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How long should I wait?

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Hello everyone!

I'm trying to break the cycle. I stopped medications for this purpose and the situation getting worse, and I realize there is no alternative.

My question is- how many times I will have to try  the dose before I understand it will not help me? How can I tell?

Another question - is there a need to wait after taking the last dose until I go back to medication?

Thank you   :(

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Hey Timmy, Since I am still no expert on this (or any other) subject, the only advice I can give is read read read.  There are so many highly intelligent people on this site who post a veritable treasure trove of information, its hard to search for specifics though.  What I have started doing is during my reading (start at the top and work your way through all of it, including the CB files) then while reading, either keep a pen and paper handy for jotting down notes, OR I just print a copy of it and add it to my headbanger file.  That way when you need somethng you can always find it. In reference to your question, I found a link of the meds that play well together, for the ones that do not, I think the general rule of thumb is 5 days.  5 between different meds, 5 between doses, but I might be wrong (not unusual). If I am One of the high council will correct this statement.  I put a link below to the article.  Hugs! Good luck and pain free wishes!


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Hey Timmy,

I think of it like we are our own herbalists (for those that grow their own), chemists and doctors when it comes to using mushrooms. As such, it can be helpful to take a fairly scientific approach, and this means document, document, document.

I keep a pretty accurate record of all my headaches, so I know what is normal and what is weird, or unusual. This means when I'm busting, I have some idea if it is having an effect or not because the cluster attacks will be different than before.

By different I mean, the attacks can be shorter, quicker, sharper, at unusual times of day, etc. Generally any change in the normal is a sign busting is working - or at least doing something. And something is good.

We tend to call these clusters, especially within a few days of the bust, slapbacks. Sometimes they are worse than a normal attack, sometimes less painful. It's different for everyone. Eventually though, the slapbacks will go away and so will the normal clusters.

This article on 'shutting the door' gives some fantastic information about the time between busting or taking other meds of a similar ilk.


And this is another good one to read, about the interactions between busting materials and other meds.


Like Fabac said, read, read and read some more. The Clusterbuster Files section is a great resource. When I started busting I had about a month to wait while I weened myself off Topiramate, and I spent that time reading those pages and asking questions.

Some rules of thumb I've learned.

- start with a small dose and work your way to larger doses until you fill comfortable

- have a friend stay with you if you can arrange it

- don't expect miracles

- keep at it

- try everything


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timmyy, to answer what I think are your specific questions: (1) You should try at least three doses of whatever you are using for busting, each five days apart. You can judge by the results you get after each dose whether it's helping you or not, taking into account the possible "slapbacks" that were mentioned in previous posts, and recognizing that while these slapbacks, if you get them, might seem to indicate that things are getting worse, they probably mean that things are about to get better.  If you feel that things are improving but you haven't knocked out your CH yet, you should probably consider a fourth and/or fifth dose.  Sometimes the first dose makes a huge difference, even for people with chronic CH, but often it takes longer, particularly for people with chronic CH (but it seems that your CH is episodic).

(2) You can return to your regular meds as soon as you feel you need to after any bust. As the previous posts also suggested, some CH meds, such as verapamil, don't seem to interfere much with busting, but others, such as sumatriptan, do seem to.  However, if you decide to resume busting after taking sumatriptan or prednisone or lithium or most typical CH medications, you will need to detox from those again for at least five days (longer, if you have to taper down) before you bust again.   What we expect and hope for is that your CH will be gone after your last bust, so you won't need to take any meds.

There are many exceptions to everything I have said here.  So it's best that you keep asking questions as you go forward.

Very best wishes to you. You have done the hard, brave work, now we all will hope that you get the full benefits of busting.

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Thanks for the responses!

I will explain more. I suffer from migraine for many years. 5 years ago I felt a new pain, that two years ago turned out to be a cluster. Difficult to distinguish what part of a  attack is cluster, due to mixing with migraine.

I take lithium and VERAPAMIL  (I stopped  for the mushrooms) and Depakote (I continued).

As there can be pain (both migraine and clusters) due to cessation of drugs - so I'm afraid I do not know to distinguish the deterioration (or benefit, or change) will be due to the cessation of the drugs or because BUSTING effects. and I'm afraid I will not sense a benefit because the worsening of migraines because the medication was stopped. Complicated - I know.

It is important to note that the drugs I take are helpful, and reduce the intensity of pain, but not the frequency (twice a week on average. Few hours each attack).

I saw in one of the pages you attach to wait five days with drugs, even after the mushroom. is it irrelevant?

Thank you!

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Well, this is quite complicated, but let me try to be clear.  Also, I have to say that because it is complicated, I can not guarantee you in any way that my advice will be good. It is not advice, it is just me guessing.  Maybe others will join in.  I will try to give you information so you can make a decision on your own.

Depakote is believed to be a medicine that will prevent busting from being effective.  So that could be a problem. You might not get any benefit from the mushrooms unless you also stop taking the depakote for five days.   It is possible that the depakote will not have that effect and the busting will still be effective.  But it is not likely.

Many people find that busting helps a lot with migraines, as well as with clusters.

So here's the way I see it.  You are right.  If you are taking mushrooms while you are also taking depakote, you will have no idea whether busting is helping you or not.  I'm sorry to say that, but it's true.  If things do get better with the migraines and/or the CH, it would be reasonable to assume that busting is helping you.  But if things stay the same or get worse, you will not know why that is happening.  It could be because you are off your meds and you are not getting busting benefits because the depakote is blocking busting.  But it could also be that you are getting "slapbacks," as we have discussed.  As we have discussed, that would suggest that the busting is working.  I don't really feel confident that there will be a way for you to tell the difference.

I saw in one of the pages you attach to wait five days with drugs, even after the mushroom.

I think you are asking:

      What if I take mushrooms and the CH or migraine gets worse or doesn't get better? Can I go back to taking my usual meds (verapamil and lithium) right away, or do I have to wait five days?

Is that your question?  If it is, I believe you can go back to verapamil right away.  As for the lithium, I believe you can also start taking that again right away.  But lithium is a more complicated prescription, and I think starting it or stopping it should be done in discussions with your doctor.  I don't think that is related to busting; it's just a concern I have with lithium.  Once you have started taking lithium, you should not take mushrooms.  Mushrooms and lithium have complicated interactions.    If you take verapamil but not lithium, you could probably continue busting on your five-day schedule.

I hope I have been helpful.  To say it again, because this is complicated, I am just guessing, just giving you my best information so you can make a decision. If you were not taking the depakote, it would all be much clearer.  Still nor perfectly clear, but clearer.


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It looks to me like depalept and depakote are indeed the same thing -- but I could be wrong.

I really feel like I'm entering territory (meds/med interactions) that I don't want to get into here. Obviously, the standard advice here would be to be off depalept for five days before busting.

We have learned that some things that were thought to block busting don't actually block busting, or don't fully block it.  Verapamil is an example of that, and at least one person has said that prednisone does not block busting for him.  So maybe you could be successful while still taking depalept. I have not seen any information that busting while taking depalept would be positively harmful -- only that the busting would not work.  So if you can't stop taking the depalept, you could probably, to the best of my knowledge, try busting and see what happens.

Since verapamil is one of the drugs that you did stop taking, and verapamil does not seem to block busting, maybe you could start verapamil as you stop depalept, if you feel the need to continue taking some meds.

I really am just guessing here, trying to be helpful.

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