Post-traumatic Headache: Pharmacologic Management and Targeting CGRP Signaling

Håkan Ashina, David W. Dodick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Post-traumatic headache is a common sequela of injury to the head and/or neck. Here, we review the current approach to pharmacologic management of post-traumatic headache and explore the therapeutic promise of targeting calcitonin gene–related peptide signaling to address unmet treatment needs. Recent Findings: The scarcity of data from controlled trials has left clinicians to rely on mainly expert opinion for the pharmacologic management of post-traumatic headache. The current view is that a phenotype-guided approach should be used, in which patients are treated according to the primary headache phenotype that their clinical features resemble the most (e.g. migraine, tension-type headache). Moreover, incremental advances are being made in the field that aim to identify possible cellular and molecular drivers of headache persistence. Calcitonin gene–related peptide has emerged as a key drug target which, in turn, has prompted novel insights on the potential importance of early initiation of pharmacologic treatment following the onset of post-traumatic headache. This, in turn, might prevent subsequent persistence and chronification of headache.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-111
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent neurology and neuroscience reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Concussion
  • Secondary headache disorders
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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