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Is DHE treatment safe and effective for treating migraine?

Dihydroergotamine (DHE) is an effective acute treatment for migraine attacks. It can be administered as an infusion, as a shot, or as a nasal spray. This drug offers a good efficacy and lower headache recurrence.

It is generally safe and well tolerated, however should be avoided in patients with cardiovascular disease and is completely contraindicated during pregnancy. Overconsumption of this medication may lead to rebound headaches.
The most effective form of this medication is injectable. Studies have been done on nasal and oral forms. It appears that the nasal and oral forms just don't work as well as the injectable form. The emphasis on DHE therapy has really been using injections of the medication perhaps twice a day, one milliliter per day if being used chronically. Some patients may require more or less. New research has been done in delivery systems such as inhaled routes which increases the absorption of the medication to almost intravenous levels. Work has also been done with delivery devices that deliver compazine which is an anti-naseua medication used to treat migraine headache in the emergency room and reseachers have been able to obtain blood levels that are close to intravenous administration of the compazine. Those routes of administration are very exciting in terms of getting the medication to the brain in the trigeneral vascular area where migraine headaches takes place. One of the complications of DHE include vasospams which is the closing up of the arteries or veins which is a significant problem but is rare in occurrence and usually subside with discontinuation of the medicine.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.