I take psilocybin for my hemicrania continua, and it keeps me about 80-90% pain free. I came down with the headache one day, and it just didn’t stop. It wasn’t a slow process, but it did take several doses of psilocybin spread out over a few weeks to break it.
Getting diagnosed wasn’t exactly easy either. I am still not formally diagnosed. If you asked my headache specialist, he would probably say that I have all the symptoms of hemicrania continua, but I do not meet the exact formal diagnostic criteria. Hemicrania continua does the best job of describing my symptoms, but I never had much of a reaction to the medication used to diagnose hemicrania continua.
Hemicrania continua has clear symptoms, a constant side locked headache with autonomic features. Headache specialists define hemicrania continua formally by its reaction to a specific medication, indomethacin. If the headache responds to indomethacin, the diagnosis is hemicrania continua. If the headache does not respond to anything, the diagnosis is NDPH. NDPH is a category that is less specific on symptoms, but much more specific on treatments that work. To sum it up, there aren’t any reliable treatments that work.
The future for the hemicrania continua patient isn’t that rosy either. Many start out responding to indomethacin, but then either it stops working or they can’t tolerate the gastrointestinal side effects anymore and must stop. After the indomethacin stops working, does that mean we should recategorize the headache as NDPH? That doesn’t make much sense.
Is Psilocybin Effective?
Your internet search probably brought you here to this article because you are wondering if psilocybin could work for you. Here is the information you are looking for. The answer is probably, definitely, a solid MAYBE. It worked for me. After several whopping doses at 5 day intervals, my headache started to break up. Now, after a couple years, I have a solid maintenance plan that is well laid out here. Progress was noticeable only after the third dose, so it is not a “one and done” kind of thing. I have also noticed that people seem to have better luck treating their headaches with psilocybin when they have less migrainous features. I never had nausea, light sensitivity, and I was not exercise sensitive at all. In fact, sprinting could relieve my pain.
Anyway, maybe all that doesn’t matter anymore. Who cares what the diagnosis is if I don’t have the headache anymore? I guess it could matter again if the psilocybin stops working, if one day it just stops keeping it suppressed.