Headache Education Center

PRIMARY HEADACHE ASSOCIATED WITH SEXUAL ACTIVITY


Description
Treatment
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Treatment


  1. Abortive: What to take “as needed” for a headache. The earlier the medicine is taken, the more effective it will be. These are the medications used most commonly, although this is not an all-inclusive list.
    1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)/Analgesics: (Until this headache is evaluated urgently and cleared with normal testing with a physician, Acetaminophen would be the only safe one.)
      ---Indomethacin (Indocin) (This tends to be the most effective one. It is most helpful when taken prior to the activity that triggers the headache.)
      ---Diclofenac (Cataflam)
      ---Naproxen (Aleve)
      ---Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
      ---Acetaminophen Extra Strength (Tylenol)
      ---Excedrin (Tylenol +/- Aspirin +/- Caffeine)
  2. Preventive: What to take on a daily basis to try to lessen the frequency and/or severity of the headaches. Preventive medicines generally take 4-6 weeks to start working and 2-3 months for full effect, assuming the correct dose of the medication is reached. These are the medications used most commonly, although this is not an all-inclusive list.
    1. Anti-hypertensive (blood pressure) medications:
      ---Propranolol (Inderal)
      ---Metoprolol (Toprol)
      ---Atenolol (Tenormin)
      ---Nadolol (Corgard)
      ---Lisinopril (Zestril)
      ---Candesartan (Atacand)
      ---Verapamil (Calan)
      ---Acetazolamide (Diamox)
    2. Anti-convulsant (Anti-seizure) medications:
      ---Topiramate (Topamax)
      ---Gabapentin (Neurontin)
      ---Divalproex sodium (Depakote)
      ---Zonisamide (Zonegran)
    3. Anti-depressant/Anti-anxiety medications:
      ---Amitriptyline (Elavil)
      ---Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
      ---Venlafaxine XR (Effexor XR)
      ---Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
      ---Duloxetine (Cymbalta)