Headache Types

Headache Types

Paroxysmal Hemicrania

Medically reviewed by Dr. Emma Foster, 17 May 2021

Paroxysmal hemicrania causes sudden attacks of severe pain on one side of the head, affecting the area around or above the eye, or over the temple. It is generally associated with redness or tearing of the eyes, a drooping or swollen eyelid, stuffy nose (nasal congestion), and sweating. The attacks last 2-30 minutes and occur more than five times a day. Paroxysmal hemicrania can occur in episodes, with periods of remission lasting longer than 3 months. It can also appear in a chronic form where people experience very short periods of remission or none at all without treatment. Fortunately, paroxysmal hemicrania can be completely treated by therapeutic doses of indomethacin. Indomethacin completely relieves symptoms.

Paroxysmal hemicrania belongs to a category of primary headache disorders called ‘trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (TACs)‘.


Further information

Other trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (TACs):

Cluster headache

Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks

Hemicrania continua

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