(HealthDay News) – The top five headache-related issues that physicians and patients should question have been released by the American Headache Society (AHS) as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, and published online Oct. 29 in Headache.

Elizabeth Loder, MD, MPH, president of the AHS, and colleagues from the AHS Choosing Wisely Task Force developed a list of items of low-value care in headache medicine. The final items were selected from candidate topics based on commonly encountered situations in headache medicine associated with poor patient outcomes, low-value care, or resource misuse or overuse.

The top five recommendations are: (1) avoiding neuroimaging studies in patients with stable headaches that meet the criteria for migraine; (2) except for emergency situations, computed tomography should not be performed for headache when magnetic resonance imaging is available; (3) outside of a clinical trial, surgical deactivation of migraine trigger points is not recommended; (4) opioids or butalbital-containing mediations should not be prescribed as first-line treatment for recurrent headache disorders; and (5) prolonged or frequent use of over-the-counter pain medication is not recommended for headache.

“The recommendations in migraine and headache treatment released today provide valuable information to help patients and physicians start important conversations about treatment options and make wise choices,” Loder said in a statement.

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