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Handb Clin Neurol. 2010;97:453-7. doi: 10.1016/S0072-9752(10)97039-5.

Primary stabbing headache.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Hospital Quirón Madrid, Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

Primary stabbing headache is characterized by transient, cephalic ultrashort stabs of pain. It is a frequent complaint with a prevalence of 35.2%, a female preponderance, and a mean age of onset of 28 years (Vågå study). Attacks are generally characterized by moderate to severe, jabbing or stabbing pain, lasting from a fraction of a second to 3s. Attack frequency is generally low, with one or a few attacks per day. The paroxysms generally occur spontaneously, during daytime. Most patients exhibit a sporadic pattern, with an erratic, unpredictable alternation between symptomatic and non-symptomatic periods. Paroxysms are almost invariably unilateral. Temporal and fronto-ocular areas are most frequently affected. Attacks tend to move from one area to another, in either the same or the opposite hemicranium. Jabs may be accompanied by a shock-like feeling and even by head movement - "jolts" -or vocalization. On rare occasions, conjunctival hemorrhage and monocular vision loss have been described as associated features. Primary stabbing headache may concur, synchronously or independently, with other primary headaches. In contrast to what is the case in adults, in childhood it is not usually associated with other headaches. Treatment is rarely necessary. Indomethacin, 75-150 mg daily, may seem to be of some avail. Celecoxib, nifedipine, melatonin, and gabapentin have been reported to be effective in isolated cases and small series of patients. The drug studies need corroboration.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID:
20816445
[PubMed - in process]
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