Botox and Magnesium for Cluster Headache?

Yesterday Dr. Alexander Mauskop reported on a man who has been taking Botox and magnesium for cluster headaches for three years.  He’s found it very helpful, although the treatment is not alone.  Here’s what he’s taking:

  • verapamil
  • intravenous magnesium (every 3 weeks to one month)
  • Botox injections (every 2-4 months, usually between 2-3)
  • To take for an attack, he usually uses rizatriptan (Maxalt) tablets or zolmitriptan (Zomig) nasal spray.  If he needs more he takes sumatriptan (Imitrex) injections

Dr. Mauskop says he has found that about 40% of cluster patients are magnesium deficient, and respond to the magnesium injections.  The Botox also seems to be helpful, but there are few long term cases.  The interesting thing about this case is that the man has taken Botox over the course of 3 years.

All of these medications are also used for migraine, though verapamil is one of the less common ones.

For more, read Dr. Mauskop’s post:  Botox for chronic cluster headaches

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  • Dr. Michael Zitney Apr 17, 2012

    Dr. Mauskop is correct, but this isn’t limited to cluster headache patients. Probably 40% (or more) of the entire North American population is magnesium deficient. The challenge is that there isn’t an accurate medical test to determine your true magnesium level. Only a tiny percentage of our total body magnesium is circulating in the blood where it is accessible to testing. I recommend that all my frequent headache/migraine patients take a magnesium supplement unless they have kidney failure or some other contraindication.

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