Posted by John B (126.96.36.199) on August 31, 2000 at 23:41:32:
In Reply to: Do drugs prolong clusters? posted by Frank Lenk on August 31, 2000 at 21:10:07:
I'm confused right off the bat about cycles and such, because I'm a chronic sufferer. I've had these damn things non-stop for 11 years, and I don't understand cycles at all. So, maybe I shouldn't be responding to your post, except I do understand some of what you typed, like "agony" and "starting to lose hope", so here goes.
I believe any drug you take is going to alter some things for better and some for worse. How's that for profound.
Sansert is a preventative medication, and as such, should not be taken in higher doses to get rid of "screamers". In fact, Sansert is pretty risky stuff to take for very long without taking a drug holiday. I don't think it should ever be used as an abortive medication.
You mention Indocid, which I think may be Indocin, or indomethacin, which is a nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory medication prescribed for another headache condition known as Chronic Paroxysmal Hemicrania (CPH).
Abortive medications include oxygen, Imitrex injections, Imitrex pills, Maxalt MLT tablets, various types of imitrex-containing nose sprays of a class known as triptans, DHE-45 shots, ergot pills including Ercaf, etc.
In addition to Sansert, there are other preventative medications such as verapamil, Topamax, Amerge, Depakote and Lithium.
My preference is to breathe 100% Oxygen at the first sign of an attack in order to abort the headache. This is done with a non-rebreathing mask and a regulator set at 10 liters/minute. I also take verapamil and Topamax as preventative medications.
If the Oxygen does not work, my backup method to abort an attack is to inject a little bit of Imitrex, using the "Imitrex Tip", which you can find under the "radio button" at the top left corner of this screen.
If you do not have a doctor or neurologist that is very familiar with cluster headaches, they may not be up to date on the latest medications and methods of treatment for CH. In that case, I recommend you join OUCH (there is a radio button for this also) and arm yourself with our fine literature, and prepare yourself to go through the slow and painstaking process of:
a) finding a knowledgeable doctor in your area, or
b) educating one yourself
Both are possible and both have been done many times by our members. We will be glad to help. I do not mean to imply that your current doctor is not knowledgeable, as I certainly cannot jump to this conclusion based on your short post; I am simply writing this for the general information of any who might read this.
In summary, drugs should not prolong clusters, but the wrong drugs or the right drugs taken incorrectly might just do it. Make sure you are being treated by a physician with CH experience.
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