• DHE or dihydroergotamine, a prescription drug, can control migraine headache symptoms if a patient receives it early. Efficacy decreases as the symptoms advance.

    Mechanism of Action

    DHE acts on different receptors in the head, active in migraines, and helps control the inflammation involved in migraine symptoms.

    When To Use DHE

    DHE can better relieve acute migraine symptoms in the early stages of an attack. The inflammatory process advances too far for DHE treatment after the first 15 minutes.

    Treatment for Severe Attacks

    Patients with severe symptoms can receive intravenous DHE in-hospital over several days. Patients in a clinic setting may receive injections of DHE in the muscle.


    Patients can learn to give themselves injections, if necessary. DHE also comes in a nasal spray if oral medication proves ineffective.

    Side Effects

    Side effects of DHE include nausea and vomiting, numbness, pain, changes in heart rate. Patients with kidney, liver and heart disease as well as pregnant and nursing women should not use DHE.


    Migraine Headache Treament Program

    D.H.E. 45

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