Migraine headaches are severe enough to make you reach for anything that might bring relief. And that can lead to serious problems. The American Headache Society (AHS) recently issued recommendations of things NOT to do when diagnosing or treating migraines. In this week’s installment of KERA’s Vital Signs, Dr. Kevin Conner is a neurologist and director of the Stroke Center at Texas Health Arlington Hospital. He says what physicians or patients take or prescribe can make matters worse.
The AHS List of 5 Don’ts When Treating Migraines:
- Don’t perform neuroimaging studies in patients with stable headaches that meet criteria for migraine
- Don’t perform computed tomography (CT) imaging for headache when magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is available, except in emergency settings
- Don’t recommend surgical deactivation of migraine trigger points outside of a clinical trial
- Don’t prescribe opioid or butalbital-containing medications as first-line treatment for recurrent headache disorders
- Don’t recommend prolonged or frequent use of over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications for headache