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Alternatives in Drug Treatment of Chronic Paroxysmal Hemicrania


Dr. Stefan Evers, Department of Neurology. University of M nster. Albert-Schweitzer-Str. 33, D-48129 M nster, Germany


Indomethacin is the drug of first choice in chronic paroxysmal hemicrania with clear relief of pain as a diagnostic criterion. In a few cases, indomethacin is not tolerated because of side effects. Therefore, the efficacy of carbamazepine, verapamil. sumatriptan. acetylsalicylic acid, and oxygen as drugs in the prophylactic or acute treatment of chronic paroxysmal hemicrania was studied in a prospective open trial with 10 patients suffering from chronic paroxysmal hemicrania. The trial results, in accordance with a review of the literature. suggest that acetylsalicylic acid (and probably naproxen and diclofenac) and verapamil are the most effective drugs of second choice in chronic paroxysmal hemicrania. The efficacy of sumatriptan in this condition needs still to be clarified. although there is evidence for partial efficacy. Carbamazepine and oxygen did not show any significant influence on chronic paroxysmal hemicrania.