Which medications in the drug class Corticosteroids are used in the treatment of Cluster Headache?

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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Corticosteroids are effective for CH that does not respond to lithium. They are intended for intermittent use during acute flareups. High doses of corticosteroids can ease pain within 8-12 hours, achieving maximum effectiveness in 2-3 days.


Prednisone is very effective for aborting the CH cycle or providing intermediate prophylaxis (bridging therapy between acute and prophylactic agents). It is effective for treatment of CH that does not respond to lithium. Its effects in CH may occur via inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis. Long-term use is not recommended.

Prednisolone (Millipred, Orapred, Orapred ODT, Prelone)

Corticosteroids act as potent inhibitors of inflammation. They may cause profound and varied metabolic effects, particularly in relation to salt, water, and glucose tolerance, in addition to their modification of the immune response of the body. Alternative corticosteroids may be used in equivalent dosage.

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