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Waking up with a heavy head. Not cured by decongestant. How to get relief?

Nov 2013
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Answered by

Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 5292 Questions
I wake up with a heavy head (and headache) every day.. irrespective of the room/city I sleep in. This is relieved on the days I take a a decongestant tablet - but it cant be very good to be taking this for weeks and months in a row.
what can i do to deal with the underlying problem?
Posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 in Headache and Migraines
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 40 minutes later
Thank you for contacting Healthcare magic.
The most likely cause for recurrent headaches could be migraine. In this condition, along with headaches, there may be nausea or vomiting. Headaches last for more than four hours, if no medicines are taken. Headache may increase in sunlight or with exposure to noise.
In this case, topiramate may be taken at a dose of 25-50 mg daily to prevent the recurrence of hedaches.
One should rule out other causes of headache, especially since you have headaches on waking up.
This would require:
1. Fundus examination by an eye specialist
2. MRI scan of the brain.
I hope it helps. Please get back if you have any more queries.
Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Waking up with a heavy head. Not cured by decongestant. How to get relief? 8 hours later
these waking-up headaches/heavy head usually disappear about an hour after I wake up - as long as I am not lying down in bed (i.e. I have to be vertical for an hour before it disappears.

Note that I do have migraines and whenever I feel the symptoms coming on, I take medication (rizatriptam 10mg). These waking up headache symptoms are not similar to my usual migraine-onset symptoms.

How long can I take topiramate (weeks, months, years)?
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 59 minutes later
Thank you for getting back with more details.
I feel if these headaches are different from your migraine headaches, then you should undergo the two examinations that I mentioned above- eye examination and MRi brain.
Regarding Topiramate, it can be used for as long as required (it is needed as long as a person with migraine has three or more episodes of headache per month).
Please get back if you have any further queries.
Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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