How Does Infusion Therapy Treat Headaches?
In severe cases of chronic headaches – usually chronic migraine headaches or chronic tension headaches – traditional treatment methods often don’t work. These patients require more aggressive treatments to reach the goal of lowering the frequency of migraines to occasional headaches. The most promising of these treatments is infusion therapy. Also, it is often not realized that this form of therapy can be used to break a cluster cycle and can work well, especially early on when the headaches start.
Infusion therapy consists of an infusion of multiple drugs at the same time, instead of the usual practice of prescribing one drug at a time. It’s done using an intravenous, or IV, setup to administer the medication over a series of days. Some milder situations may require only one day but we recommend multiple days so the headache does not return. In most cases, patients are treated on an outpatient basis. They come in for a four to eight-hour treatment for three or four days in a row but are allowed to return home or to a nearby hotel at night. This allows the patients to be more comfortable in the evenings, as well as saving large amounts of money in hospital costs. Some patients feel more secure in a medical setting; these patients can be treated on an inpatient basis.
How Infusion Therapy Works
Patients with chronic migraines or chronic tension headaches are given a combination of drugs in a larger dose than what most people have at home. We monitor all patients in a clinical setting to make sure they have no adverse reactions to the drugs. The theory behind infusion therapy is that it will reset the brain, pulling it out of a headache spiral. These infusions also allow us to find out which medications work best for you within a very short amount of time.
In addition, this type of therapy can decrease the number of rebound migraine headaches. When patients suffer from migraines and their medication isn’t working, the tendency is to overuse the medicine to make it work harder. This overuse can actually make the headache worsen, causing what we call a rebound headache.
Common Results of Infusion Therapy
This IV therapy can have positive results on several fronts:
- It decreases the number of chronic tension headache onsets a patient will experience. Many patients find that their tension headaches go from chronic to occasional with this treatment.
- It can treat the most severe migraine flare-ups, even those that more traditional medications don’t affect.
- By treating with more than one medication at a time, doctors don’t have to waste time with trial and error on multiple treatment options.
Infusion Therapy Facts
Infusion therapy isn’t a cure for migraines. There is currently no permanent cure for migraine sufferers. All we can do is control the symptoms the best way possible and reduce the number of attacks patients deal with each month.
On those fronts, infusion therapy works well. Patients see real benefits over time, and many of them find their migraines reduced to the occasional headache a few times a month.
Proper diagnosis and prior treatment is crucial before undertaking this serious medical regimen. This therapy is not for the first-time patient, but for those with chronic headaches of many different types who have tried all available traditional treatment methods with no measurable results. For the right patients, infusion therapy can produce results much faster and more effectively than most other courses of treatment.
Adkins Headache Center IV Infusion Therapy Recommendations
We will be happy to discuss your particular case and provide recommended treatment plans. We will monitor your health closely during your entire treatment and will gladly answer any questions you may have while you are under our care.