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August 1955

Arterenol (Norepinephrine) and Vascular Headache of the Migraine Type: Studies on Headache

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Medicine (Neurology) and Psychiatry, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;74(2):131-136. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330140015003

It has been appreciated for some time that agents that effectively induce cranial vasoconstriction also reduce the intensity of, or eliminate, vascular headache of the migraine type. The potency of arterenol (norepinephrine) as a vasoconstrictor suggested that it might affect the intensity and duration of the pain and further elucidate the mechanism of vascular headache.*

METHOD  Arterenol in a dilution of 4 cc. of a 0.2% solution in a liter of 5% dextrose in water was administered intravenously at an average rate of 1 drop per second, or sufficient to raise the systolic blood pressure 10 to 40 mm. Hg. With the patient supine, blood pressure and pulse were determined at intervals of 1 to 2 minutes initially and thereafter every 10 to 15 minutes. Pulse wave tracings of the involved cranial arteries were made using the apparatus described in a previous communication.4 Deep-pain thresholds of the scalp were

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