Tension-type headaches are classified as:1Infrequent episodic. You may have this type of headache if you get a headache less often than 1 day a month (or fewer than 12 days a year). The pain is mild to moderate. You may feel pressure or tightening across your forehead (like a vise grip) and at your temples, back of your head, or neck. You may have pain on both sides of your head. You also may feel sensitive to light or noise (but not both). This type of headache doesn't cause nausea or vomiting. These headaches don't get worse with physical activity. Frequent episodic. You may have this type of headache if you have a headache on more than 1 day but fewer than 14 days each month (or more than 12 but fewer than 180 days a year). The pain is mild to moderate. You may feel pressure or tightening across your forehead (like a vise grip) and at your temples, back of your head, or neck. You may have pain on both sides of your head. You also may feel sensitive to light or noise (but not both).
The most common triggers for tension headaches are physical and emotional stress. Sometimes stress is caused by conditions such as anxiety and depression. If you think you may have anxiety or depression,talk with your doctor. If you treat these conditions,you may get tension headaches less often. If you have tension headaches,ask yourself if you are: Having conflicts within your family or ...
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Seizure medicines are drugs that are used to treat seizures. Seizure medicines are also used to prevent migraine headaches. And they may be used to help prevent tension headaches in some people. There is not good evidence for their use in preventing tension headaches, but your doctor may think that one of these medicines will help you if you have chronic tension headaches:Gabapentin (for example, Neurontin)Topiramate (Topamax)Valproate (for example, Depakene)Side effects of topiramate can include: Fatigue.A prickling or tingling sensation in the hands and feet.Lack of coordination.Loss of appetite and weight loss.Inability to concentrate or speak clearly.Gabapentin is a well-tolerated drug that usually causes only mild side effects. These often go away within 1 to 2 weeks and include:Dizziness.Drowsiness and fatigue.Headache.Weight gain.Foot swelling.Side effects of valproate can include: Fatigue.Nausea.Tremor or shakiness.Hair loss.Weight gain.Headache pain that is different than
Antidepressant medicines, which are usually used to treat depression, can be effective in preventing chronic tension headaches. Antidepressants have some pain-relieving properties and may reduce how often headaches occur and how long they last. Antidepressants are also used to improve sleep problems.Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, are the antidepressants used most often to reduce the frequency or duration of tension headaches. Medicines to prevent tension headaches have not been well studied. The best evidence is for amitriptyline. It has been proven to reduce how often tension headaches occur and how bad they get.1 If you do not respond well to amitriptyline, you may try other tricyclic antidepressants, although they may not work as well to relieve your headache. Side effects of tricyclic antidepressants include:Drowsiness or sleepiness.Dry mouth.Constipation.Blurred vision.Inability to urinate.Weight gain.Low blood pressure when you stand up quickly.Other
If your tension headaches are triggered by anxiety, you may be treated with an antianxiety medicine, such as buspirone (BuSpar), to reduce anxiety and the frequency of tension headaches.Antianxiety medicines relieve anxiety and nervousness and have a calming effect. In high doses, they may cause drowsiness and sleep. Buspirone reduces mild anxiety, irritability, fatigue, and pain. It is usually taken daily to relieve symptoms and is not addictive if it is used continuously.Generally, side effects are mild and include: Drowsiness. Low blood pressure. A general lack of interest in things (apathy). Dizziness. Forgetfulness. Antianxiety medicines other than buspirone (such as alprazolam) may be tried, but they can become addictive. Buspirone is not habit-forming and may be used for longer periods of time.