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Previously used term:

Hangover headache.


Headache caused, after a delay of hours, by ingestion of alcohol (usually in the form of alcoholic beverages). It resolves spontaneously within 72 hours.

Diagnostic criteria:
  1. Any headache fulfilling criterion C
  2. Alcohol has been ingested
  3. Evidence of causation demonstrated by all of the following:
    1. headache has developed within 5-12 hours after ingestion of alcohol
    2. headache has resolved within 72 hours of onset
    3. headache has at least one of the following three characteristics:
      • a) bilateral
      • b) pulsating quality
      • c) aggravated by physical activity
  4. Not better accounted for by another ICHD-3 diagnosis.
Comment: Delayed alcohol-induced headache is one of the commonest secondary headaches. Whether the delayed headache is a toxic effect or a manifestation of mechanisms similar to those in Delayed NO donor-induced headache is an unresolved question.