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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

Sleep and Migraines

Migraines and sleep have a complicated relationship. Getting too little slumber -- or in some cases too much -- brings on migraines in people. Plus, if you've already got a migraine, getting a good night's sleep can be tricky. Exactly how poor sleep triggers migraines is still a mystery. But whichever comes first -- migraines or sleep problems -- there are ways to ease both problems. Here's how to get started.

Read the Sleep and Migraines 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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