put on Atenolol for slightly high blood pressure (+/- 155/90). The diastolic was pretty steady at 90 and my dentist would not allow the hygienist to clean my teeth with that reading.

My GP put me on the A10 and all was well. Then I started getting visual migraines almost weekly. I told my doc about this and he told me he got them too and that there was nothing to worry about. Perhaps…if your not a pilot.

I looked up Atenolol online and learned that it is a treatment for visual migraines. What’s up with that?

My FAA Medical expired on my birthday last month and I haven’t renewed it yet. It’s not urgent since I’m not flying all that much at the moment, but is there another drug I should suggest to my GP or will I eventually adapt to the A10? The effects only last about 15 minutes and my central vision is only effected about 5 minutes. There is no headache at all.

Thanks,
Pat

JJ_BPK
07-22-2008, 06:06
Pat

I was diagnosed with slight hyper tension in April, while fighting a kidney stone. My GP started me on XXX, then YYY, then ZZZ for the week I was in the hospital. I was running 170 over 110.

The Doctors wanted my BP down so the could laser the stone..

Well it did go down, and they popped the stone(another story),, but as soon as I got out, I hunted down a local Cardiologist with very good rep, and had a complete work-up.

We have changed my prescriptions four(4) times,, with a couple dosage changes. Besides avoiding the side effects,, Doc was trying to balance fluid levels & blood chemistry, while I worked on a diet and lower salt intake.

Although they all seemed to work,, most presented some form of side effect, from simple dizziness, swelling of the lowers, to blurred vision. None of the symptoms were debilitating, but he wanted a routine that had no side effects.

It's now the end of July,, My BP is in the 110-120 over +- 65,, but we are still experimenting with the dosages.. I go in every other week..

I take a combo of Lisinopril,(ace inhibitor) Coreg CR(bata blocker), & Tekturna(renim inhibitor)

Net Net,,
1)There are dozens of prescriptions for BP problems,, and it's almost guaranteed that the 1st try will not be right..
2)You will probably need more than one med.
2)What ever Doc gives you read the "oh by the ways" as soon as you get the 1st pill, Be ready for side effects..
3)start a personal log to track what does work and what doesn't,, and your symptoms & side effects.
4)FREE-BEES,, My Doc gave me samples for all the experiments. This saved me a bunch, as some we only used a couple days.

Good Luck,,

CPTAUSRET
07-22-2008, 08:14
Pat

I was diagnosed with slight hyper tension in April, while fighting a kidney stone. My GP started me on XXX, then YYY, then ZZZ for the week I was in the hospital. I was running 170 over 110.

The Doctors wanted my BP down so the could laser the stone..

Well it did go down, and they popped the stone(another story),, but as soon as I got out, I hunted down a local Cardiologist with very good rep, and had a complete work-up.

We have changed my prescriptions four(4) times,, with a couple dosage changes. Besides avoiding the side effects,, Doc was trying to balance fluid levels & blood chemistry, while I worked on a diet and lower salt intake.

Although they all seemed to work,, most presented some form of side effect, from simple dizziness, swelling of the lowers, to blurred vision. None of the symptoms were debilitating, but he wanted a routine that had no side effects.

It's now the end of July,, My BP is in the 110-120 over +- 65,, but we are still experimenting with the dosages.. I go in every other week..

I take a combo of Lisinopril,(ace inhibitor) Coreg CR(bata blocker), & Tekturna(renim inhibitor)

Net Net,,
1)There are dozens of prescriptions for BP problems,, and it's almost guaranteed that the 1st try will not be right..
2)You will probably need more than one med.
2)What ever Doc gives you read the "oh by the ways" as soon as you get the 1st pill, Be ready for side effects..
3)start a personal log to track what does work and what doesn't,, and your symptoms & side effects.
4)FREE-BEES,, My Doc gave me samples for all the experiments. This saved me a bunch, as some we only used a couple days.

Good Luck,,



Good response, it'll undoubtedly be a "cocktail" of med's. They are still doodling with mine (after 30+ years), still not right...They thought they had it fixed recently, and I was on 4 or 5 different med's, one of which was Hydrachlorathyzide (a diuretic), the problem was that my potassium levels would inevitably drop, and I would get severe "effing" leg cramps! I would pop out of bed, hopping around the room like a madman attempting to straighten my leg out. It recently happened in japan, and I almost destroyed the TV. Dark unfamiliar room, hopping out of control, smashing into the TV.

Good luck.

PSM
07-22-2008, 18:11
Thanks for the heads up, guys. This is my first experience with prescription meds, except for antibiotics, so it's all new.

I got pretty much all of the reported side-effects for the Atenolol at first, but after they ceased the visual migraines started. Those were not listed as side-effects. I'll trade them for the weird dreams anytime; I enjoyed them. :D

Pat

Gypsy
07-22-2008, 20:04
BP meds...I've had consistent normal readings since starting this therapy after my heart attack in March. I'm now generally 114/74 to 119/80 every time I visit a doc. I haven't had any major side effects either.

They put me on Carvedilol (started at 6 grams and now at 25 which is supposed to be a good thing to tolerate the increases). This is a generic for Coreg, or so they told me. The other is Diovan (80mg) it's an angiotensin II receptor antagonist also used to treat high BP.

I visit the cardiologist again next month, I'm hopeful after several months or a year of good readings we might be able to suspend the drugs. Between those meds, working out daily and watching my diet I think that's why my BP and other areas of concern are now showing positive results.

PSM
07-22-2008, 22:20
Just an FYI for those that don't know, the visual migraines leave me essentially blind for up to 20 minutes. It can start centrally or peripherally but migrates around the vision area. At some point it leaves me blind when looking straight ahead. I can't recognize faces, instruments, or terrain features. BUT, it's never happened while I was driving or flying.

The dentist said that a diastolic of 90 or higher increased the likelihood of bacteria getting into the plaque lining my arteries.

I self-grounded just to be safe. And because it saves money! ;)

Pat

JJ_BPK
07-23-2008, 04:40
I self-grounded just to be safe. And because it saves money! ;) Pat

Pat,

Good to see you aren't the type that would continue to fly,, for what ever..

Back-up the no-fly,, with a visit to a Cardiologist,, and because you had the Ocular Migraine's,, I'd also see your eye doctor..

I had my ten yr eye ck-up last week,,

the good,, I still only need reading glasses,, 3 for $5 @ the flee market,, good deal..

the not good,, eye pressure is up,, puts me in a pre-glaucoma bi-ennial re-ck pattern..

Sucks getting old..

Good Luck..

SF_BHT
07-23-2008, 07:21
BP meds...I've had consistent normal readings since starting this therapy after my heart attack in March. I'm now generally 114/74 to 119/80 every time I visit a doc. I haven't had any major side effects either.

They put me on Carvedilol (started at 6 grams and now at 25 which is supposed to be a good thing to tolerate the increases). This is a generic for Coreg, or so they told me. The other is Diovan (80mg) it's an angiotensin II receptor antagonist also used to treat high BP.

I visit the cardiologist again next month, I'm hopeful after several months or a year of good readings we might be able to suspend the drugs. Between those meds, working out daily and watching my diet I think that's why my BP and other areas of concern are now showing positive results.

See what happens when you get a redhead mad they Pop a Gasket and then you have to Medicate them......:D Back to lurking ::pmunchin

Doczilla
07-23-2008, 11:18
I'm with JJ_BPK; I am very glad that you have the strength and foresight to stay out of the cockpit until this is worked out. If I were your FS, I would have to ground you immediately.

Beta blockers like atenolol are frequently used for prevention of migraine headaches. That said, everyone is a little different, and it may be contributing to your headaches because of the effect on the blood vessels (which is how they are thought to improve the headaches). It would be worth switching to another anti-hypertensive medicine to see if there is any effect on your migraines. I would try another medicine, like an ACE inhibitor (anything that ends in -pril, like enalapril, lisinopril, etc.) or ARB (anything that ends in -artan, such as irbesartan, telmisartan, etc.) in addition to a low dose of a diuretic like HCTZ. The ACE or ARB will be especially beneficial if you have heart failure, diabetes, kidney disease, or cardiomyopathy.

The symptoms you describe can also be caused by glaucoma, so I would go ASAP to the optho and get an eye checkup.

'zilla

PSM
07-23-2008, 15:30
Back-up the no-fly,, with a visit to a Cardiologist,, and because you had the Ocular Migraine's,, I'd also see your eye doctor..

Done. All of the doctors have been told except the FS, which is why I didnít go see him. I wasnít going to lie to him about it and Iím sure it can be fixed. Flying is just an expensive hobby nowadays so itís not a big deal. We use an RV for x-country travel now anyway.

Beta blockers like atenolol are frequently used for prevention of migraine headaches. That said, everyone is a little different, and it may be contributing to your headaches because of the effect on the blood vessels (which is how they are thought to improve the headaches). It would be worth switching to another anti-hypertensive medicine to see if there is any effect on your migraines. I would try another medicine, like an ACE inhibitor (anything that ends in -pril, like enalapril, lisinopril, etc.) or ARB (anything that ends in -artan, such as irbesartan, telmisartan, etc.) in addition to a low dose of a diuretic like HCTZ. The ACE or ARB will be especially beneficial if you have heart failure, diabetes, kidney disease, or cardiomyopathy.

Iíll discuss these with my doc, doc.

I had another incident just before lunch today. It made slicing an onion a bit of a challenge. No blood was lost, though. :D

Pat

Gypsy
07-23-2008, 18:50
See what happens when you get a redhead mad they Pop a Gasket and then you have to Medicate them......:D Back to lurking ::pmunchin

You know it! HEY wait a minute. LOL! You're lucky my BP was only 104/50 today. :p :D (though I think that's kinda low, my doc is very happy...)

/hijack.

But back to PSM...I hope you get to the docs and have them check all that out, it doesn't really sound good.