Steroid Injections cut Cluster Headache Attacks

This past October, The Lancet Neurology published a study from France using steroid injections for cluster headache patients.  Though certainly not the silver bullet for cluster, the treatment did show promise.

The study featured patients who were having at least 2 cluster headache attacks per day.  Patients were randomly chosen to take an injection of corticosteroids or a placebo (saline solution).  The injections were suboccipital (in the back of the head/neck – the greater occipital nerve), on the same side as the cluster symptoms.  All patients were taking verapamil.

Compared to the group on the placebo, patients had on average half of the cluster headache attacks over the next 15 days.  Other than some neck pain where the injections were done, there were no side effects recorded.

Both chronic and episodic cluster headache sufferers were a part of the study.

For a condition that has so little available treatment, steroid injections may be a good option to help control cluster attacks.

Hear a doctor’s comments on the study here:  Steroid Injections for Cluster Headache?

More on cluster headache symptoms here.

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1 comment… add one

  • Dr. Andrew White Dec 2, 2011

    I have been a chiropractor for 16 years and I have made headache and migraine a focus of my practice. I have found it difficult to get good long term control with cluster headaches. The only thing I have found to help was oxygen therapy. I’m glad to see one more option on the horizon.

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