I am a sufferer or episodic Cluster Headaches. I usually get them around the end of the year and they normally last 6 to 8 weeks. How some people live with these hadaches year round have my sympathy. I think I've tried every pill out there for relief when a headache hits but my last episode had me taking Prednisone (40 mg) and when it was time to start weaning off the headaches came back in full force at 30 or 20 mg. I tried Verapmil and Sumatriptan but that RX is so restricted (8 pills every 30 days) and expensive the Prednisone is inexpensive and effective.. Of course there are terrible side effects but well worth it when you think what pain is involved with a Cluster Headache. Just thought this bit of info would help...
I've been a episodic sufferer for several years. About 20 years ago I had a period of multiple attacks every day that lasted for 19 months, and was thus adjudged chronic.After that stoppped, I went almost three years without another cluster. In a similar fashion, I just broke a two year period with no clusters, when the one I am experiencing now began about two weeks ago. Within the cluster cycle I typically get two attacks per day. Te first occurs right after lunch aroud 2 pm, then another strikes whie I am asleep, around 2am. The timing is similar to what other experience so it fits a know pattern. Occasionally I will be awakened with an attack even after the 2 am attack but that isn't as regular as the "two attacks at two" my name for this startling condition. You mentioned prednisilone and Sumatriptan in the same sentence, and then mention restrictions. Prednisone (or prednisilone) is not an exppensive drug and in my experience it was always subscribed to be taken with Verapamil. I would urge you to speak to your doctor about the timing of taking both meds. However, the one suggestion that I want to bring to your attention is oxygen. Pure Oxygen breathed at a flow rate of 15 lpm works very well for me when I can catch the headache before it ramps up the full weepy eye, runny nose, intense orbital pain behind my right eye. If I am lucky to get to the oxygen early I typically abort the attack in 10 - 12 minutes. I hope you find all the solutions you need to get at least some control back. Best
thanks for your post. Just thinking about those headaches gives me nightmares but something we have to face when they strike. As for the oxygen it is impossible to get since my insurance absolutely refuses to pay for it and to pay for it myself and the amount I need would exceed $500 a month .. an amount I cannot afford. As stated in my post, the prednisone worked for me but in high dosage with side effects. I am hoping and praying I do not have to think about this again for a long time ... thanks again and best of luck to you.
I too was a long time sufferer of cluster headaches. I say 'was' because at the age of 65 my affliction suddenly ceased as my neurologist predicted. The basis for his prediction was that he never had a cluster patient older than 65. My CH started at the age of 20 and stayed with me for the next 45 years. Once I had my diagnosis, my neurologist had me try several programs to try to manage my headaches. Fortunately, I finally found a program that worked. During the final 15 years of my CH affliction, I was on a prophylactic program that consisted of just one verapamil and one ergotamine with caffeine(Cafergot) tablet each morning. With this program I never had a single CH attack during those last 15 years. When I reached the age of 65, I tested the neurologist's prediction by just suspending my program. After 6 months of no medication and no cluster headaches, I realized that I was free of the cluster headaches and now, at the age of 74, I can say that I am absolutely free of that curse.
Omg I'd do anything for some oxygen when im in a cluster! Unfortunately Massachusetts only allows o2 for o2 deprivation therapy. I try to make sure I'm breathing properly taking full breathes as when I'm having a CH my breathing gets very shallow n slow(does that happen to you guys too?) I'll chug coffee soon as i feel one coming on and take bayer migraine, the caffeine helps constrict the blood vessels in your head, of course sometimes i throw every thing up soon after from the pain but often not. I've been told lidocaine in a nasal spray works amazing, I've looked it up before but can't remember the name of it, odd thing is even tho i told my dr the name of it she can't find it in her database so can't prescribe it to me. I find squeezing my head as hard as i can, pulling my hair till I'm just about pulling it out, pushing in hard on my right eye, and pressing on all my pressure points on my head really helps, if you aren't familiar with them look them up as they really help. I'll also bite my arms just about to the point of drawing blood distracts me from the brain pain.