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Resolution of chronic migraine headaches with intrathecal ziconotide: a case report

Authors Narain S, Al-Khoury L, Chang E

Received 17 March 2015

Accepted for publication 29 April 2015

Published 8 September 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 603—606

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S84771

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael E Schatman


Sachin Narain,1 Lama Al-Khoury,2 Eric Chang3–6

1Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care, 2Department of Neurology, 3Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 4Department of Neurosurgery, 5Department of Orthopedics, 6Reeve-Irvine Research Center for Spinal Cord Injury, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA

Background: Migraine headaches are a common and functionally debilitating disorder affecting approximately 17% of women and 5.6% of men. Compared to episodic migraine patients, chronic migraineurs are more likely to be occupationally disabled, miss family activities, have comorbid anxiety and/or chronic pain disorders, and utilize significantly more health care dollars. Ziconotide is a calcium channel blocker used for the treatment of chronic severe pain without issues of tolerance or dependency found with opioid therapy.
Case: A 59-year-old female had an intrathecal baclofen pump placed for spasticity secondary to multiple sclerosis. Her symptoms also included lower extremity neuropathic pain and severe migraine headaches with 22 migraine headache days per month. Prior treatments included nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, triptans, anticonvulsants, antihypertensives, and Botox injections which reduced her symptoms to four migraine days per month at best. While her spasticity had markedly improved with intrathecal baclofen, ziconotide was added to help her neuropathic pain complaints. Following initiation of low-dose ziconotide (1 µg/day), the patient noted both lower extremity pain improvement and complete resolution of migraine headaches resulting in zero migraine days per month. She has now been migraine free for 8 months.
Conclusion: Upon review of the available literature, there are no published cases of migraine improvement with intrathecal ziconotide. This represents the first case describing resolution of migraine symptoms with low-dose ziconotide.

Keywords: ziconotide, migraine, symptoms, chronic pain, intrathecal pump

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