Posted by Bob Johnson (188.8.131.52) on November 05, 1999 at 08:17:44:
In Reply to: Link for chronics posted by Ted on November 04, 1999 at 21:40:07:
Otolaryngol Clin North Am 1989 Dec;22(6):1131-44
Ryan RE Jr, Ryan RE Sr
Barnes Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.
The patient with cluster headaches will be afflicted with the most severe type of pain that one will encounter. If the physician can do something to help this patient either by symptomatic or, more importantly, prophylactic treatment, he or she will have a most thankful patient. This type of headache is seen most frequently in men, and occurs in a cyclic manner. During an acute cycle, the patient will experience a daily type of pain that may occur many times per day. The pain is usually unilateral and may be accompanied by unilateral lacrimation, conjunctivitis, and clear rhinorrhea. Prednisone is the first treatment we employ. Patients are seen for follow-up approximately twice a week, and their medication is lowered in an appropriate manner, depending on their response to the treatment. Regulation of dosage has to be individualized, and when one reaches the lower dose such as 5 to 10 mg per day, the drug may have to be tapered more slowly, or even maintained at that level for a period of time to prevent further recurrence of symptoms. We frequently will use an intravenous histamine desensitization technique to prevent further attacks. We will give the patient an ergotamine preparation to use for symptomatic relief. As these patients often have headaches during the middle of the night, we will place the patient on a 2-mg ergotamine preparation to take prior to going to bed in the evening. This often works in a prophylactic nature, and prevents the nighttime occurrence of a headache. We believe that following these principles to make the accurate diagnosis and institute the proper therapy will help the practicing otolaryngologist recognize and treat patients suffering from this severe pain.
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