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26 Feb 2010

Cluster Headaches
My husband Robbin has been suffering with severe headaches for the last 10 years. It comes in a period of +/-10months and goes and when it returns, it returns with a vengeance. At first we thought that it was sinuses, because the symptoms are almost related, however we have spent so much money in treating this, but to no avail.
The headaches returned and the duration of the attack lasts longer and the attacks are about midday each day.
We went to see a neurologist in Milpark- who diagnosed this to be cluster headaches and all the symptoms related. He prescibed that my husband gets Deseril, we have tried everywhere but NO LUCK. He then prescribed Cortisone- but in mild doses- the problem is when that wears out/or the cortizone finishes the pain returns worst.
Would you know where we can find this Deseril or can we have something simiar?
Answer 589 views
Headache expert
Headache expert

01 Jan 0001

Dear Rheena,

Deseril can only be used for a limited period of time, and has some severe side effects, so if the condition can be treated by other methods that is preferable.

Even cluster headaches have causes, and it is imperative to try and find the cause/s first, before relying on medication. With other types of headache, the correct approach is to treat using a step-by-step approach. Once the underlying cause/s of the headache have been identified, the most conservative treatment is used first. If good results are not achieved with conservative treatment, one goes to the next step, and so forth.

With cluster however, the pain is so severe that one cannot afford the luxury of a prolonged treatment plan. Rather, the problem is dealt with by using multiple therapies together, so that one has the best chance of aborting the cluster. These multiple therapies are best carried out by an integrated multidisciplinary team, so that the treatments can be co-ordinated. There are many different structures in the head and neck, all of which may be involved, and no single specialist has all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For this reason, the combined the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, is co-ordinated into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables a more comprehensive treatment plan, in which all the contributing factors are addressed.

One of the best resources available to cluster headache sufferers is an international support community on the internet. You can locate this community at They are incredibly knowledgeable and give you both guidance and support free of charge.

Cluster Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the severity of the pain. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic on 0861 678 911 (Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban).
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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