Skip to Main Content
Treatment Neurology & Neurosurgery

Cluster Headaches

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

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

Recommended reading

Keeping a Headache Journal

Keeping a headache journal is a great way to track the location, severity, duration, and any medications that may trigger headaches. Learn more.

Seeking care at UCSF Health

Expand Map