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Primary Headache 

Primary Headache
Chapter:
Primary Headache
Author(s):

Wade Cooper

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199859436.003.0015
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date: 17 April 2021

Approximately 70% of the population suffers from headaches, with over 40% having an active diagnosis. The most common type of headache is tension-type headache, which is typically described as bilateral in location, and pressing or tightening in quality. In those patients who present to healthcare providers, around 90% meet criteria for either migraine or probable migraine headache. In patients with chronic headache, or who have frequent headaches unresponsive to abortive therapies, first-line prophylactic medications such as tricyclic antidepressants and topiramate, may reduce the frequency and intensity of head pain. This chapter provides an overview of the different types of primary headache, outlines the ways to distinguish between them, and discusses strategies for prevention and treatment.

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