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Cluster Attacks Responsive to Recreational Cannabis and Dronabinol


  • Conflict of Interest: None

M.S. Robbins, The Montefiore Headache Center, 1575 Blondell Avenue, Suite 225, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


Pharmacological preparations of cannabinoid compounds have a variety of therapeutic uses in medicine, including different pain syndromes, but have not been previously reported as beneficial for cluster headache. We present a patient with cluster headache who was refractory to multiple acute and preventive medications but successfully aborted his attacks with recreational marijuana use; subsequent use of dronabinol provided equally effective pain relief. The beneficial effect may be related to the high concentration of cannabinoid receptors in the hypothalamus, which has been implicated as a site of dysfunction in neuroimaging studies of patients with cluster headache.

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