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Nasal Spray vs Injection

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#1 Thu, 25/02/2021 - 10:47
Last seen: 3 years 3 months ago
Joined: 25/02/2021 - 09:31

Nasal Spray vs Injection


Currently my GP has perscribed the nasal spray (IMIGRAN) 20mg, i laughed when they gave me 2.

I find it helps when an attack comes on and will clear it in about 15 mins,  i will then sleep for about an hour then have another attack, repeating through the night.  however i am only perscribed 2 per 24 hours so i am having to pick when to take it.  

Does the injection last longer than this?

Also during the day if i use a monitor or TV it will give me an attack within 30 mins, does anyone else get this and have you found anything which works with monitor usage as work is very hard to do etc.  I am using a small oxygen machine if i get a sniff of an attack and it can subside the attack from happening, but only really works say 50% of the time.

One tip i have just found out for fellow sufferes is by using a medical neck collar i can sleep with my head forward sitting up and so far seems to mitigate some of the attacks, as sleeping flat or onside is a real no no.  hope it helps others




Thu, 25/02/2021 - 15:43
DavidH 7
Last seen: 4 months 5 days ago
Joined: 26/02/2014 - 15:13


I've never used the nasal spray but I've always been under the impression (from this forum) that the injections are preferred.  My experience is that the injections are effective in 5-10 minutes.  I would re-iterate this, from the NICE guidelines:

Your healthcare professional should offer you oxygen and/or a triptan to help relieve your cluster headache. The oxygen comes in a cylinder and you breathe it in through a mask. The mask should not have any holes in the sides and should be connected to a reservoir bag. The triptan comes either as an injection that you can give yourself or in a nasal spray. Your healthcare professional should arrange for you to have oxygen cylinders for use at home and cylinders that you can carry with you to use wherever you are. They should also make sure you are offered enough triptan for your needs. You should not be offered paracetamol, an NSAID, an opioid, an ergot or a triptan in tablet or capsule form to help relieve cluster headache.

It makes no sense to be only be prescribed two treatments, if you need two treatments per day. 

You can only use two injections per day so this can be problematic if you're experiencing more attacks.  In this case, I will use oxygen - your description of a "small oxygen machine" does make me wonder if you are using the right thing, though?  I find the injections more effective than oxygen though I realise that using oxygen might be healthier and with fewer side effects.  (I sometimes use oxygen first, if I think the attack is mild and/or if I want to save an injection for day-time use). 

Strangely, I've never found any obvious triggers - such as screen/TV use - aside from alcohol (once I am in an episode).

Good luck. 


Thu, 25/02/2021 - 17:02 (Reply to #2)
Last seen: 3 years 3 months ago
Joined: 25/02/2021 - 09:31

Thank you fo ryour response, yeh alcohol, overheating, overcooling, and tvs and  monitors kick me into touch


Tue, 02/03/2021 - 07:21
Dorothy Trustee
Dorothy Trustee's picture
Last seen: 1 hour 38 min ago
Joined: 19/02/2014 - 10:16

Hi Dom

The nasal spray used to make me violently sick! The sumatriptan injection works much quicker, and if your oxygen company supplies demand valves, this would help to quickly abort attacks, although it's not the same for everyone and not all 02 companies supply them. Why not give our Advice Line a ring for a chat about it?

Dorothy Chapman

Dorothy (Trustee)

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