This Cluster Update

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Posted by James ( on August 16, 2000 at 13:19:13:

Just thought some might want to hear about how this cluster is going for me and some news.

I started this cluster on June 19th. It had been 14 months since the last one ended. This started slowly for one week and then hit hard. Saw the doc and started a round of prednisone shortly after. I also went on 360mg of Varapamil per day. That slowed things down and I started Depakote the first of July. It took three weeks for the Depakote to kick in. It didn't stop the headaches but made it possible to live through them. By the way I started on 3 tabs a day or 750mg. I complained and my doc increased the dose to 1000mg per day or four tabs.

It hasn't stopped the cluster but I've actually had three days of no headache(not in a row) and several days when oxygen stopped the attack. When oxygen stops an attack for me that means it was a weak attack.

For the past 7 days I haven't had a killer attack. That's success as far as I'm concerned. I don't feel well because I'm still not sleeping well and am lethargic but not living in fear 24 hours a day. This is the first time I've had any real relief in the middle of a cluster. It ain't perfect but I'll take it, for now.

The problem is, it took me 3 weeks to get enough of the drug in my system for it to work. My advice to anyone given Depakote, give it time to work. You'll also have to have a blood test about once per month as long as you take it. Will it work next cluster? Who knows.

I'm still holding Imitrex nasal spray as a backup and I have Amidrine for showdow headaches or as I call them, "hang-over" headaches. (Believe me it ain't that kind of hang-over.)

If things stay like this I might make it through another cluster. Only 6 more weeks to go, give or take a few weeks.

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