• Dihydroergotamine (DHE);
  • intramuscular;
  • home therapy;
  • migraine headache


Dihydroergotamine (DHE) has been used for the treatment of acute migraine headache for almost 50 years. Previous studies have emphasized use in emergency room, inpatient, or office settings. Twenty-nine patients with migraine headache who had failed to obtain relief with conventional therapy were trained to self-administer intramuscular DHE. The patients administered 0.5 mg DHE and 100 mg trimethobenzamide at the onset of their headache and an additional O.5mg DHE if satisfactory headache relief was not obtained. Twenty patients were successfully contacted and interviewed. Forty-five percent of the patients had at least 50% relief of headache and continued to use the protocol. Eighty-two percent of patients who initially had at least 50% headache relief continued to use the drug, whereas none of the patients who initially had less than 10% relief continued the protocol. Sixty-one percent of patients whose headaches precluded continuation of activity had at least 50% response to initial treatment, whereas only 29% whose headaches were less severe had this response. Initial response to therapy was predictive of continued use of the treatment protocol and patients who described more severe headache had a higher response to the initial treatment. Thus, home administration of I.M. DHE offers an additional treatment regimen for patients with migraine headache.