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Cephalalgia. 2001 Nov;21(9):906-10.

Dose, efficacy and tolerability of long-term indomethacin treatment of chronic paroxysmal hemicrania and hemicrania continua.

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Department of Neurology, Fundación Hospital Alcorcón, Juan Carlos I University, Madrid, Spain.


Indomethacin has consistently been proven to provide complete and sustained relief of symptoms in hemicrania continua (HC) and chronic paroxysmal hemicrania (CPH), but is not devoid of side-effects. The goal of this retrospective study is to assess the dose and side-effects of prolonged indomethacin treatment of HC and CPH. Twenty-six patients with either HC or CPH were followed during an average of 3.8 years after onset of treatment with indomethacin. Relief of symptoms occurred within 3 days of treatment, with 84 +/- 32 mg/day of indomethacin. With time, 42% of patients experienced a decrease of up to 60% in the dose of indomethacin required to maintain a pain-free state. Six (23%) patients showed adverse events, mostly gastrointestinal and relieved with ranitidine. No major side-effects were observed. These results indicate that prolonged indomethacin treatment of HC or CPH has a good safety and tolerability profile with a reduction of up to 60% in the initial dose.

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