July 27, 2016
font size

Headache (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

How are cluster headaches treated?

Cluster headaches may be very difficult to treat, and it may take trial and error to find the specific treatment regimen that will work for each patient. Since the headache recurs daily, there are two treatment needs. The pain of the first episode needs to be controlled, and the headaches that follow need to be prevented.

Initial treatment options may include one or more of the following:

  • inhalation of high concentrations of oxygen (though this will not work if the headache is well established);
  • injection of triptan medications, like, sumatriptan (Imitrex), zolmitriptan (Zomig), and rizatriptan (Maxalt) which are common migraine medications;
  • Spraying or dripping lidocaine, a local anesthetic, into the nostril;
  • dihydroergotamine (DHE, Migranal), a medication that causes blood vessels to constrict; and
  • caffeine.

Prevention of the next cluster headache may include

  • calcium channel blockers, for example, verapamil (Calan, Verelan, Verelan PM, Isoptin, Covera-HS) and diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac);
  • prednisone (Deltasone, Liquid Pred);
  • antidepressant medications;
  • lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid); and
  • antiseizure medications including valproic acid, divalproex (Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon), and topiramate (Topamax).

Can cluster headaches be prevented?

Since cluster headache episodes may be spaced years apart, and since the first headache of a new cluster episode can't be predicted, daily medication may not be warranted.

Lifestyle changes may help minimize the risk of a cluster headache flare. Stopping smoking and minimizing alcohol may prevent future episodes of cluster headache.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/25/2016

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/headache/article.htm

Living Better

Find the secrets to longer life.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations