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Intravenous Propofol in the Treatment of Refractory Headache


Address all correspondence to Dr. Stephen D. Silberstein, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Jefferson Headache Center, Gibbon Building, Suite 8130, 111 South Eleventh Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107.


We analyzed the results of treating patients who had chronic daily headaches that were refractory to standard medications with repetitive low-dose boluses of intravenous propofol (2,6-diisopropylphenol).

Patients were treated over a 1-year period at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. A total of 18 patients were treated a total of 21 times. Over 90% of patients had at least some headache relief after treatment. The headache cycle was broken in eight patients. There were no complications. Intravenous propofol is safe and effective when used under monitored conditions and should be considered for patients who have refractory chronic daily headache and have failed other interventions.