Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT) is a primary headache syndrome that has been reported to be resistant to treatment with intravenous lidocaine. We report four cases of SUNCT in whom intravenous lidocaine (1.3-3.3 mg kg(-1) h(-1)) completely suppressed the headaches for the duration of the infusion. The headache returned after cessation of treatment. Two patients went on to have their symptoms controlled on topiramate (50-300 mg daily). One patient had typical migrainous aura in association with some of the attacks of pain but never migrainous headaches. These cases suggest that treatment with lidocaine can be considered when acute intervention is required to suppress a severe exacerbation of SUNCT, and further broaden the therapeutic and clinical background of this syndrome.