IV therapy for post-concussive headaches
Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the relative efficacy of an intravenous therapy for post-concussive headaches in a pediatric population, as compared to oral therapy.
Background: Post traumatic headache is extremely common in the acute and chronic phases after concussion. To date, there is still not significant evidence-based treatment protocols defined for treatment.
Design/methods: Pediatric patients who were treated for post-concussive headaches at an outpatient infusion clinic from 2016 to 2018 were selected for inclusion in the study. Clinic visits before and after infusions were reviewed to determine changes in headache score (HA), symptom severity score (SSS), and self-reported symptom relief. The control group received only oral therapy for their headaches. The infusion consisted of parenteral ketorolac, compazine, diphenhydramine, and a normal saline bolus (20 mg/kg). Of the 95 patients who were treated in clinic, 53 patients were selected for a retrospective chart review.
Results: Following infusion therapy, overall mean HA and SSS scores were both reduced (1.6346, SD 1.8997, p < 0.0001 and 23.0385, SD 29.4971, p < 0.0001 respectively). Oral therapy demonstrated a similar mean overall reduction in HA and SS scores (1.4151, SD 1.4992, p < 0.0001 and 25.4906, SD 30.2042, p < 0.0001). While both groups achieved a reduction in HA and SS scores, there was not a statistically significant difference in reduction of symptoms scores between the oral and infusion groups.
Conclusions: Infusion therapy is as effective at reducing HA and SSS as established oral therapies. It is hypothesized that infusion therapy may have a shorter time to headache abortion than oral therapy based on pharmacokinetics. Further, some physicians are unwilling to allow an athlete to return to play while taking suppressive medication. Future studies may show that an infusion could allow a more rapid return to play and resolution of symptoms.
Pate J, Mooney J, Katz E, Chandler McLeod M, Gould S. Efficacy of Outpatient Infusion Therapy in Pediatric Patients With Post-Concussive Headaches. Neurology. 2022 Jan 4;98(1 Supplement 1):S14-S15. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000801868.92092.d9. PMID: 34969907.