New Drug For Cluster Headaches

New Drug For Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are arguably the worst type of headaches known. The pain is excruciating and an attack comes with little warning, unlike the aura in migraine. Scientists do not know exactly what causes cluster headaches, but they appear to be related to the body's sudden release of histamine or serotonin. Family history does not appear to play a role.

Some people who have cluster headaches are heavy smokers. Alcohol use may trigger attacks. Bright light (glare), stress, or certain foods may trigger an attack.

Cluster headaches are called unilateral or ‘one-sided’ with pain that comes to a peak in five minutes and remains that way for between 30 and 180 minutes. Understandably, the condition calls for drugs that give relief rapidly and effectively.

Zolmitriptan nasal spray -- part of a family of migraine drugs called triptans, is a new drug that is said to bring relief within 10 to 30 minutes of use. Studies have shown that a spray of 5 mg in one nostril or 10 mg in two nostrils brings rapid relief. However, most doctors exercise caution when using triptans in anyone over age 55, because of the potential cardiovascular effects.

The following drugs and medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of Cluster Headaches. These only constitute some of the drugs available for treating cluster headaches:

Sansert                                 generic name: methysergide maleate

Zanaflex                               generic name: tizanidine

Periactin                               generic name: cyproheptadine

Imitrex Statdose                  generic name: sumatriptan

Indocin SR                           generic name: indomethacin

Imitrex Nasal                       generic name: sumatriptan

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New Drug For Cluster Headaches