Crisis treatments

Conventional painkillers are totally ineffective!

Three crisis treatments are currently considered effective :

  • Sumatriptan injections : Imitrex SC ® in Belgium and United States, Imiject ® in France, Imigrane ® in, France and Great Britain.
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Ergotamine tartrate

The sumatriptan

Very effective in a few minutes. Nevertheless, the injection of sumatriptan like Imitrex ® has some drawbacks:

  • Very expensive. Currently 33,95 € for 1 package of two syringes of 6 ml each, out reimbursement (else 1 package amounts to 9,05 €), knowing that you can get a reimbursement for only 7 pakages by month sometimes subject to high administrative troubles.
  • More or less pronounced side effects depending on people.
  • Maximum 2 injections by 24 hours.
  • Not recommended for people with cardiovascular risks.

Oxygen therapy

High-flow oxygen inhalation (12 l/min) gives also good results although often a bit slower than an Imitrex ® injection.
The main disadvantage is the size and weight of the bottles (B10 model - 2,100 liters).
The main advantage is the ability to treat as many crises we want.
Also note a lower efficacy, sometimes inexistent, for very strong attacks.

Here on the left, a sample of a mask dedicated to cluster headaches.

Le Ergotamine tartrate

The Cafergot : ergotamine and caffeine. Gives quite good results but is generally not prescribed as incompatible with sumatriptan. Has the disadvantage to act more slowly than sumatriptan because it is in pill form. Can have serious side effects if doses are not respected.