Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Headache. 2013 Jul-Aug;53(7):1191-6. doi: 10.1111/head.12145. Epub 2013 Jun 14.

Cluster headache: conventional pharmacological management.

Author information

  • 1Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services, Calgary, AB, Canada.

Abstract

Cluster headache pain is very intense, usually increases in intensity very rapidly from onset, and attacks are often frequent. These clinical features result in significant therapeutic challenges. The most effective pharmacological treatment options for acute cluster attack include subcutaneous sumatriptan, 100% oxygen, and intranasal zolmitriptan. Subcutaneous or intramuscular dihydroergotamine and intranasal sumatriptan are additional options. Transitional therapy is applicable mainly for patients with high-frequency (>2 attacks per day) episodic cluster headache, and options include short courses of high-dose oral corticosteroids, dihydroergotamine, and occipital nerve blocks with local anesthetic and steroids. Prophylactic therapy is important both for episodic and chronic cluster headache, and the main options are verapamil and lithium. Verapamil is drug of first choice but may cause cardiac arrhythmias, and periodic electrocardiograms (EKGs) during dose escalation are important. Many other drugs are also in current use, but there is an insufficient evidence base to recommend them.

KEYWORDS:

cluster headache; prophylactic medication; transitional medications

PMID:
23773141
DOI:
10.1111/head.12145
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center