Self-Reported Efficacy of Treatments in Cluster Headache: a Systematic Review of Survey Studies

This review (s=9, 2022) analyses retrospective surveys that quantified the self-reported efficacy of two or more cluster headache (CH) treatments. The consistently reported efficacy of psilocybin and LSD in prophylactic treatment indicates the need for clinical studies in this area.

Abstract

Purpose of Review: The use and efficacy of various substances in the treatment of CH have been studied in several retrospective surveys. The aim of the study is to systematically review published survey studies to evaluate the reported efficacies of both established and unconventional substances in the abortive and prophylactic treatment of both episodic and chronic CH, specifically assessing the consistency of the results.

Recent Findings: No systematic review have been conducted of these studies previously. A systematic literature search with a set of search terms was conducted on PubMed. Retrospective surveys that quantified the self-reported efficacy of two or more CH treatments, published in English during 2000–2020, were included. Several key characteristics and results of the studies were extracted. A total of 994 articles were identified of which 9 were found to be eligible based on the selection criteria. In total, 5419 respondents were included. Oxygen and subcutaneous triptan injections were most reported as effective abortive treatments, while psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide were most commonly reported as effective prophylactic treatments. The reported efficacy of most substances was consistent across different studies, and there were marked differences in the reported efficacies of different substances. The reported order of efficacy is generally in agreement with clinical studies. The findings suggest that retrospective surveys can be used to obtain supporting information on the effects of various substances used in the treatment of CH and to form hypotheses about novel treatment methods. The consistently reported efficacy of psilocybin and LSD in prophylactic treatment indicates the need for clinical studies.

Authors: Sakari Rusanen, Suchetana De, Emmanuelle A. D. Schindler, Ville Artto & Markus Storvik

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Study details

Compounds studied
Psilocybin LSD

Topics studied
Pain

Study characteristics
Literature Review

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