1.1 Current evidence on the safety of transcutaneous stimulation of the cervical branch of the vagus nerve for cluster headache and migraine raises no major concerns. The evidence on efficacy is limited in quantity and quality. Therefore, this procedure should only be used with special arrangements for clinical governance, consent and audit or research.
1.2 Clinicians wishing to do transcutaneous stimulation of the cervical branch of the vagus nerve for cluster headache and migraine should:
Inform the clinical governance leads in their NHS trusts.
Ensure that patients understand the uncertainty about the procedure's efficacy and provide them with clear written information. In addition, the use of NICE's information for the public is recommended.
1.3 NICE encourages further research on transcutaneous stimulation of the cervical branch of the vagus nerve for cluster headache and migraine. Studies should describe whether the procedure is used for treatment or prevention, and whether it is used for cluster headache or migraine. Clinicians should clearly document details of patient selection and the treatment regimen. Outcome measures should include changes in the number and severity of cluster headache or migraine episodes, medication use, quality of life in the short and long term, side effects, acceptability, and device durability. NICE may update this guidance on publication of further evidence.