Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Quality standards for headache treatment issued by NICE

  • 1 Comment

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has issued standards to improve the care and support for young people and adults who suffer headache, including migraine.

It covers both primary headaches – such as tension-type headaches or migraine attacks – and also secondary headaches – those caused by underlying disorders and medication overuse.

The NICE quality standard is based on the NICE clinical guideline on headaches, and is designed to improve the diagnosis and management of headache disorders in people aged 12 years and older.

It states that people diagnosed with primary headache disorder should have their headache type classified as part of the diagnosis, so they receive appropriate treatment and prevention for their particular headache.

However, NICE noted that some people will have more than one type of headache and therefore may have more than one classification.

The quality standard also says people with primary headache disorder should be given information on the risk of medication overuse headache, which may prevent secondary headaches.

In addition, those with migraine should be offered combination therapy with a triptan and either an non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or paracetamol.

Professor Gillian Leng, NICE deputy chief executive and director of health and social care, said: “It is important for people to understand that different headaches require different treatments, and so a correct diagnosis is vital.

“People may not know that overusing some types of medication for treating tension-type headaches or migraines can actually make things worse, causing further pain.”

She added: “This standard aims to raise the bar in the care and support for people with headache and migraine.”

Joanna Hamilton-Colclough, director of Migraine Action, endorsed the quality standard.

She said: “We believe the standard is essential as part of the continuing process of recognising the huge impact of headache, both on individuals and wider society, and ensuring those affected are informed about and have access to the most appropriate treatments based on current evidence.”

Are you able to Speak Out Safely? Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.

 

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Be helpful if you published the actual guidlines, in all areas

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs