More from Curaleaf

Cluster Headache

Cluster headache is a condition where severe attacks of pain affect one side of the head or face, often around the eye.

This condition is called cluster headache as patients are affected by attacks of symptoms over a cluster of weeks or months. These symptoms will then often disappear (remissions) before reappearing in similar clusters again. People may experience up to 8 attacks per day.

In some patients there is no remission period, resulting in chronic cluster headache. Cluster headache affects 1 in 1,000 individuals over their lifetimes.

Cluster Headache Treatment

Custer headache is treated by a combination of methods involving pain relief for the headache, medication to prevent further headache and avoidance of specific triggers.

Over-the-counter painkillers (e.g. paracetamol, ibuprofen) are ineffective at treating the acute symptoms associated with cluster headache. Recommended first line treatment is therefore with triptans (e.g. Sumatriptan, Zolmitriptan) and/or oxygen delivered through a face mask.

A number of medications are used to help prevent recurrence of symptoms including verapamil, lithium, topiramate and gabapentin. Other options include local anaesthetic injections and nerve stimulation therapy.

Medicinal cannabis can be considered when first line therapies have not achieved adequate relief from symptoms.