Lithium treatment in cluster headache, review of literature
Abdel-Maksoud, Mohamed B.
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Background: The pain, which is involved in Cluster Headache (CH), is excruciating and is probably one of the most painful conditions known to humans. In the early 70es it was found out that lithium could be used in treating this rare condition. Ekbom produced his first report of using lithium successfully to treat five cases of CH and this was followed later by other studies, which showed the effectiveness of lithium in this condition. Objective: In this article we reviewed the evidence for using lithium in CH. We discuss some issues including the duration, the dosage of lithium required and the short and long-term side effects, which are likely to occur. We also included the mechanism of action of lithium in treating this condition. Methodology: We searched the Medline database from 1950 to date. We included all studies done in English, which were related to the use of lithium in cluster headache. We excluded all studies which were not in English and which included other types of headache. Results and conclusions: We concluded that lithium is effective in both chronic and episodic forms of cluster Headache.