CH, Carotid Artery, Sumatriptan...scary article!

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Posted by dougW ( on July 03, 2001 at 10:59:05:

As reported in the Journal Headache. This is only the abstract of the article, but the message is clear..... your headaches, if they are changing significantly in pattern, intensity or location consider a visit to your Doc. Ya gotta be carefull!!!

Doug Wright

Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain 41 (6), 590-591
American Headache Society

Sumatriptan Can Alleviate Headaches Due to Carotid Artery Dissection

Enrique C. Leira, MD; , Salvador Cruz-Flores, MD; , Rodney O. Leacock, MD; and Saleem I. Abdulrauf, MD

From Souers Stroke Institute, Department of Neurology (Drs. Leira, Cruz-Flores, and Leacock), St. Louis (Mo)University School of Medicine. Department of Neurosurgery (Dr. Abdulrauf), St. Louis (Mo) University School of Medicine.

Cluster headaches can be mimicked by a spontaneous carotid artery dissection. We report a 45-year-old man with a spontaneous carotid artery dissection whose unilateral headache responded to sumatriptan. An oral dose of 50 mg of sumatriptan relieved 90% of the pain after 2 hours. A second dose the next day achieved similar results within 4 hours. The diagnosis of dissection was made later by magnetic resonance angiogram and conventional angiography. This case illustrates that a positive response to a triptan can not be used to distinguish the first attack of cluster headache from a carotid artery dissection.

Key words: sumatriptan, carotid, dissection, response, effectiveness, headache


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