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Health Condition

Cluster Headache

About This Condition

Cluster headaches are very painful one-sided headaches that tend to occur in clusters of several headaches in a short period of time, after which there may be no headaches for weeks or months. Cluster headaches that continue for more than one year without remission, or with remissions lasting less than 14 days, are considered to be chronic and are very difficult to treat.

Symptoms

Cluster headaches involve pain in the eye or upper face, tearing, runny nose with nasal congestion, and facial sweating.1

Other Therapies

Oxygen inhalation is especially beneficial when symptoms occur at night.

References

1. Mendizabal JE, Umana E, Zweifler R. Cluster Headache: Horton's Cephalalgia Revisited. South Med J 1998;91:606-17 [review].

2. Sicuteri F, Renzi D, Geppetti P. Substance P and enkephalins: a creditable tandem in the pathophysiology of cluster headache and migraine. Adv Exp Med Biol 1986;198B:145-52.

3. Sicuteri F, Fanciullacci M, Nicolodi M, et al. Substance P theory: a unique focus on the painful and painless phenomena of cluster headache. Headache 1990;30:69-79 [review].

4. Lynn B. Capsaicin. Actions on nociceptive C-fibers and therapeutic potential. Pain 1990;41:61-9.

5. Sicuteri F, Fusco BM, Marabini S, et al. Beneficial effect of capsaicin application to the nasal mucosa in cluster headache. Clin J Pain 1989;5:49-53.

6. Fusco BM, Marabini S, Maggi C, et al. Preventative effect of repeated nasal applications of capsaicin in cluster headache. Pain 1994;59:321-5.

7. Fusco BM, Fiore G, Gallo F, et al. “Capsaicin-sensitive” sensory neurons in cluster headache: pathophysiological aspects and therapeutic indication. Headache 1994;34:132-7.

8. Marks DR, Papoport A, Padla D, et al. A double-blind placebo-controlled trial of intranasal capsaicin for cluster headache. Cephalalgia 1993;13:114-6.

9. Chazot G, Claustrat B, Brun J, et al. A chronobiological study of melatonin, cortisol, growth hormone, and prolactin secretion in cluster headache. Cephalalgia 1984;4:213-20.

10. Waldenlind E, Gustafsson SA, Ekbom KA, Wetterberg L. Circadian secretion of cortisol and melatonin during active cluster periods and remission. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1987;50:207-13.

11. Leone M, Lucini V, D'Amico D, et al. Twenty-four-hour melatonin and cortisol plasma levels in relation to timing of cluster headache. Cephalalgia 1995;15:224-9.

12. Leone M, Lucini V, D'Amico D, et al. Abnormal 24-hour urinary excretory pattern of 6-sulphatoxymelatonin in both phases of cluster headache. Cephalalgia 1998;18:664-7.

13. Leone M, D'Amico D, Moschiano F, et al. Melatonin versus placebo in the prophylaxis of cluster headache: a double-blind pilot study with parallel groups. Cephalalgia 1996;16:494-6.

14. Peres MFP, Rozen TD. Melatonin in the preventive treatment of chronic cluster headache. Cephalalgia 2001;21:993-5.

15. Mauskop A, Altura BT, Cracco RQ, Altura BM. Intravenous magnesium sulfate relieves cluster headaches in patients with low serum ionized magnesium levels. Headache 1995;35:597-600.

16. Mauskop A, Altura BT, Cracco RQ, Altura BM. Intravenous magnesium sulfate rapidly alleviates headaches of various types. Headache 1996;36:154-60.

17. Fogan L. Treatment of cluster headache. A double-blind comparison of oxygen v air inhalation. Arch Neurol 1985;43:362-3.

18. Kudrow L. Response of cluster headache attacks to oxygen inhalation. Headache 1981;21:1-4.

19. Mendizabal JE, Umana E, Zweifler R. Cluster Headache: Horton's Cephalalgia Revisited. South Med J 1998;91:606-17 [review].

20. DiSabato F, Fusco BM, Pelaia P, Giacovazzo M. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in cluster headache. Pain 1993;52:243-5.

21. DiSabato F, Giacovazzo M, Cristalli G, et al. Effect of hyperbaric oxygen on the immunoreactivity to substance P in the nasal mucosa of cluster headache patients. Headache 1996;36:221-3.

22. Pascual J, Peralta G, Sanchez U. Preventive effects of hyperbaric oxygen in cluster headache. Headache 1995;35:260-1.

23. DiSabato F, Rocco M, Martelletti P, Giacovazzo M. Hyperbaric oxygen in chronic cluster headaches: influence on serotonergic pathways. Undersea Hyperb Med 1997;24:117-22.

24. Mendizabal JE, Umana E, Zweifler R. Cluster Headache: Horton's Cephalalgia Revisited. South Med J 1998;91:606-17 [review].

25. Trotsky MB. Neurogenic vascular headaches, food and chemical triggers. Ear Nose Throat J 1994;73:228-30.

26. Levi R, Edman GV, Ekbom K, Waldenlind E. Episodic cluster headache. II: High tobacco and alcohol consumption in males. Headache 1992;32:184-7.

27. Manzoni GC. Cluster headache and lifestyle: remarks on a population of 374 male patients. Cephalalgia 1999;19:88-94.

28. Manzoni GC. Cluster headache and lifestyle: remarks on a population of 374 male patients. Cephalalgia 1999;19:88-94.

29. Levi R, Edman GV, Ekbom K, Waldenlind E. Episodic cluster headache. II: High tobacco and alcohol consumption in males. Headache 1992;32:184-7.

30. Hannerz J. Symptoms and diseases and smoking habits in female episodic cluster headache and migraine patients. Cephalalgia 1997;17:499-500.

31. Anonymous. Case-control study on the epidemiology of cluster headache. I: Etiological factors and associated conditions. Italian Cooperative study Group on the Epidemiology of Cluster Headache (ICECH). Neuroepidemiology 1995;14:123-7.

32. Swanson JW, Yanagihara T, Stang PE, et al. Incidence of cluster headaches: a population-based study in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Neurology 1994;44:433-7.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.

Drugs used to treat CLUSTER HEADACHE. Select drug name to view medication information and pricing