Posted by Rob (220.127.116.11) on August 24, 2001 at 11:02:47:
I wasn't aware of this site during my last episode two years ago, but last night I woke up with one and I know they are coming.
I'm 39 and have been suffering from episodic cluster headaches since I was 15. My remission periods have ranged from 1 year to 2 years. Lately 2 years have been the norm, so fortunately I can lead a fairly normal life when I'm not in a "series". When I get a series, it is a completely different story. At the peak I get 4 to 5 headaches per day lasting from 1 to 2 hours. Sometimes they run into eachother so it is like I have one continuous cluster all day. Needless to say, I am incapable of leading a normal life during these series which last 2 to 4 weeks for me. To make an understatement, family and work take a big hit during these times. Imitrex has been the only thing that works somewhat and only when I take one very early in the headache. Later in the series, when the headaches are more frequent, Imitrex is hardly effective at all. In my last series, I got a prescription for Oxygen (which Aetna/US Healthcare did not cover) and it seemed to help stop (or maybe just delay) some of them, but the massive ones would always get through. Prednisone was absolutely useless as were the cafergot, fiorinal, sansert and all over-the-counter meds I have tried over the years.
I read somewhere that some of the SSRI's (prozac, paxil, etc.) were being used to prevent a series from starting. Well, I've been a mildly to severely depressed person for as long as I've had CH. I was prescribed paxil and took it for a few months but gave up because of side effects. Besides St. John's Wort occassionally, I take no other drugs for depression. Although the paxil did lift my depression, I didn't take it long enough to see if it would prevent the clusters from coming on. Does anyone have any experience with treating CH with antidepressants? and Does anyone have any info or opinions on the link between depression and CH?
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