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Helpful Clusterbusters Videos
High-flow oxygen is the most effective treatment for cluster headache, but many patients go years without a prescription. When you do get a script, it’s often for the wrong liter flow and mask. Clusterheads need 12-15 liters per minute through a non-rebreather mask (O2ptimask®) using a specific breathing technique to abort attacks. In this video, Bill Mingus demonstrates how to use oxygen for cluster headaches.
Andrea Trichopoulos endures a cluster headache attack in the hospital. She later had brain surgery to implant a
neurotransmitter that reduced her attacks by 90 percent.
*WARNING: This video may be difficult to watch if you have cluster headaches.
Chuck Setzco experiences a cluster headache attack on camera. He is unable to take abortive medication because of a heart condition and uses high-flow oxygen to treat the attack.
The Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy (AHDA) organization with Clusterbusters welcomes patient and provider advocates to apply to attend. If you’re unable to join, consider making a donation to the scholarship fund to help others make the trip to convince Congress why headache medicine is crucial to healthcare.
***Important note for technique – the video instructs patients to lie in position for 2 minutes after instilling the lidocaine. We don’t know the ideal length of time. We would suggest staying lying down until you feel relief, or for 10 minutes, if possible.***
You will need a prescription from your physician for viscous lidocaine 2% (NOT topical lidocaine solution 4%) and a 1ml syringe.
(Some patients with migraine do use the lidocaine as a spray, using topical lidocaine solution. If you wish to try that, you will need an empty spray bottle, and to fill it up with topical lidocaine 4%.)
We would be very interested in comments from the Clusterbusters community from individuals who try this procedure. There have been no studies of this procedure for cluster headache since the original reports. If even a small percent of patients with cluster headache find this procedure useful, it will be an important addition to the treatments available.