Current and potential future drug therapies for tension-type headache
- Cite this article as:
- Ashina, S. & Ashina, M. Current Science Inc (2003) 7: 466. doi:10.1007/s11916-003-0063-8
Tension-type headache is a common primary headache with tremendous socioeconomic impact. Establishment of an accurate diagnosis is important before initiation of any pharmacologic therapy. Simple analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the mainstays of treatment of episodic tension-type headache. The tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline is the drug of choice in the preventive treatment of chronic tension-type headache. Progress in basic neuroscience has emphasized the importance of nitric oxide inhibition and N-methyl-D-aspartate and alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxasole-4-propionic acid receptor antagonism in the treatment of chronic pain. It has been demonstrated that inhibition of nitric oxide is effective in chronic tension-type headache. These interesting data indicate that more specific and effective treatment possibilities will emerge in the future.