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Keywords:

  • chronic daily headache;
  • analgesic abuse;
  • pharmacological treatment

We evaluated 102 patients attending the Headache Study Center of the University of Modena who were suffering from chronic daily headache with daily drug intake. Patients underwent either day hospital treatment followed by a standard prophylactic therapy or they started prophylactic therapy immediately. After 30 and 120 days, both the Headache Index and the daily drug intake had significantly improved (P<0.001), and there were no differences in reduction of mean values of the Headache Index or daily drug intake with respect to the two treatments, nor with regard to the prophylactic therapy chosen. Twenty-eight percent of patients reverted to daily drug intake after a 4-month follow-up; these patients took bar-biturate-containing mixtures in a higher percentage than other drugs, and within the group of relapsing patients the outpatients relapsed to analgesic intake more than the day hospital-treated patients (P<0.05).