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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for constant headache

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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3132 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 in Headache and Migraines
Question: I have a constant headache that started Wednesday morning. I went to the ER an was told it was probably the flu even though a nose swab was negative. I tried eating yesterday and vomited it all up this morning followed by dry heaves. I have no cough, no sinus congestion, no cold-like symptoms. How long can I expect this to continue if it is the flu?
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 33 minutes later
Brief Answer:
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Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX

This does not sound like influenza to me. Influenza is notable for a cough and fever - and usually body aches and symptoms of a really bad cold and sometimes headache. As influenza is caused by a respiratory virus, it is a respiratory infection, so there is a cough and almost always a fever.

So this does not sound like flu to me.

I don't know if the vomiting is from the medicines you were given or the headache - both are possible. Migrainous headaches are especially prone to causing nausea, but any headache if long enough or severe enough can cause nausea. So can the meds you were given, though.

I think you need further evaluation of this headache. If you have never had a headache like this before, it warrants imaging studies (such as CT or MRI).

I will assume you are not having excessively high blood pressure as (hopefully) the ER staff would have noted that.

Here is what I recommend:
If the headache is tolerable, call your doctor's office first thing tomorrow and ask to talk with your doctor's nurse. Tell him or her this history. Request to be seen promptly.

If the headache is severe still, or you continue to have nausea, go back to the ER. If there is a university ER near you, that may be your best bet in terms of getting knowledgeable staff to evaluate you.

But, I agree - this does not sound like influenza.


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