The emerging role of gammaCore® in the management of cluster headache: expert panel recommendations

Stephen D. Silberstein, Anne H. Calhoun, Christina Treppendahl, David W. Dodick, Alan M. Rapoport, Avinash Mamidi, Peter Vargas, Thomas H. Ebert, Stewart J. Tepper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A panel of 9 experts, including neurologists, other headache specialists, and medical and pharmacy directors, from 4 health plans (1 integrated delivery network and 3 plans with commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid lines of business), convened to discuss cluster headache (CH). Topics covered included the current treatment landscape, treatment challenges, economic impact of disease, and gaps in care for patients with CH. One major challenge in the management of CH is that it is underrecognized and frequently misdiagnosed, leading to delays in and suboptimal treatment for patients who suffer from this painful and disabling condition. The management of CH is challenging due to the lack of a robust evidence base for preventive treatment, the adverse events (AEs) associated with conventional preventive treatments, the variability of response to acute treatments, and the challenging reimbursement landscape for well-accepted treatments (eg, oxygen). The lack of effective prevention for many patients may lead to the excessive use of acute therapies, often multiple times each day, which drives the cost of illness up significantly. The goal of the panel discussion was to discuss the role of gammaCore, the recently released first non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS) therapy in the acute treatment of patients with episodic CH (eCH), in the management of CH. The panel reviewed current practices and formulated recommendations on incorporating a newly released therapy into CH management. The panel explored the role of traditional management strategies as well as that of gammaCore in the acute treatment of patients with eCH. Resources that may be useful in the treatment of patients with CH were also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S326-S333
JournalThe American journal of managed care
Issue number17
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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