What is the role of abortive agents in the treatment of cluster headache (CH)?

Updated: Jun 07, 2019
  • Author: Michelle Blanda, MD; Chief Editor: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS  more...
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Answer

Abortive agents are given to stop or reduce the severity of an acute CH attack, whereas prophylactic agents are used to reduce the frequency and intensity of individual headache exacerbations. In view of the fleeting, short-lived nature of the attacks, effective prophylaxis should be considered the cornerstone of management. The prophylactic regimen should start at the onset of a CH cycle and continue until the patient is headache-free for at least 2 weeks. The agent then may be tapered slowly to prevent recurrences.


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