Taking medications to prevent cluster headaches before they occur is typically the most effective treatment for cluster headaches. These medications include:
- Calcium Channel Blockers — Calcium channel blockers, such as Verapamil, which relax the muscles in the walls of your blood vessels, may help prevent cluster headaches.
- Anti-seizure Medications — Medications used to control seizures in conditions such as epilepsy may be prescribed to help control cluster headaches. These include divalproex topiramate and gabapentin.
- Lithium — This medication may help prevent chronic and episodic cluster headaches.
- Corticosteroids — These anti-inflammatory drugs, such as prednisone, may provide relief from headache pain.
If your doctor prescribes medication, be sure to ask:
- How often the medication should be taken
- If the medication should be taken with meals or on an empty stomach
- What to do if pain or other symptoms persist
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.