Abortives are medicines and therapies that can stop or shorten an attack once it has begun. Abortive therapies are intended to do just that – abort the attack at its onset and stop the pain. One of the most critical factors in effectively aborting a cluster headache is getting the medicine to the problem, fast. Since cluster headaches come on rapidly and are of relatively short duration, medicines taken in pill form are generally not effective. The route of administration of the drug should introduce the medicine to the bloodstream fairly immediately, therefore, medicine by injection or inhalation will provide the highest likelihood of an effective and rapid abort.
Common cluster headache abortives
High-flow oxygen is a godsend for the cluster headache sufferer. It is a risk-free, natural alternative that is highly effective as an abortive for most cluster headache patients. It is easy to acquire and easy to use to abort cluster headaches; however, for whatever reason, many doctors are reluctant to prescribe its use. One of the first things you should do when diagnosed with cluster headaches is request a prescription for Oxygen in the home at 12-15 liters per minute (lpm) with a non-re-breather mask. You may get some pushback, but providing some study data may help. It’s a good idea to print out the study documents found here to take with you to the doctor. A nasal cannula at low flow will not work to abort cluster headaches; the concept is to breath as close to 100% pure oxygen as is possible. A deeper description of why this works may be found here. Oxygen therapy has literally changed hundreds of people’s lives.
Oxygen Inhibits Neuronal Activation in the Trigeminocervical Complex After Stimulation of Trigeminal Autonomic Reflex, But Not During Direct Dural Activation of Trigeminal AfferentsAugust 26, 2009
Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias, including cluster headache, are characterized by unilateral head pain in association with ipsilateral cranial autonomic features. They are believed to involve activation of the trigeminovascular system and the parasympathetic outflow to the cranial vasculature from the superior salivatory nucleus (SuS) projections through the sphenopalatine ganglion, via the greater petrosal nerve of the ...
High-Flow Oxygen for Treatment of Cluster Headache A Randomised TrialDecember 9, 2009
Cluster Headache is a stereo typical primary headache syndrome characterized by attacks of unilateral excruciating pain usually in the eye, periorbital region, and temple with associated cranial autonomic symptoms such as conjunctival injection, lacrimation, nasal blockage, rhinorrhea, ptosis, and eyelid edema. During attacks patients are often restless, agitated, or both. Attacks typically last for 15 ...
High-Flow Oxygen for Treatment of Cluster HeadacheDecember 9, 2009
A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial of 109 adults (aged 18-70 years) with cluster headache as defined by the International Headache Society. Patients treated 4 headache episodes with high-flow inhaled oxygen or placebo, alternately. Patients were randomized to the order in which they received the active treatment or placebo. Patients were recruited and followed up ...
Inhaled Oxygen and Cluster Headache Sufferers in the United States: Use, Efficacy and Economics: Results From the United States Cluster Headache SurveyNovember 10, 2010
Several small clinic and community-based investigations have indicated that more than 50% of CH patients have never used oxygen for the treatment of their headaches. This statistic is alarming and the reasons why they have not tried oxygen have not been determined.
Consequences of Hyperoxia and the Toxicity of Oxygen in the LungApril 30, 2011
Oxygen (O2) is life essential but as a drug has a maximum positive biological benefit and accompanying toxicity effects. Oxygen is therapeutic for treatment of hypoxemia and hypoxia associated with many pathological processes. Pathophysiological processes are associated with increased levels of hyperoxia-induced reactive O2 species (ROS) which may readily react with surrounding biological tissues, damaging ...
Treatment of Acute Cluster Headache with Sumatriptan — The Sumatriptan Cluster Headache Study GroupAugust 1, 1991
Attacks of cluster headache are difficult to treat. Sumatriptan, an agonist of 5-hydroxy-tryptamine1—like receptors, has proved effective in the treatment of migraine. The clinical similarities between migraine and cluster headache and positive results from an open pilot study in patients with cluster headache indicated that sumatriptan should be evaluated more rigorously in the treatment of ...
Effectiveness of Intranasal Zolmitriptan in Acute Cluster HeadacheNovember 1, 2006
Cluster headache is a form of primary headache in which attacks are rapid in onset with very severe pain. The mainstays of acute therapy are inhaled oxygen and sumatriptan succinate injection. This study evaluates zolmitriptan nasal spray in the acute treatment of cluster headache.
Medication-overuse headache in patients with cluster headacheMay 6, 2008
Cluster headache (CH) is associated with the most severe pain of the primary headache disorders. Barriers to optimal care include misdiagnosis, diagnostic delay, undertreatment, and mismanagement. Medication-over-use headache (MOH) may further complicate CH and may present as increased CH frequency or development of a background headache, which may be featureless or have some migrainous quality.
Concomitant Use of Triptan, and SSRI or SNRI After the US Food and Drug Administration Alert on Serotonin SyndromeNovember 1, 2008
In 2006 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert, based on 27 case reports gathered over a 5-year span, regarding serotonin syndrome resulting from concurrent use of either a selective serotonin-re uptake inhibitor (SSRI) or a selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) with a triptan.
Sumatriptan Inhibits TRPV1 Channels in Trigeminal NeuronsMay 1, 2012
To understand a possible role for transient potential receptor vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) ion channels in sumatriptan relief of pain mediated by trigeminal nociceptors.