An recently updated survey of triptan for cluster studies came up with a winner: subcutaneous sumatriptan.
Of course, there weren’t a lot of competitors. Cluster headache is rare and therefore the studies are few.
Other contestants included the placebo (the clear loser), oral zolmitriptan and intranasal zolmitriptan.
Because cluster symptoms are so fast and furious, oral medications generall do poorly. That leaves us with the intranasal zolmitriptan and subcutaneous sumatriptan.
Intranasal medications are taken, as you may guess, through the nose. It’s a fast way to get medications into the body without the needle factor.
Only about 28% of patients were left with no pain or mild pain after taking the intranasal zolmitriptan.
Finally, subcutaneous sumatriptan. Subcutaneous is a fancy word that usually refers to an injection. However, medications such as Sumavel DosePro are needle-free.
Patients who took the subcutaneous sumatriptan did the best. Three quarters had little or no pain within 15 minutes.
Learn more about subcutaneous sumatriptan here. This article is more focused on migraine, and does warn about using sumatriptan before talking to your doctor, which is always important.
Study abstract: Triptans for acute cluster headache.