My doctor diagnosed me with hemicrania continua after a trial of indomethacin. The problem is the indomethacin is tearing up my stomach something terrible, and my doctor doesn’t have any ideas about what else to try. Do you know of other options? I’m really hoping you can help. Thank you, Viola.
You’re in a tough situation. But yes, there are other options for hemicrania continua that you can discuss with your doctor. In 2014, research presented at the American Headache Society’s annual scientific meeting looked at a number of other treatments for hemicrania continua. Their research showed the best evidence for Botox. Gabapentin (Neurontin), celecoxib (Celebrex), and verapamil were also helpful, but less so than Botox.
Topiramate (Topamax) and melatonin were also tested in this research, but neither produced any therapeutic results. You can read more about that research in Treating Hemicrania Continua When Indomethacin Can’t be Used.
Hemicrania continua is, as you know, difficult to treat and still not well understood. We hope this information helps you and your doctor find a treatment that helps without the negative side effects of indomethacin. Another thought - If the indomethacin was very successful, you and your doctor may want to discuss trying it in combination with a proton pump inhibitor such as Nexium or Prevacid or an H2 blocker such as Tagamet or Zantac.
Thank you for your question,
Dave Watson and Teri Robert
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Do you have questions about Migraine? Reader questions are answered by UCNS certified Migraine and headache specialist Dr. David Watson, and award-winning patient educator and advocate Teri Robert. Questions may be submitted via our submission form. Accepted questions will be answered by publishing the answers in our Ask the Clinician column. For an overview of how we can help and questions we can and can’t answer, please see Seeking Migraine and Headache Diagnoses and Medical Advice.