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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is Gabapentin the right medicine for throbbing head pain?

I am on gabapentin (300mg three times a day) for severe, recurring throbbing pain on the right side of my head (diagnosed as cluster headaches). The medication does not seem to be helping. The spell can be set off by light, a breeze, a change in my neck position, any touching of my face, talking. These spells last anywhere from about a minute to 10-20 minutes and can occur up to five or six times an hour. Do you think an increase in dosage of the gabapentin, or some other medication, might help? By the way, I had cataract surgery about four months ago, and those eye doctors have checked and said my eyes are fine.
Tue, 7 Mar 2017
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

There are different treatment recommendations for cluster headaches.

In general the first line treatment include:(1) oxygen therapy for about 10 mins initially can get rid of the headache. The exact way that this works is not known
(2)triptans- these are the medications that are normally used for migraines but are also used for cluster headaches as well eg sumatriptan (imitrex)
(3)dihydroergotamine (migranal) have also been found to work as well

Gabapentin and other similar medications can also be used as well but if there is no effect, you can try one of the above or an alternative anti seizure medication
Anti seizure medications such as gabapentin can be used for pain control.

I hope this helps
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Is Gabapentin the right medicine for throbbing head pain?

HI, thanks for using healthcare magic There are different treatment recommendations for cluster headaches. In general the first line treatment include:(1) oxygen therapy for about 10 mins initially can get rid of the headache. The exact way that this works is not known (2)triptans- these are the medications that are normally used for migraines but are also used for cluster headaches as well eg sumatriptan (imitrex) (3)dihydroergotamine (migranal) have also been found to work as well Gabapentin and other similar medications can also be used as well but if there is no effect, you can try one of the above or an alternative anti seizure medication Anti seizure medications such as gabapentin can be used for pain control. I hope this helps