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Vascular Complications With Use of Methysergide

CHARLES E. RACKLEY, MD; CHARLES E. MENGEL, MD; MARVIN POMERANTZ, MD; HENRY D. McINTOSH, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(2):265-269. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870080109017.
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VASCULAR headaches are thought to result from a disturbance in vasomotor tone. The pain of migraine has been attributed to vasodilatation of the temporal arteries. Therefore, therapy has been directed toward augmenting vascular tone. The demonstration of the vasomotor effects of serotonin suggested the possibility of this hormone being causally related to migraine. Subsequent studies failed to demonstrate an elevation of the blood level of serotonin in patients with migraine, nor did the administration of the agent produce the syndrome.1 Despite these negative findings, methysergide (Sansert), a serotonin antagonist, was tried empirically in patients with migraine and led to significant clinical improvement. Since these initial observations, methysergide has been used extensively in patients with vascular headaches. As serotonin affects vessels throughout the body, the antagonist methysergide might be expected to have equally widespread vascular effects. This report describes unusual vasoconstrictor reactions in two patients resulting from the use of

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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