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