posted on Jun, 23 2013 @ 12:27 AM
reply to post by suziwong
The best cure for cluster headaches is capsaicin. You may be able to get an inhaler, or make your own with a cotton ball and some pepper spray.
Capsaicin is a useful tool in studying pain pathways, because of its specificity of action on nociceptive fibres. It acts on the recently cloned
polymodal vanilloid receptor‐1 (VR1) which responds to stimulation by thermal and pH changes as well as to vanilloids, such as capsaicin. The VR1
has been localized on sensory neurons and within the central nervous system. Exposure of peripheral nociceptive fibres to the drug not only stimulates
the sensory function of the fibres but also causes the peripheral release of active neuropeptides, such as substance P and calcitonin gene‐related
peptide. In man, in vivo, this corresponds to the burning sensation and reddening, which are observed after local application of capsaicin. Repeated
administration of capsaicin results in block of the VR1 with a consequent refractoriness of nociceptive fibres, however, which become insensitive not
only to capsaicin, but also to other stimuli. This desensitizing effect suggests that capsaicin is a potential therapeutic tool in pain therapy. In
fact, capsaicin has been shown to be effective in the treatment of post‐herpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, osteoarthritic pain, and trigeminal
Cluster headache has also been significantly improved by treatment with repeated applications of an emulsion containing capsaicin, which was applied
in the nostril homolateral to the attacks. In contrast, the results of the same treatment in patients suffering from episodic migraine did not have
the same effect, probably because of the variability in the frequency of migraine attacks (personal communication). Chronic migraine, also known as
‘transformed migraine’, is a common condition characterized by a progressive increase in the frequency of attacks until the headache is
permanently present, with frequent exacerbations (1–2 per week).