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What is transitional therapy for headache treatment?

Transitional therapy for headache treatment, also referred to as “bridge” therapy, is often strong medications that are used for short periods of time to help correct a more difficult or complex headache situation. Common treatments include steroid tapers, concurrent anti-inflammatory and anti-vomiting medications.

Why it’s done

If you suffer from prolonged headaches or are acutely overusing medications to treat your headache pain, your doctor may prescribe transitional therapy.

What to excpect

Transitional therapy for headache treatment is sometimes given intravenously and requires you to stay in the infusion center for several hours at a time or to be admitted to the hospital for brief periods of inpatient care. This could be advisable when there is:

  • Moderate to severe intractable pain with significant associated disability
  • Unresponsiveness to aggressive outpatient or emergency room treatment
  • Need for supportive medical measures to treat dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, unstable vital signs or prostration
  • Need for detoxification and treatment of toxicity, dependency and withdrawal from substances that cannot be safely monitored as an outpatient
  • Overuse of outpatient or emergency room care during crisis
  • Simultaneous dangerous medical condition
  • Potential of dangerous underlying condition causing headache
  • Psychological health considerations interfering in effective headache treatment
  • Need for rapid improvement and aggressive drug treatment in a safe environment
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