The treatment, introduced by Teshamae Monteith, MD, in September, involves a five- to seven-day inpatient hospital stay during which the patient is given an intravenous injection of dihydroergotamine. Dr. Monteith, who serves as director of the headache program at the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Pain Management, said she considers the DHE treatment underutilized in the U.S. because there are few headache centers in the country where patients can be seen on an inpatient basis.
"It [DHE] binds to multiple receptors in the brain that are involved in pain mechanisms," she said. "Patients with chronic migraine have very efficiently learned pain so through the use of DHE, we modulate this circuit."
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