Cluster headache: clinical efficacy of lithium salts in a haemodialysis treated patient

Cephalalgia. 1985 Jun;5(2):95-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-2982.1985.0502095.x.


Over the last ten years the efficacy of lithium salts in cluster headache has been well demonstrated. Our patient, who had been suffering from cluster headache for approximately 30 years, had been in haemodialysis treatment for the last ten years for chronic renal failure. Moreover, he was affected by heart failure and peptic ulcer. The patient was currently under therapy with Digitalis, Isorbide dinitrate, and ranitidine and was dialyzed three times a week for a total of five hours each time. Neither prophylactic headache therapy nor high doses of analgesic drugs had proved effective. Although this patient was in haemodialysis, lithium treatment was indicated. The administration of lithium carbonate 300 mg during dialysis days and 150 mg during non-dialysis days improved the attacks. Complete recovery from the attacks was obtained when the serum levels of lithium reached the therapeutic range. No side effects were noted.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cluster Headache / blood
  • Cluster Headache / complications
  • Cluster Headache / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Lithium / blood
  • Lithium / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Vascular Headaches / drug therapy*


  • Lithium