The Hospital Management of Severe Migrainous Headache




In a two year period, 47 patients with migraine were hospitalized for the management of severe headache; 18 had acute migraine (duration less than 72 hours), 17 had status migrainosus (duration by definition more than 72 hours), and 12 had chronic daily headaches qualitatively of a migraine type. Treatment in all comprised cessation of all previous medication, plus one of the following: intravenous DHE, intravenous lidocaine, a combination of lidocaine + DHE, or subcutaneous sumatriptan. Improvement from DHE, lidocaine, or both was slow and often incomplete. Sumatriptan was not used in patients with chronic daily headaches; in the 8 cases of acute migraine or status migrainosus in which it was used, improvement was rapid and complete in seven.