Nina Riggins, MD, PhD: The Effect of Dihydroergotamine Infusion Rates


The headache specialist at UCSF discussed the findings of a retrospective assessment of the impact of the infusion rate of dihydroergotamine (DHE) on inpatient treatment outcomes.

“There is promise that if we would change the rate of administration in some cases, maybe from the beginning, we don’t have to observe any of the side effects because they’re not there.”

Dihydroergotamine (DHE) has been used in the treatment of migraine for quite a long period of time, and in recent years, the interest in attempting to optimize this oft used but somewhat unchanged therapy has increased.

One such attempt was conducted by Nina Riggins, MD, PhD, headache specialist, University of California San Francisco, and colleagues, the findings from which were accepted to be presented the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2020 Annual Meeting. Their data, which assessed the impact of the infusion rate of intravenous DHE—in either 60 minutes or 90 to 120 minutes—on inpatient treatment outcomes, suggest that prolonging the infusion time to manage cramping led to an improvement of adverse effects without interfering with efficacy.

To find out more about the study and what the main takeaways are for the clinical community, NeurologyLive reached out to Riggins for an interview. She provided her insight into the data, what research still needs to be done, and how intravenous DHE is being utilized now.

For more coverage of AAN 2020, click here.


Riggins N, Ehrlich A, Corroo J, et al. Effect of Dihydroergotamine Infusion Rate on Inpatient Headache Treatment Outcomes. Neurology. 2020;94(15 Suppl): 1889.

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