Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 466–474

Current and potential future drug therapies for tension-type headache

  • Sait Ashina
  • Messoud Ashina


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.


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© Current Science Inc 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sait Ashina
    • 1
  • Messoud Ashina
    • 1
  1. 1.Danish Headache CenterUniversity of Copenhagen and Department of Neurology, Glostrup University HospitalCopenhagenDenmark

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