Use of dihydroergotamine in patients with postconcussion syndrome

Headache. 1994 Mar;34(3):148-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.1994.hed3403148.x.


The experience with 34 patients who came to the Shreveport Headache Clinic for treatment of postconcussion headache is reviewed. All had been suffering from postconcussion (posttraumatic) syndrome for periods ranging from one day to more than three years, and all displayed, in addition to headache, at least three other symptoms characteristic of the syndrome, eg, memory problems, impaired concentration, sleep problems, dizziness, and anxiety. After initial evaluation at the clinic, the patients were admitted to Willis Knighton Medical Center and treated with repetitive administration of intravenous dihydroergotamine (DHE) and metoclopramide. A good to excellent overall response to DHE therapy was achieved by 88% (29) of the patients. The percentages and numbers of patients obtaining good to excellent relief of selected key symptoms were: 85% (28) - headache, 91% (30) - memory problems, 94% (31) - sleep problems, and 88% (29) - dizziness. DHE was well-tolerated, and no serious or unexpected adverse reactions were reported. The most frequently reported adverse reactions were mild nausea and brief worsening of headache.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Concussion / complications*
  • Dihydroergotamine / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Headache / drug therapy*
  • Headache / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / drug therapy
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Metoclopramide / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / drug therapy
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology
  • Syndrome


  • Dihydroergotamine
  • Metoclopramide