Preventing cluster headaches

Preventing Cluster Headaches

Your doctor may also prescribe medication to prevent cluster headaches during a headache bout. This involves starting treatment as soon as the headaches begin and continuing it until the bout is thought to have stopped.

The main treatment recommended to prevent cluster headaches is a medication called verapamil, which is taken as a tablet several times a day. You'll need to be monitored by the doctor treating you with a test called an electrocardiogram (ECG) while taking this medication, as it can cause heart problems in some people.

Alternative treatments may be considered if verapamil is not effective. These may include corticosteroids , lithium medication and occipital nerve blocks (injections of a local anaesthetic into the back of the head).

There is now also a promising new treatment that uses a device to stimulate a nerve in the neck to prevent cluster headaches. This is known as external vagal nerve stimulation.

Preventative treatments can vary in effectiveness from person to person. A few different treatments may need to be tried before your attacks are under control.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Nov 2016