Chapter XVI. Special Remedies for Headache.
Congestive Headache. When there is fullness, heaviness of the head, throbbing of the carotids, face flushed, booming in the ears, sensitiveness to noise, the pulse gives an impression of fullness and tension, veratrum viride is the indicated remedy. Dose, five drops, first decimal dilution, tincture veratrum every hour, while the headache lasts, then three times a day. Stout plethoric full-blooded girls and women often have such headaches; their menses are usually scanty and frequently suppressed.
When the face is red, conjunctiva congested, eyes staring, pupils dilated, head feels confused, bigger than it ought, throbbing of carotids, pain worse on stooping or lying down, belladonna is the remedy to be prescribed. Dose, add five drops tincture belladonna to four ounces of water; mix and give a teaspoonful every half hour.
In congestive headaches, where the face is intensely red with throbbing carotids, relieved by profuse nose bleed, melilotus alba must be given. Dose, put ten drops tincture meliotus into four ounces of water; mix and give a teaspoonful every hour.
When the throbbing headache seems to rise from the neck and the throbbing of the carotids can be seen, the blood vessels are full to bursting, head feels heavy but cannot be laid on the pillow, face deep red, sharp pains accompany the throbbing. This kind of a headache may be caused by delayed menstruation or may be the warning symptoms of puerperal convulsions. Glonoin second decimal dilution, should be given for this headache. Dose, add ten drops second decimal dilution to four ounces of water; mix and give teaspoonful doses every fifteen minutes until relieved.
When the headache begins at the cervical region and extends over the head, causes a sensation of bursting in the forehead and eyeballs, patient desires to lie with his head high on the pillow, wishes to be quiet and left alone,—this headache is relieved by profuse urination, gelsemium is the drug needed. Dose, add thirty drops of the third decimal dilution, tincture gelsemium to four ounces of water. Mix and give a teaspoonful every half hour.
When there is great restlessness, bursting headache, full bounding pulse, brain feels as if it were boiling, worse during motion and after sunstroke, aconite is the remedy. Dose, add five drops tincture aconite to four ounces of water; mix and give a teaspoonful every hour.
When the pain extends from the occiput all over the head, there is agonizing distress, face pale, extremities cold and livid—the headaches of women at the climacteric and in drunkards—secale cornutum is the indicated remedy. Dose, five drops tincture secale every half hour.
Headache with congestion of blood to the brain, flushed face, very nervous, cannot sleep, should have caffeine prescribed for it. Dose, three tablets of the first decimal every hour.
When a patient has had a sunstroke and suffers from headache every time he goes out in the sun, or on the return of hot weather, or when any mental labor causes headache natrum carb. is the needed remedy for relief. Dose, three tablets of the third decimal trituration, natrum carb. every hour. If the patient is subject to headache every time he goes out into the sun tincture usnea barbata is the indicated remedy. Dose, add five drops to a glass of water; mix and give a teaspoonful every fifteen minutes. In sunstroke give glonoin as given under congestive headache.
Nervous Headache. Headache that is caused by overexertion, shopping, pain worse on the left side pressing the temple, constant desire to expectorate, saliva is of a viscid character, pain relieved by rest, lying down, epiphegus is the drug required. Dose, five drops of the second decimal dilution, tincture epiphegus every fifteen minutes until relieved.
Brain Fag. The headache of students and business men, which is brought on by the slightest mental emotion or exertion, pain at the back of the head and is apt to extend down the spine, patient feels tired and heavy, feels better if the head is bandaged tightly, needs picric acid. Dose, three tablets of the sixth decimal picric acid every hour. When the head feels as if a nail were driven out through the side, and is relieved by lying on it, the attack terminates in vomiting and passage of a large quantity of urine, and in nervous hysterical patients given to sighing and weeping, ignatia is the remedy to be prescribed. Dose, add ten drops tincture ignatia to four ounces of water, mix and give a teaspoonful every hour. Headache from severe mental exertion, brain fag, patient feels despondent, looks on the dark side of everything, has an empty, gone feeling in the stomach, needs kali phos. Dose, three tablets of the third decimal trituration every two hours. Headache with crushing weight on vertex, in the occiput and nape of the neck, made worse by motion, relieved by lying down, the legs tremble and are weak, patients often become indifferent to the affairs of life, demands phosphoric acid dilution. Dose, add fifteen drops to a glass of water; mix and give a teaspoonful every two hours. Morning headaches which begin on waking and last until noon, headaches from fatigue, involuntary twitching of the eyelids should be given the second decimal of codiine. Dose, three tablets every hour. Headaches that begin in the base of the brain in the morning and spread over the head locating in the eye, orbit and temple of the left side call for the third decimal dilution of spigelia. Dose, add fifteen drops to a glass of water; mix and give a teaspoonful every half hour. Pain in the forehead over the right eye, which is very sensitive to the touch, he cannot open his eyes during the paroxysm, pain is throbbing, worse from looking at bright lights, relieved by sleep, should be given coccinella sept. Dose, place fifteen drops of the third decimal dilution tincture coccinella in four ounces of water; mix and give a teaspoonful every hour. Many cases of nervous headaches call for belladonna. (See the indications under congestive headaches.)
Headache from Eye Strain. When the eyes feel weary and ache as if strained, or they burn like balls of fire as the result of too close application to fine sewing or study, ruta grav. is the indicated remedy. Dose, add ten drops tincture ruta to four ounces of water; mix and give a teaspoonful every two hours. When there is headache from eye strain with a feeling of stiffness and bruised sensation of the muscles of the forehead cimicifuga is the drug which should be used. Dose, five drops of the first decimal dilution every two hours. In megrim when there is a dull, heavy, pressing pain starting in the occiput and extending to the frontal region, worse in the morning, mostly on the left side, headache caused by over strain, onosmodium should be prescribed. Dose, add ten drops of the third decimal dilution to four ounces of water; mix and give a teaspoonful once an hour.
Sick Headache. When the pain is in the forehead over the eyes, eyeballs painful, vomiting bitter, green-looking matter, pain in the liver and cramp-like pains in the abdomen will need chionanthus as the remedial agent. Dose, five drops of the second decimal dilution, tincture chionanthus every three hours. This remedy has helped to cure several cases of sick headache. I gave the chionanthus to a druggist in Ohio for sick headache, who had tried everything he could hear of, and it cured him. Before an attack, when the patient feels it coming on, put two teaspoonfuls of powdered charcoal in half a glass of water, and drink it all at once. This will frequently prevent the attack. One or two teaspoonfuls of cascara cordial taken in the morning will avert its appearance many times. When the pain begins in the back of the head, spreads over the head and is most severe in the forenoon, pain is so intense that the patient cries out in anguish, it shifts from side to side niccolum is the indicated remedy. Dose, three tablets of the sixth decimal every hour. Epiphegus is sometimes indicated in such headaches. (See indication for it under nervous headaches.)
Periodical Headaches. Headaches coming on at a certain time each day, often complicated with malaria calls for quinine. Dose, three tablets of the third decimal once in two hours. Headaches where the head feels as if it would split open, worse by stooping over, coughing, ironing or moving the eyes, nausea and faintness when trying to sit up requires bryonia and is generally met in hot weather. Dose, add five drops tincture bryonia to four ounces of water; mix, teaspoonful every hour. When the headache appears after the menstrual period (whether scanty or profuse menses) pain comes on in paroxysms, intense, throbbing, headache, apt to occur mostly in the anemic persons, natrum muriaticum. Dose, three tablets, of the sixth decimal, every two hours.
Curing headaches is one of the weak points with the average doctor. The women with the headache "we have always with us, and when we will we can do them good." Instead of leaving them to experiment with coal tar "headache cures" study each case carefully and adapt your remedies to it. The results obtained will win the gratitude of the sufferers and put many a dollar in your pocket.
Definite Medication, 1911, was written by Eli G. Jones, M.D.