Reader’s Mail: Post-Meningitis Headaches May Need Further Evaluation

Q. My daughter, who is 15 years old, had viral meningitis in August, and although the meningitis is gone, she continues to have daily headaches. The doctors continue to contribute these headaches to the meningitis and say it will take time. The pediatric neurologist just wants to continue medicating her, which is not really helping her. The doctor does not want her to take Advil or Tylenol due to the chance of rebound headaches. She is on Elavil, 37.5mg daily, and Fiorinal for pain. The narcotics make her sleep 12 hours but do nothing for pain.

I do not know what else to do for her. We went to the emergency room two weeks ago with severe pain. The ER doctors put her on an IV of Toradol, Reglan and Benadryl, which after several hours did alleviate the pain. Is there any research regarding post-meningitis headaches and treatments, and is there anything else that can be causing these headaches, or is it truly a migraine? Continue Reading

Ibuprofen Effective for Many Migraineurs

About half of people with migraine who take ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, etc.) will get relief, according to a systematic review of nine studies with a combined total of 4,373 participants. In the studies, just over one-fourth of those who took 400 mgs., and 20% of those who took a 200-mg. dose, were pain-free in two hours compared to 11% of people who took a placebo. Another 57% of those who took the higher dose had their pain reduced to “no worse than mild.” Nausea and other migraine-related symptoms also decreased. Continue Reading



Ibuprofen is an analgesic. It is classified as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, commonly referred to as NSAIDS. Other NSAIDS are also used as analgesics. Ibuprofen can be used as a pain reliever or analgesic. It can also be used as a treatment for arthritis, fever or other conditions where inflammation plays a role in creating the symptoms. Unlike steroids, the side effects with ibuprofen are not as likely to be common or severe. The most common side effects include stomach upset, dizziness and tiredness. It may make stomach ulcers worse or cause upper gastrointestinal bleeding. It can have effects on kidney and liver functioning when used chronically. The frequent use of NSAIDs can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Studies with this agent have demonstrated it to be effective in tension-type headache. Other NSAIDS have been shown to be effective in migraine both for prevention of migraine as well as treating the acute migraine attack. Ibuprofen is available over the counter at a reduced dose from the prescription form of t
he medication. A variety of trade names are used including Advil®, Motrin® and Nuprin®.