OMG. I can't go near alcohol when I'm in a cluster cycle. I'm surprised anyone can, as it's a telltale sign that it's a cluster and not a migraine or similar hemicranial neuralgia. You are lucky!View Thread
Get to a neurologist as fast as you can. You need to let them try the standard protocol: prednisone to break the cycle, triptans for the daily headaches, and clacium channel blockers for longer-term relief. I'm a woman, too (which is why I was misdiagnosed for so long, despite my doctor seeing me with one red eye, a gushing nostril, and screaming in pain), and this combo works wonders. It's not pleasant -- the prednisone treatment is nasty -- but it works in like 75-80% of patients. Try this first, then if it doesn't work, go back to the neuro and ask for the next steps. The evidence is now very compelling that these are associated with sunlight and our natural circadian rhythms. I'm going to try a bright light table (the ones for seasonal affective disorder) next winter -- I have read that they can help keep these monsters at bay, especially if you're a spring sufferer (which I am -- every episode in 35 years has been within a four-week period in March/April). Good luck, and if the neuro you see isn't informed about clusters, find one that is!View Thread
There's a tight connection between serotonin and melatonin levels and these monsters. No surprise that taking an SSRi helped, but that must be your own brain chemistry. They do nothing for my clusters. Triptans for headaches, prednisone to break the cycle, calcium channel blockers to keep them away. Combo has worked for me in the 3 major episodes I've had in the past 8 years. In fact, although I HATE it, the prednisone treatment breaks the cycle immediately, usually within 24 hours. It's a nasty drug, and in this last bout I gained 12 pounds in 3 weeks, couldn't sleep, etc. But it broke the cycle. I would try triptans and oxygen first for immediate response, then add the prednisone and Calan right away for longer-term treatment. (However, I'm a woman, and I always onder if men and women need to be treated slightly differently.)View Thread
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