Neurology - School of Medicine Dundee

Part of the School of Dundee and NHS Tayside


This webpage is an overview of headache, mainly for GPs and other health professionals. Some links are only hosted on the NHS Tayside intranet and will not be available from other computers.


Headache is a ubiquitous condition.The basis of diagnosis is a good history and examination of the patient.

Our new headache pathway to assist diagnosis and management can be found here

Most headaches are mild and transient and spontaneously resolve. Where headaches persist or are severe, look for red flag symptoms and signs. Additional guidance can be found here


Common referrals

Many patients who attend clinic have medication overuse, which is easily treated in General Practice.

Patients are often referred with frequent migraine have been referred without trying at least 3 preventative medications for appropriate periods. Guidance on medication prophylaxis is available from the SIGN guidelines website here.

A template for referral to the headache service can be found here


Management advice

Information leaflets to help with management of headache in General Practice are available here.

Cluster headaches

Migraine diagnosis and management

Primary care access to CT scanning for headache

Tension type headache

Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias