Are you one of the 50 million Americans who suffers from chronic or refractory headaches or migraines? If you are, then you have probably tried a variety of things to eliminate or minimize your discomfort. However, have you ever tried headache infusion therapy? Chances are, you probably have not tried infusion therapy and you may have not even heard of it until now.
Headache infusion therapy is an alternative treatment that uses an IV to deliver specific medications that treat headaches to the body. While similar treatments can be offered by emergency rooms, seeing a neurologist for headache infusion therapy allows you to obtain effective care right when you need it. Not only that, but most offices have a dedicated area that allows you to rest and relax during your infusion therapy.
How does headache infusion therapy work?
During an infusion session, your migraine or headache will be treated by intravenously delivering hydration, electrolytes, and vitamins. Additionally, medications for pain and nausea are also used to decrease or eliminate the debilitating effects of migraine headaches by targeting the proteins associated with overactive nerve endings that cause migraines. Blocking these proteins calms the nerve endings and stops the process that causes a migraine.
Although you may experience relief shortly after starting treatment, it is important to allow enough time for the entire fusion treatment to be delivered. In most cases, you can expect this to take about 2 hours. While this may seem like a long time, when you consider the fact that headache infusion therapy can stop migraines for about a month after treatment, it becomes well worth it. Not only that, but receiving headache infusion therapy in a neurologist’s office saves you hours of waiting in an emergency room for treatment.
Oral Medications vs. Infusion Therapy
If you are already taking oral medications that have been prescribed to treat your chronic headaches or migraines, you may be wondering if infusion therapy can help you. Even if you are already taking oral medications, infusion therapy can still be a fast and effective way to provide relief. This is partially due to the fact that infusion therapy is delivered directly into the bloodstream. Oral medications must be digested before they can be broken down and absorbed by the bloodstream, whereas the medications used in infusion therapy are already immediately placed in the bloodstream. This ultimately means that infusion therapy can provide faster and more effective relief than oral medications.
Not only that, but some headaches and migraines can also be caused by the very medications designed to stop them. These “medication overuse headaches” can occur when strong headache medications are used about 2-3 times a week. Unfortunately, secondary headaches caused by too much medication can only be cured by stopping the use of the medication, which usually allows the primary headache to start again. In these cases, infusion therapy can be used to not only relieve both types of headaches, but to detox the body in order to prevent future secondary headaches from headache medication.
Dr. Kashouty, a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN), practices general neurology with fellowship trained specialization in clinical neurophysiology. Dr. Kashouty finds the form and function of the nerves and muscles the most interesting part of neurology, which is what led him to specialize in neurophysiology with more emphasis on neuromuscular conditions. He treats all neurological diseases, but his main focus is to treat and manage headaches, movement disorders and neuromuscular diseases.