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Diagnostic criteria:
  1. Headache, in a person affected by a primary headache disorder, and with the characteristics of that headache type, fulfilling criterion C
  2. Absorption of a nitric oxide (NO) donor has occurred
  3. Evidence of causation demonstrated by both of the following:
    1. headache has developed within 2-12 hours after exposure to the NO donor, and after NO is cleared from the blood
    2. headache has resolved within 72 hours after exposure
  4. Not better accounted for by another ICHD-3 diagnosis1.

Phenomenologically, Delayed NO donor-induced headache resembles the patient’s primary headache type, but is regarded as secondary, attributed to the drug. The patient should be coded both for the primary headache and Delayed NO donor-induced headache.


While Delayed NO donor-induced headache occurs only in a person affected by a primary headache disorder and phenomenologically resembles that headache type, it is presumed that it is mechanistically distinct.