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Headache Associated With Sexual Activity: Prognosis And Treatment Options

A Frese, A Rahmann, N Gregor, K Biehl, I-W Husstedt, S Evers

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The aim of this study was to provide data on the prognosis and treatment options of headache associated with sexual activity (HSA). Sixty patients diagnosed with HSA between 1996 and 2004 were followed up between 2003 and 2006 at least 12 months after the first interview. The further course of the disease and their contentedness with therapy were requested. On average, the second interview was performed 35.9 months after the first examination. Of the 45 patients who had suffered from single attacks or bouts prior to baseline examination, 37 had no further attacks. Seven patients suffered from at least one further bout with an average duration of 2.1 months. One patient developed a chronic course of the disease after an episodic start. Of the 15 patients with chronic disease at the first examination, seven were in remission and five had ongoing attacks at follow-up. Ten patients received indomethacin for preemptive therapy, with good results in nine patients. Eighteen patients received β-blockers for prophylaxis, with good results in 15 patients. Episodic HSA occurs in approximately three-quarters and chronic HSA in approximately one-quarter of patients. Even in chronic HAS, the prognosis is favourable, with remission rates of 69% during an observation period of 3 years. For patients with longer-lasting bouts or with chronic HSA, prophylactic treatment with β-blockers or preemptive therapy with indomethacin are often successful.