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,
The symptoms and discomfort from migraines can go far beyond excruciating head pain. Many people who get headaches, especially those who get migraines, also experience vision problems, dizziness, and vertigo.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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