You are here

"Significant" breakthrough on headache treatment

28th August 2007

Researchers have found that a nasal spray offers an effective treatment for cluster headaches.

Cluster headache is relatively rare, with men three to four times more likely to suffer it than women. The pain is considered to be the most severe of the primary headache disorders, generally peaking within five minutes and remaining severe for up to three hours.

Study author Dr Alan Rapoport said: "Cluster headache is an extremely severe headache disorder with enormous unmet treatment needs.

"Few medications for cluster headache have been systematically tested, and only one, which involves an injection of sumatriptan, has been FDA approved."

He added: "Because a cluster headache attack builds up to a crescendo within five to 15 minutes, treatment must be rapid and offer significant relief.

"While the FDA has not approved zolmitriptan nasal spray for use in cluster headaches, it may someday be considered a first-line therapy."

The study appears in the August 28th issue of Neurology.