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Posted by Brian K ( on January 09, 2001 at 21:28:39:

I have suffered from CHS for 20+ years. I was only diagnosed 4 years ago after my most painful episode ever. I found a very understanding Doctor who knew immediately what was wrong with me when I described my symptoms. As luck would have it I started to experience the start of an attack in her office. She immediately administered a dosage of Imitrex (injected), after the initial shock of the medication (burning sensations and tightness in the chest) subsided I realized that my headache was completely gone. She offered me a prescription for Imitrex injections and I refused (having a slight dread of needles). She put me on 240mg of verapamil once a day and prednisone with a declining dosage over a two week period. My attacks continued and got worse then they had ever been. I finally broke down and called for the Imitrex prescription. It has saved my sanity. Four years later my clusters are a little more under control (as well as you can expect anyway). I'm still taking the Verapamil daily (any attempt to stop causes the clusters to return within a day or two) and when I experience my "cycles"(which usually last 7-10 days) I start another prednisone prescription, using Imitrex as an abortive med. With this regiment I have lowered my attacks to once or twice a year instead of every 4 or 5 weeks. Unfortunately, the reason I found this site is because I am in the start of another episode (had 1 Saturday and another today). I'm keeping my fingers crossed for tonight (I usually am awakened at 1am every night during an episode with a correspoding attack mid afternoons. I wish you all well and will try to check back often.

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