Hemicrania Continua

Someone had mentioned this headache disorder to me because I get chronic migraines.  And they are in fact very similar in some aspects, but Hemicrania Continua is not responsive to triptans, which migraines are, usually, sometimes.  Although it does make me wonder, since I wonder sometimes why migraines become chronic and maybe it is because it is migraines plus another headache condition which would explain the difficulties in treating it.  Anyway, I'd thought I'd share this tidbit.

According to Health Central's fabulous Terri Roberts "Hemicrania continua is considered a primary headache disorder, meaning that it's not caused by another condition. It's a rare but treatable disorder. According to the International Headache Society's (IHS) International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition, hemicrania continua is a "persistent strictly unilateral headache responsive to indomethacin."

The IHS diagnostic criteria for hemicrania continua is:
Headache for more than 3 months fulfilling criteria B–D


All of the following characteristics:
unilateral (one-sided_ pain without side-shift
daily and continuous, without pain-free periods
moderate intensity, but with exacerbations of severe pain
At least one of the following autonomic features occurs during exacerbations and ipsilateral to the side of pain:
conjunctival injection (forcing of a fluid into the conjuctiva, the mucous membrane that lines the eyelids) and/or lacrimation (tearing)
nasal congestion and/or rhinorrhoea (runny nose)
ptosis (drooping eyelid) and/or miosis (abnormal contraction of the pupils)
Complete response to therapeutic doses of indomethacin. Not attributed to another disorder " Health Central

And it can occur with other headache disorders:

However, along with the daily, one-sided headache, it also causes exacerbations of more severe headache, which occurs on the same side as the daily headache and is characteristic of Migraine pain. These more severe episodes can last from 45 minutes to days. During these exacerbations, symptoms of other disorders may be present:



Migraine symptoms:
throbbing pain
nausea and/or vomiting
phonophobia (increased sensitivity to sound)
photophobia (increased sensitivity to light)


Cluster headache symptoms:
conjunctival injection and/or lacrimation
nasal congestion and/or rhinorrhoea
ptosis and/or miosis

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