CPH and hemicrania continua: Requirements of high indomethacin dosages - An ominous sign?

O. Sjaastad, L. J. Stovner, A. Stolt-Nielsen, F. Antonaci, T. A. Fredriksen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two female patients, one with chronic paroxysmal hemicrania and one with hemicrania continua, had a continuously high requirement of indomethacin, ie, ≥ 225 mg per day, for 4 and 7 years, respectively. In the hemicrania continua patient, a right (symptomatic side) C7 root affection due to disc herniation was demonstrated. Removal of the disc relieved the arm pain completely, and reduced the head pain and indomethacin requirement considerably initially. The other patient suffered from the unremitting form of chronic paroxysmal hemicrania with right-sided attacks from the age of 16. Indomethacin, 200 to 250 mg per day generally kept the headache at bay, but during exacerbations, especially during menstrual periods, the dosage transitorily had to be increased to 250 to 350 mg per day. ACT scan with contrast at aged 18 (1987) was negative. In 1992, she started having new symptoms, including numbness on the ipsilateral side of the face and arm and difficulty swallowing. An MR scan showed a meningioma originating in the roof of the cavernous sinus on the symptomatic side. The meningioma was surgically removed. The postoperative indomethacin requirement was reduced, but only transiently. Patients with chronic paroxysmal hemicrania (CPH) and hemicrania continua (HC) with a continuously high indomethacin requirement may have grave additional disorders and should consequently be followed closely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-367
Number of pages5
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • chronic paroxysmal hemicrania
  • headache - symptomatic form
  • hemicrania continua
  • indomethacin
  • unilateral headache

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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