Cluster Headache (cont.)
When to Seek Medical Care
Ideally, you will be under the care of a doctor familiar with this type of headache-a neurologist, a pain physician, or a family doctor with special training with this type of headache.
- You and the doctor will work out a plan so you will know which types of pain you can deal with safely at home, which require a call to the doctor, and which require an immediate trip to a hospital's emergency department.
- You should always bear in mind, however, that these headaches can be excruciating, and your doctor always will be there to help you.
- Notify the doctor when you get a severe headache that is not of the same type as the ones you are used to experiencing.
- Call your doctor if you develop a new side effect from the medications you are taking.
- If you have not ever had headaches, or have never seen a doctor for headaches, and have a sudden, severe headache, you should call your doctor or go to a hospital's emergency department.
Seek immediate medical attention or go to a hospital's emergency department under the following circumstances:
- When your current medication does not control the pain and you need immediate relief
- When your pain prevents eating and drinking and you become at significant risk of malnutrition or dehydration
- When you experience profound side effects from your medication such as severe drowsiness, sedation, and nausea and vomiting
- When a doctor advises you to seek evaluation and treatment for any of these problems
- When you have a change in the severity or increased frequency of headaches, or a headache that feels different from any previous headaches
Joseph Carcione Jr, DO, MBA
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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