Headache - Effective Treatments

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What kinds of treatments have been effective for your headache?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white square:

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 following headaches 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;
  • injection of 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 the following:

  • calcium channel blockers (for example, verapamil [Calan, Verelan, Verelan PM, Isoptin, Covera-HS], 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).
Return to Headache

See what others are saying

Comment from: always in pain, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 22

I have suffered from headaches for 20 years now. The only thing I have found that works at all is Maxalt. I also took Depakote on a daily basis, which helped to keep my headaches at a minimum. When my Maxalt doesn't work, which is about once a year, I end up in the emergency room. In those cases, the only thing that gets rid of the headache immediately is a morphine IV.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Barb, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 22

I have had migraine headaches for almost 50 years, and I finally just recently found a treatment that works for me. My doctor put me on gabapentin (Neurontin). It really has helped. Since I've been on this medication (probably about five years), I have had only one migraine.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!