Posted by Steve Chard (18.104.22.168) on March 30, 2000 at 09:42:57:
Having suffered from cluster headaches for approx. 15 years I am only to aware of the pain and anguish that they cause.
I have, almost by accident, found something that actually works in relieving the symptoms for me and feel compelled to share this information in the hope that there will be at least someone else who may benefit.
I am a 38 year old male with bouts of headaches are typically every 2 years and last for approx. 4-5 weeks with an intensive session of pain in the middle 2-3 weeks. Typically I will have 1 or 2 headaches a day and that these will be at the same time every day and last for between 45-60 minutes. I have only ever once had a headache which started during sleep.
I am a citizen of the UK and it was not until April 1998 during my previous attack that cluster headaches were ever diagnosed. The price of social medicine? Given that there was no diagnosis I had tried various treatment although without much effect. During one bout 'Cafergot' caused the attacks to immediately cease, although this was to the end of a bout. Once the condition was finally diagnosed I was prescribed an 'Ergotermine' inhaler which did provide some relief although again this was towards the end of a bout.
I am now living in Tampa, Florida and started another session two weeks ago almost exactly 2 years to the day of the last bout. This time I was armed a little better in knowing exactly what I was dealing with and had read most of the main internet sites which proved not only of great interest but of great benefit.
Having made an appointment to see my doctor I explained my condition and asked to be considered for 'Sumatriptan' and 'Prednisone'. My doctor was obviously not well aquainted with the condition and was reluctant to prescribe either medicine since he failed to understand the relevance of either in treating headaches. I should point out that I am not a doctor, I have the greatest respect for my own doctor and did not feel it my position to dictate what I should and should not be prescribed. MY doctor was however very helpful, discussed the matter with me at some length, agreed to research the matter and see me again in 48 hours. In the interim I was prescribed 'Esgic-Plus' (50 mg Butalbital/500mg Acetaminophen/40mg Caffeine) to be take twice a day 1 hour before the expected attack. I also understand that this could in fact be taken every 4 hours if so required.
On day 1 of the treatment I had no attacks although at the appointed hour I was aware of the sensation which precedes the attacks although these never developed. On day 2 the morning attack (9.30 am) was absent although the second attack (7.30pm) was a little early at 6.30pm and arrived before I had taken the pill. However immediate ingestion of the pill provided relief within 20 mins. During day 3 I had taken 1 pill every 8 hours and again have been pain free. Since I am in the middle of a bout a pain free day is unheard of and I can only therefore deduce that 'Esgic-Plus' has had the desired effect.
This may not be a revelation to everyone but it certainly is to me. If there is anything of any interest within my message then I hope that it has been worthwhile and please do not hesitate to let me know if I could be of any further assistance.
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