This guideline covers advice on the diagnosis and management of tension-type headache, migraine (including migraine with aura and menstrual-related migraine), cluster headache and medication overuse headache in young people (aged 12 years and older) and adults. It aims to improve the recognition and management of headaches, with more targeted treatment to improve the quality of life for people with headaches, and to reduce unnecessary investigations.

In November 2015 new and updated recommendations on the prophylactic treatment of migraine were added.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • healthcare professionals who provide care for young people and adults with headaches
  • young people (12 years and older) and adults with headaches, and their families and carers. Particular consideration is given to the needs of girls and women of reproductive age

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

Review decision date: October 2014

Review decision: 

Following the recent surveillance review which checks the need to update CG150 Headaches, a partial update of this guideline will be scheduled into the work programme.  Details of the update will be available on the guidelines in development webpage in due course.  This guideline will be checked again for update at its scheduled time point according to the methods described here.

 Next review date: December 2016

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