Cluster headaches do not have a cure, but a person can take fast-acting medications for pain relief, including oxygen, triptans, octreotide, dihydroergotamine and local anesthetic, according to Mayo Clinic. An individual should visit a doctor’s office or a hospital to have a medical professional administer the medication intravenously.
Doctors recommend treatments for cluster headaches to alleviate pain, reduce the headache period and prevent further attacks, states Mayo Clinic. A person who suffers cluster headaches may inhale 100 percent oxygen using a mask at a minimum rate of around 12 liters per minute. This treatment provides relief within 15 minutes. It is essential to bring an oxygen cylinder and regulator to administer the treatment.
Another effective treatment is the injectable form of sumatriptan, which can also be taken in nasal spray form, says Mayo Clinic. However, people with heart disease or high blood pressure should avoid taking sumatriptan. Doctors may prescribe the triptan medication called zolmitriptan to those who cannot tolerate other types of acute treatments. This drug can also be taken in tablet or nasal spray form.
Somatostatin, a brain hormone, has an injectable synthetic form called octreotide, which effectively treats cluster headaches, explains Mayo Clinic. Some people experience considerable relief from taking local anesthetics, such as lidocaine, through the nose. Dihydroergotamine may also relieve cluster headaches when taken intravenously.