NURS 6521 week 5.docx - NURS 6521 Advanced Pharmacology...

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NURS 6521 – Advanced Pharmacology Week 5 Headaches Headaches are some of the most frequently seen complains at the physicians’ office with more than 28 million people affected by them in the US (Trescot, 2017). According to Arcangelo, Peterson, Wilbur, & Reinhold (2017), there are two types of headaches: primary and secondary. Primary headaches do not have a specific biological disease origin like secondary headaches. They are also the main headache sought for treatment. Primary headaches include tension-type (TTH), migraines, and cluster headaches (CH). Secondary headaches can be caused by trauma, vascular disorders, substance withdrawal, infection, psychiatric problems, and neuropathies, amongst others (Arcangelo et al., 2017). Tension headaches are described as dull and radiating bilaterally from the forehead to the back of the head, and a few times down the neck. They can last from 30 minutes to many days where it interferes with daily life. Unlike tension headaches, migraines also have side effects such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound. Finally, cluster headaches are much rare compared to tension headaches but are described as burning painfully in one eye (Arcangelo, Peterson, Wilbur, & Reinhold, 2017). To diagnose tension headaches, a thorough assessment and an inclusive criterion of symptoms needs to be present: minimum of 10 headache episodes happening on 1 – 14 days per month, lasting from 30 minutes to 7 days, with specific pain characteristic location and quality of pain, and the absence of nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to sound and light (Arcangelo et al., 2017). Migraines, on the other hand, need to include with or without aura, specific pain characteristics, location and include at least nausea or vomiting and light or sound sensitivity (Arcangelo et al., 2017). Headache treatment Recommendation to treat a headache begins with the basics; eat healthy, sleep consistently, smoking cessation, limiting alcohol intake, and drink plenty of water. Alternative therapies have also shown to help headaches; these include acupuncture, massage, meditation, relaxation therapy, chiropractic therapy, yoga, and vitamin supplements (Arcangelo, Peterson, Wilbur, & Reinhold, 2017). Tension headache pharmacologic treatment: Acetaminophen: 325-650 mg Q4-6h, max dose of 3250 mg/day. Monitor liver function and contraindicated with alcohol use Aspirin: 325-650 mg Q4-6h, max dose of 4000 mg/day. Can cause gastroenterological side effects, contraindicated in bleeding disorders.
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Ibuprofen: 200-400 mg Q4-6h, max 1200 mg/day. Side effects include dizziness, rash, GI upset. To be closely monitored due to its high risk of adverse cardiovascular thrombolitic events.
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