Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate differences in clinical, psychological, and psychophysical outcomes according to use of prophylactic medication (amitriptyline) in tension-type headache (TTH). Methods: In total, 173 individuals with TTH participated. Headache features and symptomatic medication intake were collected with a 4-weeks headache diary at baseline and at 6-months. Burden of headache (Headache Disability Inventory-HDI), sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index-PSQI), anxiety/depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-HADS), and trait/state anxiety levels (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-STAI) were also assessed at baseline. Pressure pain thresholds (PPT) were assessed over the temporalis, C5-C6 joint, second metacarpal, and tibialis anterior at baseline. Differences between participants taking or not taking prophylactic medication based on self-perceived effectiveness of the medication on headache characteristics were assessed. Results: In total, 49 (28%) reported taking prophylactic medication for the headaches (amitriptyline: 100%). From these, 11 (23%) reported no effect, 25 (51%) reported moderate effect, and 13 (26%) reported positive effect with medication. Patients taking prophylactic medication had longer headache history, higher frequency of headaches (61% CTTH), higher headache burden, worse quality of sleep, and higher depression than those not taking medication. Prophylactic medication was less effective in patients with generalized pressure pain hyperalgesia. No other significant differences were found. Conclusions: Prophylactic medication is used by TTH patients with higher headache frequency, higher headache burden, worse sleep quality, and higher depression. Lower effectiveness of prophylactic amitriptyline was associated with widespread pain hyperalgesia.
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