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Keywords:

  • Amitriptyline;
  • dexamethasone;
  • drug-induced headache

Frequent or regular intake of antimigraine drugs, including analgesics, constitutes a common cause of chronic daily headache. Discontinuation. of symptomatic medication can produce an increase in head pain accompanied by withdrawal symptoms. We report the favourable outcome of treating a group of outpatients with the combination of amitriptyline, dexamethasone and sumatriptan. Dexamethasone (4 mg/day) was given intramuscularlv for 2 weeks, amitriptyline orally at night (50 mg/day) for at least 6 months, and sumatriptan subcutaneously to treat acute headache attacks. Eighteen out of 20 patients abstained from drug abuse. Eleven of these 18 patients showed a marked reduction in headache frequency (at least 75% in relation to the basal value), and were considered “very good responders”. The other seven patients experienced at least 50%, reduction in headache frequency compared to baseline. This preliminary report suggests that drug-induced headache can be treated effectively in outpatients using dexamethasone, amitriptyline and sumatriptan in combination with significant benefit in everyday life conditions.