Cluster Headache Treatment Options
Cluster headaches are known for their extreme pain and their pattern of occurring in "clusters," usually at the same time(s) of the day for several weeks. A cluster headache is often described as a constant, deep, excruciating pain, and the pain is always located on one side of the head. Unlike migraines, cluster headaches do not appear to be linked to hormones or foods. Nearly 1 million Americans have cluster headaches.
Many different treatment options are available for cluster headaches. In general, your healthcare provider may recommend one or several different options, including:
- Lifestyle changes, such as maintaining good sleep habits and avoiding nicotine and alcohol (especially during a period of cluster headaches)
- Medications for an acute attack, including:
- Preventive medications, including:
In chronic cases of cluster headaches, certain facial nerves may be surgically cut or destroyed to provide relief. These procedures have had limited success.
(Click Cluster Headache Treatment to learn about specific medicines used to stop an attack, as well as medicines used to prevent cluster headaches in the first place.)