Botox for chronic cluster headaches
I just saw a man with chronic cluster headaches whom I’ve been treating for the past 5 years. He had tried various treatments and still remains on verapamil which provides partial relief, but he finds excellent relief from monthly intravenous infusions of magnesium and Botox injections given every 2 to 4 months. He sometimes needs a magnesium infusion every three weeks. He occasionally takes sumatriptan (Imitrex) injections as needed for breakthrough headaches, but many of his remaining attacks are mild and are relieved by rizatriptan (Maxalt) tablets or zolmitriptan (Zomig) nasal spray. Botox is not approved by the FDA for the treatment of cluster headaches, only for chronic migraines. However, there are several case reports of successful use of Botox in patients similar to mine. I’ve treated several other cluster headache patients with Botox with good results, but this is the only one who has been receiving Botox for three years (he has had 15 treatments to date). As far as the use of intravenous magnesium, we’ve published an article showing that 40% of patients with cluster headaches are deficient in magnesium and respond to intravenous infusions.
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