Hemicrania continua also shares features of cluster headaches. For example, people with hemicrania continua may have problems with involuntary nervous system functions. Those symptoms may include:
Stuffy or runny nose
Tearing, redness, or irritation of the eyes
Symptoms may be aggravated by many factors, including:
Physical exertion or exercise
In about 10% of patients, an attack may be triggered by:
Applying pressure to the neck
Flexing or rotating the neck
Treatment of Hemicrania Continua
Hemicrania continua headaches respond well to some anti-inflammatory medications. Indomethacin, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), often provides rapid relief. Doctors consider it a telltale sign of hemicrania continua if the headaches go away after a dose of the drug.
Daily doses of indomethacin for hemicrania continua typically range from 25 to 300 milligrams. A common side effect of the drug is irritation of the lining of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. So patients taking indomethacin may also need acid-suppressing medication.
For patients who can't tolerate indomethacin's side effects, another NSAID, celecoxib, may also help.