Posted by James C (126.96.36.199) on May 15, 2001 at 19:30:13:
Greetings fellow cluster heads. I've just passed the two-year mark without a cluster attack. It's been ages since I wrote on this board, so I thought I'd let you know how I've managed to stay headache free for so long.
I started getting CH at age fifteen. My clusters would last 2-3 months a year with about 1 attack a day. This went on until I was 22 when the headaches became chronic. For about a year I had at least four attacks a day (sometimes up to seven) and was buying Imitrex shots by the dozen. At that point I was considering surgical options when, as a last ditch effort, my neurologist suggested I be hospitalized for high-dose DHE therapy. I went into hospital and received my first IV dose of DHE, and I haven't had a headache since. My neurologist considers this to be a minor miracle. In order to maintain my headache-free state I take a combination of high-dose Verapamil (360mg twice a day) and I inject 0.4mg subcutaneous of DHE every morning. The consistent use of the DHE necessitates an occasional cardiac echo and abdominal MRI to ensure that it's not doing anything harmful, but this is a small price to pay for being CH free.
I would encourage anyone who hasn't tried injectable DHE to ask his or her doctor about it. I had to try nearly every imaginable CH drug combo until I found the one that worked for me. Good luck everyone!
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