Morphine while on Avastin?

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Morphine while on Avastin?

by Larisa on Sat Dec 01, 2012 03:34 AM

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Have any of you experienced severe, debilitating headaches while there is no swelling in the brain and significant tumor shrinkage? My husband is on Avastin right now and his tumor decreased almost by 50% compared to his before Avastin MRI. All the swelling is gone as well! It should be great news considering that no other treatments have worked for him (his tumor was bigger than a size of baseball before starting Avastin/CCNU). Yet, he is in so much pain; high daily doses of morphine and dilaudid barely help. His primary doctor believes this pain is either side effect of Avastin/chemo pills or steroids; his NO disagrees. He thinks it might be a migraine induced by his tumor; he prescribed some migraine medication this week to give it a try (Depakote and Imitrex). The NO admits that it’s really unusual situation, logically my husband’s pain should subside since the swelling is gone and the size of his tumor is significantly smaller. But nothing is usual with my husband’s GBM. Since his diagnosis this summer, it was four months of non-stop declining and rapid tumor growth. Finally, when something works, he is worse than ever due to awful pain. There is no quality of life whatsoever—spending about 23 hours a day in his bed, not going outside, not being able to read or watch TV, and almost no eating…. I feel that there should be a better way to treat this pain than round the clock narcotic pain meds. Does anyone have any insight? 

RE: Morphine while on Avastin?

by siblingof on Sat Dec 01, 2012 04:09 PM

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That sounds awful. It's great the avastin is working but... wow. No, I haven't heard about that before. Usually dex relieves pain in GBM patients, but that's because it relieves edema and your husband apparently hasn't got edema. I'm sorry I have no answer but I'm replying to bump your comment up the queue. Maybe someone else knows something.

RE: Morphine while on Avastin?

by loveiseternal on Sat Dec 01, 2012 06:53 PM

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So sorry for the suffering your husband is experiencing and you are witnessing.  I hate GBM.

Anyway, this is just a shot in the dark, but is it possible that your husband has had a small stroke while on Avastin.  See the link to a Pubmed article on stroke and headaches:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20816453

It seems like the NOs would have figured it out if it was, but maybe it is so small the MRI is not picking it up.

Avastin does increase stroke and brain bleeding risk.

I hope someone figures something out to give your husband back some of his life.  God bless,  Sally 

 

RE: Morphine while on Avastin?

by karynk on Sat Dec 01, 2012 07:29 PM

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My husband had horrible headaches & stable MRIs on Avastin.  He had a stroke 7 weeks after his last Avastin treatment.  The headaches went away after the stroke.

-Karyn

RE: Morphine while on Avastin?

by Larisa on Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:11 AM

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Thanks Karyn,
Was your husband using narcotic pain pills as well for his headaches? Wow, the headaches went away after your husband’s stroke... Brain tumor is so unpredictable!

RE: Morphine while on Avastin?

by Larisa on Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:14 AM

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On Dec 01, 2012 6:53 PM loveiseternal wrote:

So sorry for the suffering your husband is experiencing and you are witnessing.  I hate GBM.

Anyway, this is just a shot in the dark, but is it possible that your husband has had a small stroke while on Avastin.  See the link to a Pubmed article on stroke and headaches:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20816453 "" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20816453 " target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20816453

It seems like the NOs would have figured it out if it was, but maybe it is so small the MRI is not picking it up.

Avastin does increase stroke and brain bleeding risk.

I hope someone figures something out to give your husband back some of his life.  God bless,  Sally 

 

Sally, thank you for providing the link. Hmm, a small stroke…This is an interesting thought—I will certainly discuss it with his NO. My husband is on blood thinners (Lovenox)because he developed blood clots in his lungs. Apparently, he has a higher risk of bleeding/stroke. Thanks Sally for sharing this thought.

RE: Morphine while on Avastin?

by karynk on Sun Dec 02, 2012 06:50 AM

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On Dec 02, 2012 12:11 AM Larisa wrote:

Thanks Karyn,
Was your husband using narcotic pain pills as well for his headaches? Wow, the headaches went away after your husband’s stroke... Brain tumor is so unpredictable!

He used Tylenol with Codeine for the headaches, it seemed to work well enough or at least put him to sleep.  He also had pain issues through the right side of his body, weird numbness in his hand/arm and foot/leg.  Which was the side affected by the stroke, again those pains went away following the stroke.

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