Fiancé with cluster headaches since TIA?

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  • Full Question:

    My fiancé suffered a TIA a few weeks ago. He only suffered balance issues after the stroke. Since the stroke he has been suffering cluster headaches and has been prescribed Verapamil 40 mg Watson. His headaches have increased with severity and frequency. He is currently on pravastatin and atenolol. Any suggestions would be helpful. David.


    Full Answer:

    Dear David;


    First of all, any TIA is not necessarily equivalent to a stroke. By definition, TIA’s are transient and recover rapidly. TIAs have been well-known to be associated with headaches, including migraines about 30-35% of the time. A few reports of cluster headaches have also been reported after TIA. The calcium channel blockers, like verapamil, had been used in the treatment of cluster headache. However, many other agents have been used successfully in treating this type of headache. Of course, many one-sided headaches get diagnosed as cluster, so there is a caution as to appropriate diagnosis, since that may lead to more effective treatment. Triptans might not be good choices in this setting. Perhaps consultation with a migraine and headache specialist might be fruitful. Simple IV treatments, in our clinic (IV Depakote, IV magnesium, low-dose IV DHE, and others have been helpful to break the headaches cycle. In addition, melatonin has been proposed to play a role in the pathogenesis cluster headaches and migraines and perhaps many of the pain disorders. Good luck in your quest for relief for your fiancé.

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    John Claude Krusz



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    Last updated May 9, 2014.

Published On: May 12, 2014