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J Med Case Rep. 2012 Feb 15;6:64. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-6-64.

Cluster headache with ptosis responsive to intranasal lidocaine application: a case report.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Selcuk University Selcuklu Medical Faculty, Konya, Turkey.



The application of lidocaine to the nasal mucosal area corresponding to the sphenopalatine fossa has been shown to be effective at extinguishing pain attacks in patients with a cluster headache. In this report, the effectiveness of local administration of lidocaine on cluster headache attacks as a symptomatic treatment of this disorder is discussed.


A 22-year-old Turkish man presented with a five-year history of severe, repeated, unilateral periorbital pain and headache, diagnosed as a typical cluster headache. He suffered from rhinorrhea, lacrimation and ptosis during headaches. He had tried several unsuccessful daily medications. We applied a cotton tip with lidocaine hydrochloride into his left nostril for 10 minutes. The ptosis responded to the treatment and the intensity of his headache decreased.


Intranasal lidocaine is a useful treatment for the acute management of a cluster headache. Intranasal lidocaine blocks the neural transmission of the sphenopalatine ganglion, which contributes to the trigeminal nerve as well as containing both parasympathetic and sympathetic fibers.

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