Self Assessment



Triptans are a type of medication used to relieve headache pain during a cluster attack. Injectable sumatriptan is most commonly used to treat cluster attacks because it works very quickly to address the pain. Triptans work by constricting blood vessels, blocking neurotransmitter release and blocking pain transmission. While injectable sumatriptan works very quickly, it may be associated with side effects. Please consult a physician for more information.


Inhaling 100% oxygen through a face mask at a high flow rate can provide relief from the pain that accompanies a cluster headache attack. This treatment option requires ready access to an oxygen tank and mask so that therapy can be initiated at the start of an attack.


Other treatment efforts focus on the prevention or reduction of frequency of cluster attacks. Preventive medication can range from blood pressure medication like verapamil to melatonin, lithium carbonate, or even seizure medication like topiramate. Preventive therapy needs to be individually tailored for each patient. Consult a physician for the right therapy regimen.


Neuromodulation options for cluster headache target various areas including the occipital nerve, deep brain and vagus nerve. SPG stands for sphenopalatine ganglion, a nerve bundle located behind the nose that is known to play a major role in severe headaches. SPG Stimulation (SPGS) Therapy allows a sufferer to provide direct, local stimulation to the SPG nerve bundle to manage the pain of cluster attacks. SPGS Therapy is the only neuromodulation therapy that has CE mark for use in cluster headache and has been shown in a randomized controlled clinical trial to provide acute pain relief and an observed reduction in frequency for cluster headache patients.

Reference: Ashkenazi, A. and T. Schwedt (2011). "Cluster headache--acute and prophylactic therapy." Headache 51(2): 272-286.



“It felt as if someone put their foot on your head and was trying to squeeze your eyes out. I put the remote controller to my face over the neurostimulator, it tells me that the remote controller is in the right place, it feels like a tingling sensation in the gum. I don't feel the full onslaught of the attack anymore. I don’t want to continue to live without the device.
—SPGS Patient, HAMBURG, Germany

“After 30 years of cluster headaches, a new life has begun.”
—SPGS patient, kassel, germany

“I received the Pulsante™ SPG Microstimulator System after I suffered for years from cluster headaches. Drugs had no effect on me, so I had high hopes for this promising option. And indeed – it worked. Once an attack starts I use the remote controller, and the pain is gone within a short time. My quality of life has improved by this therapy.”
—SPGS Patient, HAMBURG, Germany

"The family has gotten their old daddy back. I have my life back."
—SPGS patient, Denmark

“The difference is enormous. I can do everything, whereas I couldn’t do anything before. I dared not go anywhere, because I didn’t know when I would get an attack. Now I only have this little remote, I can bring that anywhere.”
—SPGS patient, Denmark

“The minimally invasive procedure means a relatively low burden for the patient,
so that they can quickly return to everyday life.”
—Professor and Head of Headache Clinic in Germany

The above quotes are based on actual patient testimony but names and background information have been changed. Individual results may vary from patient to patient.