Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Corticosteroids for Cluster Headaches
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,
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
January 27, 2012
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital.