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Migraines & Headaches Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Migraines & Headaches

  1. Seizure Medicines for Tension Headaches - Topic Overview

    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

  2. Tension Headache Triggers - Topic Overview

    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 ...

  3. Antidepressants for Tension Headaches - Topic Overview

    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

  4. Tension Headaches - Exams and Tests

    Finding out the type of headache you have A doctor can usually diagnose tension headaches by asking you questions about your health and lifestyle and by examining you. It can be hard to know which type of headache you have,because different types can have the same symptoms. But the treatments may be different,so it's important to find out which type you have. Your doctor may diagnose tension ...

  5. Tension Headaches - Living With Tension Headaches

    You may have fewer headaches-and less pain when you do get them-if you: Find and avoid triggers for your headaches. Keep a headache diary to find out what triggers your headaches. Take over-the-counter drugs to stop a headache. Take medicine as your doctor advises to stop or prevent a headache. Reduce stress with relaxation and positive-thinking methods. For more information,see: Headaches: ...

  6. Tension Headaches - Symptoms

    Symptoms of tension headaches include: A constant headache that does not throb or pulse. You usually feel the pain or pressure on both sides of your head. Tightness around your forehead that may feel like a "vise grip." Aching pain at your temples or the back of your head and neck. Unlike migraines,tension headaches usually don't occur with nausea,vomiting,or feeling sensitive to both ...

  7. Tension Headaches - Prevention

    Finding and avoiding the things-or triggers-that lead to tension headaches can reduce how often you get headaches and how bad they are when you do get them. Headache triggers can include: Stress. Anxiety. Fatigue. Hunger. Using a headache diary (What is a PDF document?) can help you find your triggers. You write down when you have a headache and how bad it is,along with details such as ...

  8. Tension Headaches - When to Call a Doctor

    Call or other emergency services if: You have a sudden,severe headache that is different from past headaches. You have symptoms of a stroke,such as: Sudden numbness,paralysis,or weakness in your face,arm,or leg,especially on only one side of your body. New problems with walking or balance. Sudden vision changes. New problems speaking or understanding simple statements,or feeling ...

  9. Tension Headache Classifications - Topic Overview

    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).

  10. Tension Headaches - Cause

    The cause of tension headaches is not clear. In the past,doctors believed that tension or spasms of the muscles of the neck,face,jaw,head,or scalp played a role in causing these headaches. Now they think a change in brain chemistry may also help cause a tension headache. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. They can be brought on-or triggered -by things such as stress ...

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