Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Painkillers May Worsen Headaches Following Concussion

The researchers found that daily headache, female sex, the presence of nausea, throbbing headache versus steady or stabbing pain, irritability following concussion, and a relatively longer interval between the concussive event and neurological evaluation were more common in the 54 patients with probable medication-overuse headache than in the 23 without. Within two months of stopping analgesics, 37 of the 54 in the probable group had improvement in symptoms, i.e., complete resolution or reversion to preconcussion levels of the headache. The study was presented as a poster session at the Child Neurology Society (CNS) annual meeting, held during October-November 2013 in Austin.

“Continued use of analgesics for headache despite lack of efficacy can cause chronification of a headache syndrome. Because withdrawal of painkillers alleviated these patients' headaches, a diagnosis of medication-overuse headache may be made,” concluded study authors Geoffrey Heyer, MD, and Syed Idris, MD. “Management of patients with prolonged postconcussion headache should include analgesic detoxification when medication overuse is suspected.”

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