Focus on therapy of primary stabbing headache

Enrico Ferrante, Paolo Rossi, Cristina Tassorelli, Carlo Lisotto, Giuseppe Nappi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Primary stabbing headache (PSH) is a short-lasting but troublesome headache disorder, which has been known for several decades. The head pain occurs as a single stab or as a series of stabs generally involving the area supplied by the first division of trigeminal nerve. Stabs last for approximately a few seconds, occurring and recurring from once to multiple times per day in an irregular pattern. For the diagnosis of PSH, it is mandatory that any other underlying disorder is ruled out. Indomethacin represents the principal option in the treatment of PSH, despite therapeutic failure in up to 35% of the cases. Recent reports showed that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, gabapentin, nifedipine, paracetamol and melatonin may also be effective. In this report, we focus on the therapy of PSH summarizing the information collected from a systematic analysis of the international literature over the period 1980-2009.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-160
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Headache and Pain
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • COX-2 inhibitors
  • Gabapentin
  • Indomethacin
  • Melatonin
  • Primary stabbing headache
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Focus on therapy of primary stabbing headache'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this