Prolonged Recovery From Rebound Headaches


Address all correspondence to Dr. John S. Warner, The Vanderbilt Headache Clinic, 351 Medical Center South, 2100 Pierce Avenue, Nashville, TN 37212.


Objective.—To document that some patients with rebound headache require prolonged complete avoidance of the pain relief medications which might cause the daily or almost daily headaches in order to achieve a goal of 6 consecutive headache-free days.

Background.—Most articles on rebound headache imply that the patient improves after stopping the offending agents, but they fail to state the pattern of recovery, the time required for recovery, or the specific end point achieved.

Design.—Selected from the histories of approximately 1000 patients with suspected rebound headache who have been seen in a university headache referral clinic are the records of four patients who kept careful headache diaries, followed the treatment protocol (with minimal noncompliance by two patients), and required more than 6 months to achieve our goal of 6 consecutive headache-free days.

Conclusions.—Hopefully, other physicians treating patients with suspected rebound headache will benefit from this report and will be able to better manage their patients.