Migraine and Cluster Headache Medications
Mary L Windle, PharmD
Joseph Carcione Jr, DO, MBA
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
James H Halsey, MD
What Are Migraine and Cluster Headaches?
Migraines are headaches that most likely stem from problems with blood vessels in the head. Migraine headaches typically last from 4-72 hours. They may happen as often as several times a week to only once a year. Migraine headaches cause moderate-to-severe pain. The pain may be located on one or both sides of the head, in the back of the neck, or around the face or eyes. Symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, stuffy nose, and/or watery eyes may occur. Some people have tunnel vision or see spots or halos. People who have migraines are called migraineurs.
Cluster headaches are vascular headaches that occur almost daily in episodes, or “clusters,” over weeks to months. The pain is severe and comes on very suddenly. Pain usually affects one side of the face and is accompanied by nasal congestion, runny nose, and watery eyes. In contrast to migraine headaches, cluster headaches occur more frequently in males.
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape
Although migraine is a term applied to certain headaches with a vascular quality, overwhelming evidence suggests that migraine is a dominantly inherited disorder characterized by varying degrees of recurrent vascular-quality headache, photophobia, sleep disruption, and depression.