DHE Migraine Treatment: Why some people still use it

To get some background on DHE migraine treatment, we need to go back to the days before DHE, or dihydroergotamine, was used.  It was actually in 1925 that the first migraine patient got an injection of ergotamine tartrate.  It worked – stopping the migraine that just wasn’t going away.

In 1943 came the next step for "ergot treatment" – DHE, the long name being dihydroergotamine.  It was first used at the Mayo Clinic.

Yes, 1943.

Since then, our understanding of migraine has been completely transformed.  And yet, some people are still using DHE to stop migraine attacks.  Why?

Earlier this week I asked on Twitter who had used DHE lately, and got a helpful response from @maxjerz, who had used IV treatment to stop a migraine that, again, was not going away – 24/7 pain.

Migraine injection
Photo courtesy of BlueGoa

That answer is actually typical – DHE is often given for migraine attacks that aren’t being stopped using more common medication.  DHE IV therapy isn’t the only way to go – it can also be injected intramuscularly or subcutaneously.  I’ve used it myself, and let me tell you sticking a needle in your body when you’re more sensitive to pain than ever isn’t fun (and for me wasn’t any help) (read Robert’s experience with DHE).

Just last month a report came out of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio, USA about using DHE migraine treatment on children and adolescents with status migraine (again, migraine that ain’t going away – an attack lasting more than 3 days).  The results were encouraging – almost 3/4 of the patients became pain-free (excellent considering their normal medication wasn’t working).  Read the study on DHE migraine treatment for children and adolescents.

So DHE (sold as DHE-45 and Migranal) is still given to patients who aren’t being helped by other medications, and because it’s an injection it can be used for patients who have nausea.  It also may help with allodynia (sensitive/painful skin – a common symptom of migraine).

So – why don’t MORE people use it?

So maybe our question should be – why isn’t DHE migraine treatment used more often?  Here’s why dihydroergotamine is no longer at the top of most doctor’s lists:

  • Side effects:  Serious side effects are rare, but they’re serious enough to make one cautious.  Possible problems include cardiac events, increase in blood pressure, and spasms of blood vessels.
  • Drug interactions:  There are a large number of drug interactions that you need to worry about with DHE, such as certain antibiotics, triptan drugs, and protease inhibitors.  It’s recommended you carefully go through any drugs you’re taking or may take and let your doctor know before using DHE migraine treatment.
  • Other cautions:  Like many drugs for migraine, DHE can’t be used by pregnant or nursing mothers.  There’s also concern about patients with hypertension, certain types of migraine, and patients with peripheral arterial disease (to name a few).
  • Rebound headache:  Taking DHE may lead to rebound headache, where the migraine attacks start coming stronger and faster because of the medication itself.

Obviously other drugs have many side effects, and other cautions, but the concerns with DHE may be higher compared to the benefit, depending on the patient.  For most people, other treatments will work better.  But a doctor who knows your medical history may suggest DHE for your case individually.

So, although your doctor will have good reasons for recommending other medications first, DHE may still be the perfect thing to end the migraine symptoms in certain patients.

Read more technical details about dihydroergotamine msylate here.

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120 comments… add one

  • Anne Jun 8, 2011

    I can relate to so much of the suffering that others have shared here. I’ve not tried DHE, but don’t think I’m a candidate as I have Raynaud’s. I’m on Neurontin presently, but continue to have chronic migraines. Sometimes I have nausea and dizziness with a moderate headache, but always have an aura if I go outside without sunglasses. The only thing that helps is larger doses of prednisone. I even went through chemotherapy because my doctor thought the headache was lupus related. No relief.

    I’m very frustrated. I’ve recently had botox injections but I still cannot work. I have no income, and would probably not qualify for disability due to family income. When I applied in 2002 they told me I could be a medical assistant instead of an RN! Unfortunately I didn’t appeal (I was DISGUSTED at such idiocy). I am no longer eligible for anything temporary because I haven’t worked in so long. Don’t know whether to try a second round of botox.


  • Jan Sep 9, 2011

    I have a 14 year old with CVS( cylic vommiting syndrome. This DHE we tried in January , 72 hours iv therapy. Today will b her second trip. This scares me. She hurts and crys the entire time, but she didn’t have an attack for 7 months. For her CVS this therapy seems to work. She does have major high anxiety, Not being treated for at this time, which we know brings on these attacks, which may last up to eight weeks in bed. Worse case.

  • jurie johnson Oct 10, 2011

    jan!i have cvs(cyclic vomitting syndrome) also and i’m 17!i suffer super chronic migraines i have not tried DHE yet but nothings taken care of my migraines yet!can you get in touch with me?i know its good to have other that know what your going through and i have only found one other person with cvs!i would love to get in contact with yall somhow just by email or somthing!i know cvs and migraines are a huge struggle!tell me more about your daughter if you want!God bless!

  • A Jan 9, 2012

    My spouse was admitted to UCSF, getting DHE IV after doing 4 days detox off a lot of opioid pain medicine and triptans, and he is tolerating it well and is the most awake, nausea and pain free he’s been in many months, having had a headache every day in the last year.

    The doctors there believe that opioid pain medicine can interfere with the ability of other medicines to prevent migraine.

    He was very resistant to trying to go off opioids and triptans, but so far he is doing amazing.

    Apparently the DHE treatment is a one-time deal to “reset” the brain and break the headache cycle. Some patients repeat it after 6-12 months, but you can get medicine overuse headache from DHE (like triptans, aspirin, and opioids), so it’s better to use it as a reset button.

    • Greg De Martini Jul 30, 2012


      Did Dr. Peter Goadsby administer the DHE treatment? I ask because I am set to go in next week for 5 days. Thanks.


      • Janet Jones Aug 1, 2012

        No…dr. Abraham Nagy….do yourself a huge favor Greg…forget you ever heard about DHE…my husband has been crying along with for 5 months, DON’T do it!!!!!!!!
        Janet Jones
        Las Vegas
        Jones8900@ aol.com
        Email us …don’t move forward with DHE

        • Deanna Jan 31, 2013

          Everyone has different reactions to any medication/treatment, I 2 went to DHE with Dr. Naggy (no longer there) and did more than one treatment as the first treatment really doesnt do much. after awhile of trying different things, im now in the UCSF Headache Centers Botox research program which has highly been recomended for treatment in migraine areas. Look into it!

  • Anne Jan 9, 2012

    Someone recently told me about a procedure where blood (patient’s won) is injected into the muscles (I think) in the neck. Has anyone heard of this treatment?

  • Jan Jan 12, 2012

    My daughter whom I spoke of before had the dhe treatment in September. She almost died due to wrong medication being given per doctors orders. Her blood pressure bottom out. 5-8 more weeks of hospital stays to get her straighten out. Episodes have increased. SHE will NEVER go through another dhe treatment. Good luck to those it does work for.

    • janet Mar 25, 2012

      i have just received my first and last treatment of DHE. i am out of the hospital 7 days and feel just as awful as i did during the treatments. the side effects are not subsiding. the constant heart pounding, chest tightness, metal taste in my mouth, lower back pain and leg pain, not to mention the nausea and insomnia….i will never do this again. after suffering for 35 years with migraines…i don’t know which is worse…medication overuse….or DHE side effects…at least i could function for a day and feel somewhat normal. i can’t enjoy food because nothing tastes good…have no desire to drink fluids, so dehydration is a worry….no sleep….and weakness….i am scared.

      i hope your daughter is feeling better. i wish these side effects would disappear. my son and his wife are expecting their first baby, my first grandchild, in 4 weeks. how am i going to travel across the united states to see this baby when i can’t get dressed.

  • Jan Jan 12, 2012

    One mored comment. My daughter is now 15 and was passing out, way more migraine attacks and CVS. After dhe treatment was having chest pains, had to wear heart monitor for one month. Still having chest pains, still sick,(worse now). Just simply put can not function..I’m very angry DHE made things way worse the second time. No child should have to live like this. Does anyone know where else to go for treatment of some kind. DESPERATE for a solution.

    • Judi Mar 14, 2012

      What your daughter is experiencing sounds an awful lot like whqr I’ve beef going through. I’ve been fighting migraines for years and ave taken Dhe several times <right now as a matter of fact). I kept passing out …this just started in the last two years or so, and scared my family to death. My neuro had me do a "tilt table test" which will tell if is blood pressure related. Mine is low.Turns our there was a problem with my nervous system talking to my vascular system, and down I would go. I am now on medicine to raise my BP. I 'm just worried about their effect on my migraines. Best of luck." just wanted to let you know about this. it is called vasovagal syncope.

  • Anne Jan 12, 2012


    Has your daughter tried Periactin? It is generally used in children for migraine. The bad side effect is weight gain, as this medication is also used to treat anorexia. Periactin is the only thing, besides large doses of prednisone, that has helped me, and I’m an adult. Don’t like the weight gain but it is the only thing that has allowed me to be more functional. I’m hoping to be able to go back to work.

  • donna freeman Jan 12, 2012

    excuse my ignorance but could someone tell me is DHE an injection of dhyldergot which is a pain relief for migraine

  • Landa Wagar Jan 12, 2012

    Dear Jan,
    So sorry to read of your daughter’s experience. My son had a similar experience with dhe. We have a friend who had success with the diamond clinic in chicago. You might check there. I would not give her kolonopin. They don’t always mention the pediatric rage side effect.

  • Amy Feb 6, 2012

    I am a chronic migraine patient. They started for me in 2000, at that time most Doctors would either give me demerol shot, & or Dilaudid. I have used everything from Neurontin, Toperimate, amitriptiline, & now Botox. I have had several hospital stays with DHE treatment lasting anywhere from 3 to 5 days. After using Opiods for 5 years I decided I needed to be taken off the meds, I felt as if i was getting rebound headaches from them. At that the Doctor decided to put me on Suboxone to help with chronic pain, now i believe the opiods were causing muscular pain possibly mocking Fibromyalgia. I continued on Neurontin, Toperimate, amitriptaline and the suboxone for 6 years. I finally made the decision I was never going to take any meds again. Went in the hospital received a Vivitrol shot in hopes of the inevitable withdrawal. Was the worse and hardest withdrawal, couldn’t imagine doing it without the vivitrol or ativan. If anyone has any questions feel free to email.

  • Janet Jones Jul 30, 2012

    I had DHE march 2012…it is the WORST WORST thing I ever tried!!!!!!!!!!!!!! being a migraine sufferer for 35 years I felt I had to try it. I am so so so sorry. It is now almost August and I have suffered serious side effects. I have not slept since DHE, and I don’t mean I don’t sleep well, i mean I do not sleep. I have baffled doctor after doctor. On july 17, 2012 I was diagnosed with auto immune nerve disorder. For me the doctor said it means your nervous system has basically gone berserk and it will take as long as it takes for it to calm down. Please do your research! I suffered through acid reflux, no taste buds for 2 months, hearing so acute I thought I would go insane, smells were so much more intense than ever before and much more nauseating! think long and very hard. I just was given a miracle by the Lord that I do not have lupus. DHE, the specialists I see now said for me it was destructive …DON’T DO IT!!!!!!Janet Jones Las Vegas Nevada
    [email protected]

  • karen Cadenhead Aug 2, 2012

    It must be so confusing when your head hurts so much and you hear half the people tell you DHE worked and half say it caused horrible side effects! As an almost sixty year suffer, I have had the luxury of seeing headache specialists through the years and all over the country. I did try DHE with Dr. Goadsby at UCSF about two years ago, I think there were four of us. three of us handled it well, I actually enjoyed it as a time to read and draw and even had a masseuse come in…one woman had terrible side effects..but in the end she had the most dramatic recovery. I did not stay in touch after a year but she was still well. I had good results for a few months..but it seems every treatment fades after a bit for me. I did the best on Topomax and quite well on verapimil. One doc suggested I just keep switching from one to the other. I am now lucky enough to just be starting a botox study now that I live out here and have high hopes…as ever..because without hope it is hard to go on isn’t it?
    I also think that approaching the headache from multi factors is wise…food, exercise if possible, massage, acupuncture, meletonin to sleep and for its anti inflammatory abilities, B2 for the vessels, coq10, other anti inflammatories like cherry juice and fish oil..and keeping a diary that not only records food but records mood. biofeedback and hypnosis..things to relax your muscles as well as meditation..its a disease..but you can make it harder for this disease to get a foothold, which would become rebounds or chronic daily headache. Finally, if I could still take Indomethecin, which is a strong anti inflammatory given to arthritis patients..it works so well. I wish over the years I ahd been warned about what it can do to your stomach and how to avoid that more. Sometimes that can work before you have to go to the sumitritans for instance. You might try to get statistics on the number of people helped, versus number of people who got unacceptable side effects.

  • Anne Dec 27, 2012

    Just read an article recently about hemicrania continua. Have tried Indomethacin and it WORKS! Kills my stomach though. Only other thing that has worked is Periactin (cyproheptadine). Periactin is used in childhood migraine. It is used to treat anorexia as well, because it makes you want to eat constantly. Don’t like that!

    Do some reading on hemicrania continua. I told the doctor at UCSF that the headache never goes away, but he looked at me like he didn’t believe me and recommended a trial of a whole list of medications. None of them worked.

  • Laura Jan 29, 2013

    I had a migraine (status migraine) for 6 weeks. Was given prednisone pack which didn’t work, then at the er given reglan, benadryl, dilaudid and decadron which didn’t really help either. Finally, was hospitalized for DHE treatment. I had 9 treatments total over a period of 3 days. As soon as they gave me the first dose I could tell it wasn’t going to help. It felt like all the nerves in the back of my head were tightening up. While I was in the hospital I continued to have a 6 headache. It never got better. But as soon as I was released the migraine got much much worse than it was before I was even hospitalized. I would rate it a 20 compared to what I started with. I felt that bad. It felt like all the blood vessels in my brain were in spasm. When I got home, I did more research and found that vasospasm can be a side effect. I’m not sure if that’s what happened to me but it sure felt like it. I really regretted getting the treatment. I know everyone has a different experience so I am not telling anyone that this treatment isn’t right for them but it definitely didn’t help me. After that, I found a new doctor. He gave me an iv of magnesium and that didn’t help either. But he sent me home with nambutone, bozwellia, coq10, inderal and fish oil. I’m still battling the migraines, but I’m feeling a lot better.

  • Janet Jones Jan 30, 2013

    I’m with Laura…DHE wasn’t the answer for me either. I was hospitalized for treatment in march 2012. It is now the end of January 2013 and I’m still suffering from the ill effects of DHE. THINK LONg AND HARD BEFORE YOU CHOOSE THIS TREATMENT OPTION.
    I would highly recommend no.
    Janet Jones
    Las Vegas to Atlanta

  • Deanna Jan 31, 2013

    I had the DHE treatment..it was a 5day hospital stay to distrubite treatment, after doing away with the treatment due to imunity to it, Im now in the research program for Botox treatment in my migraine areas.

  • Debra May 10, 2013

    I had a 5 Day DHE treatment in Dallas at Baylor in May 2013 for Chronic Migraines that would not go away after 8 months of more conservative treatments. My Headache Specialist recommended their comprehensive inpatient treatment which includes 5 days of DHE infusions every 8 hours over the 5 day stay. This broke my transformed migraine by mid-week. It sure helped me!

  • Judi May 10, 2013

    Currently undergoing treatment for severe migraines that have not responded to anything…including DHE at my neuro’s office and at the hospital. I am at one of the few nationally known migraine treatment centers. Started two nights ago with DHE, just because that’s their protocol, along with anti-nausea drugs and others. They wean you off narcotic pain meds, which I have used for years when Triptans don’t work… needless to say, I was not happy about giving up the only thing that has given relief. Did some research on my own and was surprised to learn that this has been proven clinically. By this i mean that overuse… more than once every couple weeks just beget more migraine misery…Google it if you wanna see for yourself.Today, they ordered facet injections, which scared the hell out of me, but my migraines are always on one side, and the muscles in my upper back, neck and going up the back and side of head hurt like hell. I am amazed to report that my previously (this whole week) horrendous migraine is GONE!!!!! I mean all gone. I know this doesn’t mean it’s permanent fix, but just to have real relief is worth anything. I just ate real food with no migraine, no nausea. btw, they knock you out for the injections…whew! If you want to hang onto your narcotics…don’t go to these clinics. But after YEARS of misery for me AND my family, I have hope. I do not think this means I won’t get bad ones where I may have to resort to narcotics, I will not be eating them like candy anymore. I want my life back….and not the one on the couch!!! I wish all of you help and freedom from pain. hopefully this will be a real pain free or at least mostly pain free life. Yay!

    • Janet Jones May 10, 2013

      I’m so glad this worked for you…you are not the majority. Since I went through inpatient DHE in march 2012…I wouldn’t do it for anything on the planet. I’m still suffering hideous side effects and will tell anyone who will listen….don’t try it it isn’t worth the risk. I have a friend who is beating cancer and she said chemotherapy is a cake walk compared to DHE. I stand with Stephanie…glad this worked for you. I still suffer with chronic migraine and try to work. Ynlife around them when possible, but the good Lord has a purpose for me and migraines are a part…for 37 years now and chronically for 13 years…..but DHE nope, not a chance…ever !
      Janet Jones relocated to Atlanta from Las Vegas 4 months ago

    • Janet Jones May 10, 2013

      Where are you receiving DHE and who’s your doc???


    • Janet Jones May 31, 2013

      I am really curious at what nationally known headache clinic you refer? Please share.
      Janet Jones
      37 years of migraines..last 12 years chronic

  • Anne May 10, 2013

    I am getting some relief with Imipramine. Have tried EVERYTHING except DHE.

  • Nickie A May 10, 2013

    Judy, I remember the glory I felt the first time I woke up in the hospital without a migraine. It was worth the collapsed veins and extreme pain I went through each time they hung the next bag of solution, it would blow the vein and they would have to dig around for another vein. About a year later I started having chest pain. I thought I was going to have my life back but traded headache pain for chest pain and shortness of breath. It took them four months to determine I had mitral valve regurgitation. They were debating replacing my mitral valve. The doctor had me stop the DHE and put me on heart medication. Within a month I had 75% heart function back and by January 95%. I was able to stop the heart medication and have been fine (heart wise) ever since. The neurologist and cardiologost both agree it was as a result of the DHE.

    Judy, my story is similar to yours. I was 38 when this happened to me. I knew if I didn’t get my life back I would probably lose my husband. I have been able to manage my pain with zomig and codeine as well as meditation. I am careful about medication overuse and when need be I wean back so the codeine will work again. I also see a psychologist who specializes in Traumatic Brain Injuriesm funnily enough chronic migraine sufferers have similar symptoms to brain injuries. She has taught me how to manage, respect the pain without letting it win.

    I truly hope DHE works for you. Unfortunately I’m still suffering. It is difficult to draw blood on setup an IV because of the DHE.

  • liz May 12, 2013

    Hi All, I thought some of you might be interested in hearing my story with DHE treatments which I understand clearly how painful it is.
    At the moment I live in OR and since 2011 I have suffered from daily headaches. over the last couple of years I have been in and out of hospital trying to get people and Dr’s to hear me in the hope of just getting some relief from the daily agony.
    Since last November my Neurologist helped me treat my migraine, as an inpatient because I am so sensitive to the DHE and has taken a long time to come up with the treatment that has given me some help to cope.
    This treatment started with Kytril then Phenergan then the DHE, and it took us a lot of trial and errors to get to this point. So to get this treatment and have the least or no side affects, which for me was nausea, soreness of my skin. it felt like a bad sun burn where someone would touch you and it would sting like mad. But when I was admitted into the hospital we would put these medications in as much fluid to dilute them as much as possible and to give me them one by one and for as slowly as possible, and it worked in the way that no more was I squirming around because of the painful side affects. Oh plus I had a port fitted because the picc lines would block and became painful having them done over and over.
    I had the DHE treatment this way up until Feb 2013, because I wanted to try a place in Chicago where lots of people travel many miles to seek treatment that possibly have not tried before, and could do it in a hospital setting. The place is called The Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, I arrived in this place 2 weeks ago because after having my first appointment with the Dr she admitted me into the clinic right away. To cut this down a bit because I am getting tired, today we had a break through with a medication I have been saying no to since the first week and is called Magnesium Sulfate, given by IV every 8 hrs, because this causes you to go to the bathroom a lot, and was not good for a person who gets C-Diff. But yesterday the Dr talked me into trying it, my headaches would be from anything from 6-10 out of 10.
    Today I went down to a 5 and I know it doesn’t seem very much , but to some one like myself it is a step in the right direction, and was a big step in to recovery and hope that it might go down a bit more.
    I hope this message gives some hope to you and feel free to ask questions and I will try to help answer them as much as I can. Take care, Liz.

    • Janet Jones May 13, 2013

      I’m originally from Chicago and moved with my family to,las Vegas in September 1992. I traveled back for treatment at the diamond headache clinic in December 2004. DHE was never suggested or magnesium sulfite, which I hear is quite helpful. Dr. Frietag ..my doc there at the time was not very interested in listening..just dictating. He is now at Baylor headache clinic in Dallas ..my success from treatment from 2004 lasted about 3 months..then the neurologist I went to in Las Vegas bounced me from drug to drug. I have chronically suffered daily for,the last 8 years..DHE in march 2012 failed miserably…I pray for,you to continue to move forward. I now live in Atlanta with my family and am hoping for,help at Emory university hospital.
      Janet Jones

  • Jan L Fox May 20, 2013

    Hi All,
    I’ve read with great interest all your stories. I too have suffered for almost 50 years – mine started when I was 9 years old. I have been on every treatment known. Narcotics made me worse and the rebound was awful. I refuse to go to the ER as they just inject you with narcotics and send you home. Finding a good Neurologist who will listen and help is rare. I’ve tried everything including Botox which works for about two weeks until a major migraine just undoes the effects and then it’s back to square one for me. I’ve been on Topamax for about 10 years and it really helps reduce the severity of the migraine. I get them about every two to three days. I take a Zomig and Cambia cocktail which knocks out the headache but leaves me unable to function the rest of the day. At 60 I’m faced now with a decision of going in the hospital and trying the DHE Infusion. I’d be doing it at UM Miami. Anyone familiar with their program? After reading all these testimonies I feel defeated before I begin. Why isn’t there a protocol for Migraine Sufferers yet that works???

    • Janet Jones May 20, 2013

      I would double and triple check results from the UM Miami before doing DHE. If you are sensitive to treatments and/or side effects BEWARE!!!! I am still recovering from DHE inpatient treatment 14 months later….and I did my research. One of the nurses at the hospital had the treatment by the same doc and she recovered with a 99% success rate. I was the docs only failure and they all made me feel like one. Then all that was suggested was more drugs like all the others that failed…I don’t know of more than 1 success story…not enough to move ahead I don’t think. I will pray for you Jan.

      Janet Jones

  • Bill Aug 16, 2013

    I have generally had excellent results using IM DHE at the onset of a migraine. It works best (and hurts least) when injected into the buttocks but when I’m alone I will inject it into my leg. I have had no discernable side effects using this medicine over more than two years. It is remarkable that few ERs and few neurologists seem to know about it.

    • Elizabeth Quiroz Aug 17, 2013

      Bill, that’s wonderful that you get relief from DHE injection. I’ve been using it for 15 years and inject monthly. Nausea sets in and so I take Zofran, plus a Seroquel to help me sleep.
      My last ER visit I also got DHE through IV and you are right about them not knowing that it’s available. What I don’t like is the zombie feeling that last until the following day. I inject in my thigh also. Stay well.

      • Janet Jones Aug 19, 2013

        I’m like the only one I know that didn’t get relief from DHE.

        I still insist that the picc line wasn’t inserted properly so therefore the DHE didn’t really go into my bloodstream, but in the tissue. My doc said impossible…but I kept saying the picc line hurt and when the bandage was removed 8 days later I was sooooo bruised that I felt I didn’t get the full effect…but my reactions were soooo awful during treatment that I’m too fraud to try again…any advice??


  • Doreen Sep 30, 2013

    Hi, I am a mother of an eleven year old girl who has daily headaches. She cannot even remember at this point what it was like not to have a headache. When the headaches get bad, she actually hits her head because she says the pain from doing that takes her mind off her headaches. We have tried every type of med for headache relief. She has be hospitalized in the ER and given Toradol with no relief, her headaches returned before we even reached our car. I am thinking of trying DHE administered in a hospital. Does anyone know of any other children that have tried this medication? I am worried about the long term effects on her heart. But I cannot stand to see her in pain any longer.

    • Janet Jones Oct 1, 2013

      Check with the headache specialists from Cincinnati I believe is where they have the best and newest treatments for migraines in children. It is of my opinion that DHE is not the answer. Before subjecting your young daughter up to this treatment…I urge you to do your research.

      Blessings and prayers for your little girl,
      Janet Jones

    • Anne Oct 1, 2013

      Has she tried Cyproheptadine? It is often used for childhood migraine. It is also used for anorexia, so it has weight gain issues.

    • Mom Oct 2, 2013

      Try the dhe. There are some good publications showing efficacy with manageable side effect profile. My son is pain free after a monthlong migraine with aura following the raskin dhe protocol..

      Ps to Janet- the docs at cinci use dhe with good results and have published on it.

      • Janet Jones Oct 3, 2013

        19 months ago I underwent DHE inpatient treatment. Started with cold turkey withdrawal of all migraine preventatives and abortives. Four days of 1000 mgs of Picc line administered aspirin every 8 hours…followed by four days of DHE every 8 ….for me..it failed..and the side effects still haunt me today. I know I am the minority…but I cannot recommend something that caused me so much pain and new illnesses.

        My prayers are with anyone who goes the DHE way.


        PS I was aware of Cincinnati’s children’s treatment of DHE

  • Shannon Nov 7, 2014

    Regarding botox injections for chronic migraines. I have had terrible chronic migraines for over twenty years. I was on disability for 15 years because of them. I finally found a neurologist who introduced me to the botox injections and they have been a life saver! It takes more then one course to get the full effect though!!! The first time you only get minimal relief but if you keep getting them every 3 months by the 2-3 time the difference is amazing. I’m not on disability anymore and I was able to get my bachelors degree in social work and am now in a masters program

  • Elizabeth Woodward Nov 8, 2014

    Hi all, I thought I would add a bit more to my story. After my time in Chicago I came back and told any Dr who would listen that when IV Magnesium was introduced with the DHE treatment it made such a difference, but struggled to get anyone to try it.
    I would get to the point where I would have to on be admitted into the hospital because I got to the stage where I needed treatment to try and turn this agony.
    Each time I would get the Magnesium with the DHE I would get relief.
    After this stay I sort out trying to get to another clinic, I ended up going to Michigan and was admitted into the hospital again right away and spent another 2 weeks trying different medications. The thing I liked about this place is, if a med didn’t help they stopped it right away and tried another. I got alot of relief because I was given the Magnesium with the DHE every 8 hours, what a difference.
    once again once back home the same thing happened like Chicago, I had trouble convincing Dr’s here in OR to do the same thing. So what I done next was a big turn around for me, I know people are saying Botox and other drugs work for them or the DHE was a nightmare for one and not that bad for others. What one drug or treatment that works for one might not work for another, which is so true.
    you have to try what you think would be good for yourself, all of us what the same thing, relief.
    So what I done this year is go and see a homeopathic doctor, I have to say I didn’t believe in this type of Dr and because I was desperate to get away from my own Dr’s and try something new. I have to say it has been the best thing yet, he has kept me out of the hospital since May and I have not had to have the DHE treatment since. I have the IV Magnesium every week and a bunch of other meds because the extensive blood testing has found a bunch of things that have been making me ill and causing the Migraines. But what a transformation, I still have a headache every day, but the hope has come back that the future will be brighter and more managable and I can enjoy my life again, instead of just existing.
    Hope someone will get some hope from this, we are all different I know this hasbbeen a turn around for me and may not be good for anyone else, but never give up and fight until you get some sort of relief.
    Take care and I pray all get relief in some way, liz.

  • Anne Nov 8, 2014

    I’m so happy for you Shannon. I tried Botox but had neck pain and weakness associated with it so I didn’t continue with the injections. I didn’t notice any benefit from the first injections. It has been a miracle for some, and I am so happy for those who have success with it.

  • Anne Nov 11, 2014

    I have gotten tremendous relief from chronic migraine from using butterbur. I still have the chronic rt. sided headache and facial pain, getting some relief with amitriptyline. Taking butterbur twice a day has drastically cut down on the full-blown migraine exacerbations. My neurologist suggested it under the brand name Pendolex, but I got a much cheaper preparation from Swanson’s Vitamins that has worked very well. The company sells the name brand as well. Though it is not on the bottle of their brand, the ad says it is certified free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. I have been taking this product twice daily for over one year, and have not shown any negative effects in any of my blood work.

  • Karen Estrada Dec 13, 2014

    I suffer from chronic migraines with aura for as long as I could remember (more than 21 years now) and I’ve also tried almost everything and what would work for me in the past was Maxalt and Promethazine but when this didn’t help after the third day, my neurologist at the time, ordered me a Demerol injection (100 mg) with a Promethazine injection (25 mg)…this stopped my migraine and I would be migraine free for at least two weeks so for two years I was getting these injections twice a month but then Kaiser stopped using Demerol all together…My neurologist then ordered me a Dilaudid injection (2 mg) to replace the Demerol but it was to strong and made me sick to my stomach but this was the only thing that worked so he increased my Promethazine injection to 50 mg so again, it worked until I moved across the bay and my neurologist stopped working with patients with headaches so now Kaiser has taken me off of narcotics completely and all the new Drs/Neurologists want to do is want to try me on what they think will work for me so currently, I still do Maxalt and Phenergan but my migraines are more frequent and lasts longer now! My new neurologist suggested Botox so I tried that just a week ago and instead of making things better, I’ve had a Migraine since so today my Drs prescribed me Migranal (DHE) 4 mg/ml nasal spray and the same in an injection format but now I’m not sure if I want to try it but I’m desperate for some relief! And reading this blog, truthfully, I’m a little afraid to do so! I’m so glad for this site, it’s very informative and I do hope that my story will help others out there too! I’ve bookmarked this blog/site for future reference! Thanks to all for sharing!!!

  • Bombón Jan 6, 2015

    Hello everyone.
    First of all , I’m sorry you all suffer from migraine. My heart goes to all of you. I personally don’t suffer from it but I had experienced it twice in my life and it was horrible! But enough about me my concern is my daughter.When she was 7 was ddiagnosed with complex partial seizure. I treated her with natural medicine and she got well. Sadly when she turned 11-12 She started to have headaches every day that end up in migraine easily. I tried natural medicine without results. She then was diagnosed with migraine with aura. She has been battling migraine ever since. Her abortive pill is Gabapentim 1,200 mg daily. They removed her from Amitriptyline because her brother who also have migraine but in control, was having suicidal thoughts. (Everything is ok now) As result of having amitriptyline removed she was having rebounded retractable migraine for weeks. After nothing else works for her the Dr told us about DHE. She was admitted on Dec 30 and stayed until Jan 1. The first round of DHE was a complete nightmare and torture. Hot flashes, increase headache, nausea and chronic vomiting. She slept in my chest that night in the hospital. At thetime of the second round she started to lliterally shake in fear of anticipation. By this time she didn’t wanted anymore. I convinced her to give it another try after remembering all the suffering she takes at home and the long trips to the ER to be treated with morphine. She took the second round but didn’t finish it because anxiety was kicking in bad. They let her sleep and tried it while sleeping. She took it well. Then the fourth round at night…back to square one. Nausea, vomiting, anxiety all together and chronic. But to our surprise migraine was at 1% to 0 …so round 5 we moved to ffinish treatment. By this time she was more courageous and told the nurse…let’s do this. She was having nausea but was handling better. After it finished chronic nausea kicked in and anxiety. So she shower again. She shower ever y 3 hours to help her soothing the whole thing. She say it help so I did everything she wanted.They released her the next day with 0 migraine to 1% . She was experiencing nausea at home but no migraine so she was delightful. . Until night time headache reach a 6% but went to sleep and wake up without it. The bad part is the anxiety. She still shakes and her Dr prescribe her with Lexapro while she was still at the hospital. She still experience shaking, don’t want to talk about what happen and according to her she don’t see hospitals the same way. And she is having an uneasy feeling surrounded by lots of people. Today will be day 6 after treatment and she have a therapy scheduled for today looking to help with this new issues. So far the treatment is working against migraine but second effects are bad also. Even though she says anxiety isn’t as bad as migraine. At least I see her laughing more. Hopefully anxiety goes away and she can enjoy life to the fullest. She is just 16. To those who are looking for an advice about this treatment, I can’t tell you do it or don’t. For what I been reading every one is different and react different to it. But for one thing I’m sure. I won’t make her have a second treatment of that. If things get bad..well try something else. Best of wishes to everyone and hopefully you all feel better soon. :-)

  • Elizabeth Quiroz Apr 30, 2015

    Hi All…Question for anyone still injecting with DHE: I was not able to fill my prescription with Optum RX (mail order pharmacy) because the price has jumped, Sky-rocketed to $1700.00 for a 90 day supply. I have been injecting with DHE for 17 yrs now since my brain aneurysm rupture and clipping. Has anyone else had a price increase with DHE? I have always paid a flat $25.00 for the 90 day supply. I am at my wits end.

  • Debra M Apr 30, 2015

    Elizabeth – I inject with DHE also. It sounds to me like your insurance has quit covering your injections. I get a 90 day supply of DHE through Express Scripts mail order and pay $20 for them. My insurance covers the remainder of the cost which is about what your being charged. I would call your coverage department and ask why it has been removed from coverage and start there. Maybe your Dr. prescribing can help you get an exception on it if its the only thing that works!

  • Elizabeth Quiroz May 3, 2015

    Hi Debra,
    thanks so very much for your comment. Yes, I also believe that Optum RX may want to slowly stop filling the prescription for DHE. I have spoken with the managers at length and they state that they are still filling the prescription but the price has skyrocketed. I will continue to speak with Optum RX and United Health Care and let them know that Express Scripts is charging only $20 for a 90 day supply. If you see any changes to your DHE, please let me know. Stay well and once again thanks.

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