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Does nasal spray work for you?

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Hello im a new member here.

I have been suffering from CH for over 10 years. Usually get CH in spring and fall that lasts for about a month. 

I usually stay away from any prescription meds due to their cost and because they just make next headache worse. 

Recently I had a bad flu that triggered nightly clusters. Since I had runny nose I started using nasal spray to clear out congestion. So one night I got up with a really bad CH and went to clear my nose and used over the counter nasal spray. Approximately 15 minutes later headache was gone and I quickly fell asleep. I never had any medicine act so fast against CH. I have been using nasal spray to fight CH for past 2 weeks and it worked everytime. 

Sparay that I use contains regular dose of Oxymetazoline. 

So Im just curious if this method worked for someone or maybe it will help you too if you havent tried it yet. 




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I know that some of the prescriptions are manufactured in a nasal spray form and work much better and faster then in pill form and injections working the fastest but I have never heard of a over the counter drug in any form abort a cluster. What is the brand yo are using? Maybe someone else will have more information for you. 

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I have been researching oxymetazoline for some time now and have been using as a substitute for sumatriptan for nearly 3 years.

I am 100% certain that this aborts my cluster headaches.

Oxymetazoline as an α-adrenoceptor agonist, however it works as a full and potent agonist of serotonin receptor types 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B  AND 5-HT1D, and is a partial agonist of 5-HT1C.

Sumatriptan works as an agonist of serotonin receptor types 5-HT1B and 5-HT1D. 

It is believed that sumatriptan aborts cluster headaches because of cerebral vasoconstriction caused by its action as an agonist on serotonin receptor type 5-HT1D 

So I firmly believe oxymetazoline aborts cluster headaches.

So far you are my first confirmation.

Spread the word

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I have taken the liberty of pasting Matt's original, longer post here.  Quite a coincidence that two people show up on the same day with this idea that is new to me (but maybe not to people who have been around longer than I have been), but I'm anxious to see where it goes.


Hi everyone I have had cluster headaches for more than a decade.  And for all of this time I have been searching for new drugs to abort my cluster headaches.

 The drug has to meet certain criteria, it needs to be fast acting, discrete, cheap, easily available and constrict blood vessels ideally by acting as an agonist to the same serotonin receptor types as sumatriptan (5-HT1B and 5-HT1D).

So, after years of searching I have come up with Oxymetazoline, an over the  counter decongestant nasal spray.

This drug meets all of the above criteria.
Importantly it works as a full and potent agonist of type 5-HT1B and 5-HT1D receptors. 

 I have been testing on myself for the last 3 years with good results.

I abort at least 7/10 attacks with oxymetazoline alone.

When oxymetazoline fails I use oxygen and it quickly finishes the attack off.

For me, the combination of oxymetazoline and oxygen has proven itself to be a near unstoppable way of dealing with the beast (far more effective than oxygen alone).


I would like to  mention that rebound congestion is an issue that I have raised with my GP and have been prescribed a weak steroid nasal spray to combat this.

I have not used sumatriptan except when abroad for more than a year.

Since I have substituted sumatriptan for oxymetazoline I have had no drop in frequency of attacks and nasal congestion will almost always progresses to a cluster headache if not treated so I can't rule out rebound headaches as a possibility.


I have had phenomenal success with my current strategy of viewing congestion (rebound or otherwise) as an early warning sign of an attack and treating with oxymetazoline.

This will sound disgusting but this is how I use oxymetazoline.

At the first sign of an attack (congestion) I administer two metered spray doses to each nostril.

As soon as my airways open up I can always pull an extreme amount of mucus from my nose and sinuses into my throat I spit this out if I can but have to swallow if not. 

Every time I pull some mucus back it's like the pressure and pain decreases slightly. 

I keep breathing and pulling mucus away from my sinuses until the attack stops.

Because of the current success I have been having with oxymetazoline and pulling mucus, my personal leading theory is as follows:

Often humans over complicate things and more often than not the answer is simple.


I believe Cerebral blood vessels dilate causing a pressure pocket inside the sinus cavity, this then fills up with air and mucus inflating inside the head like a balloon, this gets so big that it starts to put pressure on nerve bundles thus causing the severe pain associated with the condition. (Just a laugh, dont destroy me lol)

Just to clarify to everyone this post is not a recommendation to try any drug before speaking to a medical professional.

I have not read about this anywhere else and I am interested to see if anyone else has been down this rabbit hole.

If not, I hope this helps someone.<<<<<

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Hi all I searched through previous content and found this, it was originally posted in dec 2018. I just added a comment to it to get it back on the feed.

Please dont be sceptical people.  If you really think about it no one could possibly have anything to gain by informing you that a £2  bottle of over the counter decongestant will abort 20+ of their headaches 

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Been having a look into some of the prevention methods being used on here. The use of Vit D, magnesium and keto diets all seem to have reasonably high success.

I mentioned in an earlier post that after I use oxymetazoline I can always pull a ridiculous amount of mucus from my sinus cavity and nasal passages and this eases the pain of my attack.

After some reading online I have discovered that Vit D deficiency is linked with chronic sinusitis, magnesium is used to reduce mucus in CF patients, and the body requires carbohydrates to produce mucus so a keto diet will inevitably reduce mucus production.

Could be a coincidence.

Just thought this was interesting.

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OTC Nasal sprays can cause significant local blood vessel constriction.   The central effects are less known.  The serotonin receptor engagement is mostly described in the lab and the extent in the human is less clear.  If it works thats great but use caution because it is very easy for your nose to get habituated to the spray and you have to use it all the time to breath easily

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Thank you. 

As I mentioned rebound congestion is an issue, and I cannot rule out the possibility of rebound headaches.

I have been prescribed a weak steroid nasal spray to combat rebound congestion.

My theory has long been that its success was due to opening up airways, increasing the body efficiency to intake oxygen, maybe it is just that simple.

Its action on serotonin receptors is a new discovery to me and though it was an interesting link. 

Obviously, prevention is key to minimize the need for oxymetazoline.

My main focus now is to find a reliable preventative that works for me.

My strategy will be reducing mucus production and inflammation of nasal mucosa.

Thinking vit D and magnesium to start.

I am also a chronic sufferer and will be exploring the small possibility that I have a fungal sinus infection that exacerbates my condition.

This can be ruled out by taking fulconazole.

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