Cluster headaches are an excruciatingly painful experience. While they are often not life-threatening, they can interfere with your day to day life, preventing you from working or playing as well as you should. These headache attacks can sometimes be difficult to diagnose since they mimic symptoms of other disorders — that’s why a trip to your local headache specialist is in order. Maybe you’ve been doing some research and came across topiramate for cluster headaches. If you are desperate for relief, this medication could be the answer to your pain.
What are Cluster Headaches?
Cluster headaches are a rare type of headache. The headaches occur in “clusters” with each attack lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours. Researchers believe these clusters occur due to the sudden release of histamine or serotonin.
You may experience them every other day or multiple times a day. Often, you can get relief for months or even years before the headaches occur again.
There are a few different types of cluster headaches. One type is called episodic cluster — you may experience painful headache attacks for a few months, then go into remission for a certain period of time.
The second type is called chronic cluster. You might go several years without relief from headache attacks.
During attacks, you can experience the following symptoms:
- Severe pain on one side of the head
- Red and teary eyes
- Swelling or drooping eyelids
- Runny nose
- Facial swelling
What is Topiramate for Cluster Headaches?
Your best bet is to consult a headache specialist to receive treatment. Often, your treatment plan will include a personalized medication plan. For example, you might receive steroid medication to provide immediate and temporary relief until your doctor gets you on preventative medication.
Topiramate for cluster headaches is one type of medication. It is commonly known as an anti-seizure medication, but research shows that it works well as a preventative treatment.
What Other Treatments are Available? 3 Popular Options
One of the most effective treatments for cluster headaches is oxygen. When you experience a headache attack, you will breathe through an oxygen mask for 15 to 20 minutes, which relieves your pain relatively quickly.
- Intramuscular Injections
Intramuscular injections of dihydroergotamine (DHE) can help some patients mitigate their pain. The injection goes straight into your bloodstream unlike oral tablets or pills, which can take far longer to absorb.
Verapamil is a type of blood pressure medication that is commonly used as a preventative treatment for cluster headache attacks. It can help reduce the number of attacks you experience during a period of headaches.
Don’t Suffer Through Headache Pain Any Longer
Don’t let cluster headaches prevent you from working or enjoying life as you should. If you’ve been experiencing pain for years on end, know there is a solution — all it takes is going to the right doctor for relief. To discover the right headache treatment for you, call Dr. Escasena at 305-588-7170.