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Migraines & Headaches Health Center

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Corticosteroids for Cluster Headaches - Topic Overview

Corticosteroids (such as prednisone or dexamethasone) are referred to as "transitional" medicines for the treatment of cluster headaches, because they are sometimes used to break a cycle of cluster headaches. They are paired with medicines that stop (abortive) or prevent (prophylactic) additional headaches during a headache cycle. Often, within 2 to 4 days after starting treatment with corticosteroids, you will become headache-free. By the time the corticosteroids are stopped-their use is often tapered within 6 to 8 weeks of starting and then discontinued-the medicines used to prevent cluster headaches, such as verapamil, have taken effect.

Corticosteroids are not used over a long period of time because they can cause serious side effects, including:

Recommended Related to Migraines/Headaches

What Are Abdominal Migraines in Children and Adults?

An abdominal migraine is a variant of migraine headaches. It usually occurs in children who have a family history of migraines. Abdominal migraines are rare in adults, but about 2% of all children may get abdominal migraines. Females are more affected than males. Children that experience abdominal migraines typically develop migraine headaches when they get older. Although abdominal migraines are in the migraine family, the pain occurs in the belly. Usually, it's near the navel or midline. Abdominal...

Read the What Are Abdominal Migraines in Children and Adults? article > >

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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    Corticosteroids for Cluster Headaches Topics

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