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 was previously called headaches: diagnosis and management of headaches in young people and adults.

Recommendations

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

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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