Tag Archives: testosterone

Testosterone Therapy for Cluster Headaches

A few weeks ago I found a research journal article on “Testosterone replacement therapy for treatment refractory cluster headache” in National Institute of Health’s PubMed library.  In it, it discusses there possibly being a link between Cluster Headache patients and low levels of testosterone.  Supplementing the hormone levels with replacement therapy has shown positive results, although the study was only performed with a small group.

Being more proactive about my headaches since the significant increase beginning in summer of 2010, I brought this research to my neurologist.  He is not a cluster headache “specialist” but keeps up on some of the newer research, and has heard of the link between the testosterone levels and CH potential.  While this treatment is very new and something he doesn’t normally do (I’m one of his very few CH patients), he was very willing to go ahead with trying it.  I got my blood tested and it did show my levels were low, but not necessarily as low as some of the patients singled out in the research paper.

He started me on Androderm, a dermal patch at 2.5mg of testosterone over 24 hours.  So far, the results have been positive.  It wasn’t an instant switch off, but it with the increase of melatonin back to 12mg have changed the headaches somewhat.  I’m hoping that over the course of the next few weeks that I even out.  My doc said this is an introductory level of the hormone and I will most likely increase.  The only problem is the Androderm patch is not cheap – nearly $5 a patch.  I really hope it helps for that price.

Cluster Headaches

The past eight months have not been good and it is why I’ve decided to come back to blogging.  Since last summer my headaches have come back with a vengeance and I’m in pain every single day without fail.  Here’s me in a few short sentences.

  • I have cluster headaches, not simply migraines. This fact has been made very clear to me and I’m finally listening to my neurologist this cycle.
  • I’m keeping a very good migraine diary. My iPhone app sucks and I need to rewrite it to be more suitable for all experiences.
  • My medication trials were not good enough in the past and I’m re-trialing Topamax, zonisamide and melatonin.  I’m even going today to discuss testosterone therapy with my neurologist – something I’ve discovered through NIH research.
  • I’m having 3-5 headaches a day, all on my left side. My nose drains, eye typically waters.  They last from 5 minutes to 15 minutes to 30 minutes.  Some last hours.  If I do not medicate they can go away on their own.  Typically I have to medicate with an NSAID like Tylenol or Alleve.  I am taking way too many NSAIDs.
  • In the last three months I’ve documented 235 headaches.

I plan on giving a better catch up soon.  I wanted to post something to get the ball rolling.