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Question
Posted by: Nien | 2005/07/04

cevicogenic headache

At work I sit at my computer the whole day I went to the doctor and he diagnosed me with cevicogenic headache, and gave me Rivotril (0.5g) as a precription. I made me feel really drowzy and I stopped using it. Is there any else I can use or should I keep on using the prescription?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Nien,

Cervicogenic headache simply means “headache that originates in the neck”. But there are a number of structures in the neck, and the pain may be coming from any of them – it may even be that although the pain appears to originate in the neck, it actually doesn’t. Rivotril is one of the anti-epileptic drugs, which can be used to prevent chronic headaches. It does so by dulling the pain sensors in the brain. But it can have side effects as you have found. If there is something wrong with your neck, then there must be a diagnosis as to precisely what is wrong, and that problem should be treated. It is bad enough having to take medication when there are no side effects, but you were quite right to stop using it.

To get to the root of the problem you need what is called a “multidisciplinary” approach. There are many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, and no single specialist has all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For this reason, the combined the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, is co-ordinated into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables a more comprehensive treatment plan, in which all the contributing factors are addressed.

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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