Cluster Headache Management With Methylphenidate (Ritalin)


Address all correspondence to Dr. Gary A. Mellick, American PAIN Specialists, Inc, American SLEEP Disorders Center, 1100 North Abbe Road, Suites C & D, Elyria, OH 44035.


The authors report rapid cluster headache relief in a 43-year-old man with a 5-year history of refractory cluster headache. The patient described complete headache relief within 10 minutes of taking 10 mg of methylphenidate (Ritalin) when used to abort the onset of his headaches. Subsequently, a scheduled Ritalin dose taken each morning was sufficient to prevent his nightly headaches. In addition, 1 week of prophylactic methylphenidate therapy halted the series of cluster headaches. This is the first reported case of relief of cluster headaches with methylphenidate.