What is the role of triptans 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

The triptan that has received the most study in the setting of CH is sumatriptan. [15, 19, 20] Subcutaneous injections can be effective, in large part because of the rapidity of onset. Studies have indicated that intranasal administration is more effective than placebo but not as effective as injections; there is no evidence that oral administration is effective. A typical dose is 6 mg subcutaneously, which may be repeated in 24 hours. Nasal spray (20 mg) may also be used.

Other triptans that may be considered for abortive treatment of CH are zolmitriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, almotriptan, frovatriptan, and eletriptan. In addition, researchers have begun to explore the possibility of using triptans for prophylaxis of CH. [21]


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