"Handbook of Headache" - Review

by Teri Robert, MyMigraineConnection Lead Expert

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Review – “Handbook of Headache,” Second Edition

by Randolph W. Evans, MD, and Ninan T. Mathew, MD

Ranking: 5 stars out of 5


The cover says, "practical, easily readable guide to the diagnosis and management of headache patients, written with both primary care physicians and neurologists in mind." It fills that bill admirably. Having met Dr. Evans and knowing his dedication to patient education, I read the book and found what I expected. He and Dr. Mathew have written a book that's also quite appropriate for patients on a quest for education. A good medical dictionary will be helpful, but don't let that stop you.

Features of the Handbook of Headache

  • Sound information about relatively new drug treatments including Topamax (topiramate), Axert (almotriptan), Relpax (eletriptan), Frova (frovatriptan), Botox, (botulinum toxin), and Zanaflex (tizanidine).
  • Excellent information about when preventive therapies are appropriate, what medications are used and why, as well as sound information about specific preventive medications and their potential interactions with other medications.
  • An explanation of the rationale of copharmacy (the use of two or more medications) in preventive therapies.
  • 42 case studies highlighting diagnostic and treatment approaches in real-life scenarios.
  • A full chapter devoted to patient education materials and complementary therapies.
  • "The Headache Quiz," a question and answer review of material in the text, complete with references to the sections of the book where the answers can be found.
  • Good use of tables and illustrations.

What patients will need to get the most from this book


  1. A basic knowledge of headache and Migraine and the basics. I would rate this book "Intermediate Level." There are parts of it that get more scientific that most of us will be able to follow. However, it is more than worth reading for the sections that we can follow.
  2. A medical dictionary or access to an online headache and Migraine glossary.
  3. The desire to learn more about headaches and Migraine disease.
  4. Some peaceful, quiet time to read.
  5. A copy of the book would be helpful, of course!
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