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Topiramate in the Treatment of Cluster Headache
McGeeney BE
Posted: March 2004  
Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2003;7:135-138

Cluster headache is a well-characterized, strictly unilateral headache with cranial autonomic features and can be classified as episodic or chronic. Cluster attacks reliably are short-lived, often have a clockwise regularity, and can occur daily for weeks or months during an active cluster period. Pharmacologic treatment for this disorder can be divided into abortive and prophylactic agents. Prophylactic agents aim to quickly induce and maintain a remission. Short-term prophylaxis may be attained with the use of steroids, ergotamine, or methysergide, but these agents are not as suitable for continuous use. Verapamil and lithium commonly are used for longer periods and other agents, such as melatonin and baclofen, also are considered useful. There has been increased interest in the use of anticonvulsants for pain syndromes such as primary headache disorders. This includes topiramate use for cluster prophylaxis; a number of open-label studies have had encouraging results. This article provides an overview of topiramate and the open-label studies of this agent in the prevention of cluster headache.