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Antidepressants for Tension Headaches-Topic Overview

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Antidepressants for Tension Headaches – Topic Overview

Antidepressants for Tension Headaches Guide

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Antidepressant medicines, which are usually used to treat depression, can be effective in preventing chronic tension headaches. Antidepressants have some pain-relieving properties and may reduce how often headaches occur and how long they last. Antidepressants are also used to improve sleep problems.

Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, are the antidepressants used most often to reduce the frequency or duration of tension headaches.

Recommended Related to Migraines/Headaches

Ocular Migraine Symptoms and Diagnosis

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Ocular migraines are usually brief, lasting less than 5 minutes. But they can last up to 30 minutes. Forty-one percent of people have a headache during the vision loss, and 25% have it before or after.

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Medicines to prevent tension headaches have not been well studied. The best evidence is for amitriptyline. It has been proven to reduce how often tension headaches occur and how bad they get.1 If you do not respond well to amitriptyline, you may try other tricyclic antidepressants, although they may not work as well to relieve your headache.

Side effects of tricyclic antidepressants include:

  • Drowsiness or sleepiness.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Constipation.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Inability to urinate.
  • Weight gain.
  • Low blood pressure when you stand up quickly.

Other antidepressants used to prevent tension headaches include mirtazapine (Remeron) and venlafaxine (Effexor).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide. Talk to your doctor about these possible side effects and the warning signs of suicide.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated:
May 02, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this
information.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

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Antidepressants for Tension Headaches Topics

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Antidepressants for Tension Headaches Guide

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  • Tension Headaches

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated:
May 02, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this
information.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

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Antidepressants for Tension Headaches Topics

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Antidepressants for Tension Headaches – References

Antidepressants for Tension Headaches Guide

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Citations

  1. Jackson JL, et al. (2010). Tricyclic antidepressants and headaches: Systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. Published online October 20, 2010 (doi:10.1136/bmj.c5222).

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated:
May 02, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this
information.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

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Antidepressants for Tension Headaches Topics

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Antidepressants for Tension Headaches – Credits

Antidepressants for Tension Headaches Guide

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ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKarin M. Lindholm, DO – Neurology

Current as ofMay 2, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated:
May 02, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this
information.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Continue reading below…

Antidepressants for Tension Headaches Topics

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