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Cluster headache belongs to the group of trigeminal autonomic headaches. This review summarizes drug therapy of cluster attacks and prophylactic treatment. Neurostimulation methods are not addressed. The therapy for acute cluster attacks includes inhalation of 100% oxygen, subcutaneous administration of sumatriptan, and intranasal application of sumatriptan or zolmitriptan. Bridging therapy, which is used until oral prophylactic therapy is effective, is performed either with oral prednisolone or with a pharmacological block of the major occipital nerves. Best documented drugs for preventive treatment of cluster headache are verapamil and lithium, and possibly effective drugs are gabapentin, topiramate, divalproex sodium, and melatonin. The efficacy of monoclonal antibodies to the calcitonin gene-related peptide so far has been only demonstrated for episodic cluster headache. Several drug therapies are being investigated including ketamine, onabotulinumtoxinA, lysergic acid, and sodium oxybate. © 2021. The Author(s).


Hans Christoph Diener, Arne May. Drug Treatment of Cluster Headache. Drugs. 2022 Jan;82(1):33-42

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PMID: 34919214

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