Skip to Content

Lidocaine for Cluster Headaches

Topic Overview

Lidocaine is an anesthetic medicine that is most often used to numb an area of the body before a minor surgical procedure. Sometimes a 4% lidocaine solution is used as nose drops to stop cluster headaches.

Lidocaine has a small effect on pain for most people with cluster headaches. But it rarely stops the pain completely.1

The medicine is placed into the nostril on the same side as the headache. It can be repeated 15 minutes later, if needed. Side effects can include a burning sensation or numbness in the nose.

This medicine is available only by prescription. This medicine may be used to treat cluster headaches when other medicines have not helped.

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. Capobianco DJ, Dodick DW (2006). Diagnosis and treatment of cluster headache. Seminars in Neurology, 26(2): 242–259.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
Last Revised January 27, 2012

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Classes & Events

  • Oct
    22
    Wednesday
    10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    Providing a supportive environment for postpartum parents and their babies to learn and connect with others.
  • Oct
    27
    Monday
    10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    Yoga for Arthritis is a medically-based yoga class specifically designed to improve pain and mobility. This class is for people experiencing joint pain.
  • Oct
    27
    Monday
    6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    A unique method of relaxed, natural childbirth education, enhanced by self-hypnosis techniques.

Section Links