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Posted by pinksharkmark ( on January 16, 2002 at 05:34:15:

In Reply to: Sorry Flash ... posted by Bob P on January 15, 2002 at 14:30:34:

***I have felt, and still do feel, it is irresponsible for us to run around and proclaim that we have found 'the most effective' treatment there is for CH.***

Irresponsible? I disagree. Since we have yet to see (and may never see) published, peer-reviewed, double-blind clinical trials in "The Lancet", we must rely on anecdotal evidence presented on this board. A brief tally of the available reports will lead anyone to the conclusion that the success rate is much higher for this treatment than it is for ANY known CH treatments. Will it work for everyone? Unlikely. Does ANY treatment we know of work for everyone?

It may be that there are people who have tried it and then not bothered to post their failures, therefore leading us to arrive at an incorrect ratio of successes to failures. I doubt that this is the case, since virtually every post regarding ANY treatment that has worked for any given clusterhead soon has a string of followup posts saying "Depakote? Did nothing for me!" or "Tried the capsaicin cream faithfully for three weeks with zero results" or "I sure wish that Verapamil did something for me besides constipate me" or "Sucking on a Maxalt is like eating an M&M for all the good it did me", etc. etc. I would certainly expect that with all the excitement surrounding the psychedelic therapy those who tried it unsuccessfully would not hesitate to say so.

Therefore, we are not being "irresponsible" to conclude on the basis of the AVAILABLE evidence that the psychedelic therapy has the highest success rate of anything else currently known. Are we being "irresponsible" by PROCLAIMING this conclusion? Hardly. Anyone who takes the time to research all the reports will reach the same conclusion. Numbers are numbers.

And that is without even considering reports from sources other than this board. Indigenous Central and South American tribes have known about this forever. I have run across four or five reports from online mushroom user forums. Our own Kenn has reported on this board that he took part (successfully) in a clinical trial with LSD and migraineurs in the Sixties, but I have been unable to find this study online. Despite what we like to think, not EVERY piece of data available to science is available yet through the Internet.

To take this further, I know for a fact that there have been more clinical studies done with LSD and migraineurs than the one Kenn took part in. I came across some in the library at Ottawa University in the early Seventies. It was these studies that led Sandoz to develop methysergide (Sansert) and methergine in the hopes of replicating the migraine-fighting properties of LSD while eliminating the psychedelic aspects.

***Plain and simple, to proclaim anything a successful treatment, much less the most effective treatment for CH without any scientific data or testing to back it up is pissing in the wind.***

So your objection is that some are labelling it the "MOST effective" treatment rather than "AN effective" treatment? Look at the polls listed here at and try to find a treatment with a success rate higher than sixty-five or seventy percent. Click on the current oxygen poll as an example. Then review the proportion of psychedelic sucess stories vs failures.

As for "scientific data and testing", I submit that many of the experiments reported here have been conducted in as controlled a manner and reported in as much detail as those in many clinical studies. Data does not have to be presented by a "scientist" in order to be scientific.

Besides, the cluster-killing properties of virtually ALL our current meds were discovered accidentally. Beta blockers, Calcium channel blockers, Depakote, Lithium, Amytriptiline, Topamax... the list goes on. NONE of these were suspected to be effective treatments for CH until someone noticed it by accident, and studies were initiated to investigate it further. The problem with LSD and psilocybin is that it is currently an enormously difficult undertaking to get approval for such a study.

The relevant point I am trying to make is that even before the clinical studies were published, it was known that these drugs (Verapamil, Lithium, et al) worked. It wasn't wishful thinking or self-delusion, the drugs WORKED and were known to work. They just hadn't yet been given the stamp of approval by officialdom. Would it have been "irresponsible" for a neurologist with this knowledge to prescribe Verapamil for one of his clusterheads before the Verapamil study had been published?

***What we have is a bunch of people who have ingested shrooms in uncontrolled, unmonitored situations and have some or complete relief from their headaches.***

And that is all we are likely to have for a very long time, unless there is a radical shift in policy of government regulatory bodies.

***Because of the shrooms? Maybe. Because their headaches were ending anyway? Maybe. Because of the psychological belief that it would help? Maybe.***

I need not point out that one could substitute the name of ANY other medication for "shrooms" in this sentence.

I know that you continue to be a supporter of experimentation with mushrooms even though it didn't help you personally, and I appreciate that. But I don't agree that those of us who categorize this therapy as the most effective known to date are acting irresponsibly.


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