As a matter of fact there is no cure for these cluster headaches. The treatment for clusters is of two types, the first is targeted towards treating every headache that occurs and the other is targeted towards preventive treatment, meaning preventing the headache from starting in the first place.
For treating each headache painkillers are definitely not an option, such aggressive pain doesn’t respond to painkillers. As they are slow acting and the headache is gone by the time the painkiller starts having effect over the headache.
For immediate treatments the patients can be given 100% oxygen. By inhaling the oxygen patients can feel instant relief within 15 minutes. There is a problem with this oxygen treatment; in that, sometimes it only delays the headache instead of preventing it.
Another treatment is by using sumatriptan, an injectable form of triptan. It is administered directly under the skin and patients can administer it by themselves. Triptan is not a painkiller; instead it intercepts the brain chemical 5HT and alters it, so that the pain is relieved.
It is very effective and its reaction starts within 5-10 minutes, but side effects of the injection do occur, effects like dizziness, tiredness, sick feeling etc.
A certain group of patients also experienced tightness, feeling heaviness or pressure in the face, arms and legs.
But these side effects are mild and short lived; there are certain restrictions on the taking sumatriptan. Patients with heart diseases and high blood pressures are not supposed to take this medicine, although sumatriptan nasal spray can be used instead of injection.
Ergotamine injection, lignocaine nasal spray, zolmitriptan nasal spray can be used as an alternative for sumatriptan injection. But generally these are not preferred except for zolmitriptan.