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anyone know of any OTC meds for cluster headaches?

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prole_for_peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-14-06 12:37 PM
Original message
anyone know of any OTC meds for cluster headaches?
NOTHING i take works. i was down all day yesterday and am still having some pain today. all of the rx remedies on webmd have horrible side effects and i want nothing to do with them.
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Cadfael Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-14-06 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. Not OTC, but
I've read that oxygen inhalation is supposed to help some people. Hope you find some relief, clusters are HORRIBLE :hug:
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-14-06 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. try benedryl -- i know! it sounds weird...
but there's evidence that cluster headaches are allergy-related. i have migraines and when i can't get an imitrex, i do benedryl. it will knock you out if you aren't used to it -- but sleep is a good thing when your head hurts.

go for 25mg first -- then 50.
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Susang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-15-06 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
3. If it's a true migraine
Caffeine should help. Some of the OTC pain relievers have it, like Excedrin Migraine.

Of course, caffeine has it's own set of nasty side effects for some people, so that may not be the right thing for you. Hope you find something.
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-16-06 12:33 AM
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4. Antihistamines, Decongestants and Excedrin
Clusters are somewhat different from migraines, but these are supposed to help both. I know in my own experience that Sudafed (real Sudafed) and Excedrin help if I can't get to the Rxs in time. Antihistamines, like Benadryl, are recommended by Real Doctors but they don't know quite why they work.
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jbnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-16-06 06:41 PM
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5. Here's some suggestions
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-17-06 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. ice
fwiw, one those reusable ice packs, at the back of the neck, helps my migraines.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-27-06 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
7. I hate to resurrect an old thread,
but I have to put in a plug for 2 Sudafed (real pseudoephedrine, not the "PE" phenylephrine crap) + a BC powder (aspirin, salicylamide, caffeine) and a half-hour lying down in complete silence (good earmuffs, I use shooting muffs from the sporting goods section) and a wet, dark washcloth over your eyes to block out the light. Light and sound kill me when I have a headache--my wife says I'm a mushroom that way.

If the headache is a really really bad one, same as above plus a 32-oz McDonald's sweet tea (caffeine, glucose, hydration), and one Mucinex (guaifenesin).

Works wonders for me. There is a strong synergistic effect between Sudafed (non-PE) and NSAID's like aspirin, as well as between guaifenesin and NSAID's.

If you can't stand the taste of headache powders, Exedrin Migraine is fairly close to BC, and ibuprofen also works passably well. Acetaminophen and naproxen do nothing for me.

Another thing that works for me, but not for everybody, is a really hot shower in total darkness, if your headaches have any sinus component (mine usually do).
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-27-06 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
8. Cluster headaches are a completely different animal
from migraines, and although some treatments may cross over, most don't.

Unfortunately, the stuff that actually WORKS on cluster headaches is all by prescription, from oxygen inhalation to pills.

A great overview of what's available and what it can do is at: http://www.postgradmed.com/issues/2001/01_01/dalessio.h...

Medications have to be regarded as selective poisons and all have side effects. That doesn't guarantee you'll get those side effects, either singly or in combination.

Good luck, cluster headaches really, really suck.
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ncrainbowgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-06-06 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
9. Have you seen the about.com community for headaches/migraines?
http://headaches.about.com/od/clusterheadaches/Headache...

The above link is to the cluster headache-specific site- some info there.


If you look about 3/4 of the way down the page on the left (where the offers, additional info and other stuff is located), you'll find a link to "forums."
There are lots of great people who may have "been there, done that". I highly recommend the support group aspect of it- sometimes, especially, I can imagine with clusters more than migraines, it feels like no one understands what it feels like... I can honestly say that I'm pretty sure that you'll find someone else going through similar issues, and it's nice to gain from other people's experiences-- or at least I think so, anyway. There are more migrane sufferers than clusterheads there- but there are people who have both types of hellish headaches, some with one or the other- or had one or the other at one point in their life and have either clusters or migraines under control now...or just outgrew them completely.

There's also gobs and gobs of info about headaches, medicines and self-help things that have helped me immensely...and as an added bonus, the about.com guide has a pretty world-famous headache specialist donating some of his time to answer questions submitted from users of the about.com area- this might be agood question for him!

Take care!
:hug:
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