I was diagnosed by a spinal tap(done with fluoroscopy) with viral meningitis approximately 4 weeks ago. I am continuing to have severe headaches daily. Mostly I am able to control them, but it requires a large amount of caffeine. Usually my day plays out like this: I wake up with a headache, and I take 800 mg of ibuprofen with 2-3 cups of coffee. The pain subsides but comes back sometime in the middle of the day or early evening. At that time I take two Excedrin and have another cup of coffee. Before going to bed at night, the pain is usually back, but it's too early to take more Excedrin so I have another cup of coffee and another 800 mg of ibuprofen. I have not slept well because of the caffeine I drink before bed, but unfortunately having caffeine along with a pain reliever is the only thing I've found to work. I also do have a history of headaches and migraines, but the severity and frequency have increased after recovering from meningitis.
I have done a lot of research and spoken to my doctor 1 week after being released from the hospital, and I understand that the headaches after meningitis are very common. But I'm wondering if it would be beneficial to schedule another appointment with my doctor and explore other treatment options, or if I should wait it out a while yet and see if the headaches clear up in a few more weeks.
Treatment of post meningitis headache is the same as treatment of any other chronic daily headache. Medication rebound may be contributing to the aggravated headaches? If your headaches show no improvement, it would be better to consult a neurologist for a complete neurological examination, another lumbar puncture, if needed; to know whether CSF has returned to normal, and treatment. Excess of caffeine also leads to headaches. Please take your neurologist’s help for a specific treatment. Hope this helps you. Take care and regards!
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