Episodic paroxysmal hemicrania digital illustration

Episodic paroxysmal hemicrania Save

ICD-10 code: G44.03

Chapter: Diseases of the nervous system

Understanding Episodic Paroxysmal Hemicrania: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Episodic paroxysmal hemicrania (EPH) is a rare type of headache disorder that causes intense, sharp pain on one side of the head. The condition is characterized by short, frequent episodes of pain that can last from a few minutes to several hours. EPH is more common in women than men and typically begins in early adulthood.

  1. Symptoms of EPH
  2. The primary symptom of EPH is severe, throbbing pain on one side of the head that can be accompanied by eye and nasal congestion, tearing, and sensitivity to light and sound. Episodes of pain can occur multiple times a day, often waking people from sleep. The duration of pain can vary from a few minutes to several hours, and the frequency of episodes can range from a few times a day to several times a week.

  3. Causes of EPH
  4. The exact cause of EPH is unknown, but it is thought to be related to dysfunction in the trigeminal nerve, a major nerve in the face that transmits sensation from the head and face to the brain. The condition is also associated with changes in the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, including serotonin and histamine.

  5. Treatment of EPH
  6. There is no cure for EPH, but the condition can be managed with medication. The most effective treatment for EPH is indomethacin, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that has been shown to alleviate symptoms in most people with the condition. Other medications, including corticosteroids and anti-seizure drugs, may also be used to manage symptoms.

People with EPH may also benefit from lifestyle changes, such as getting enough sleep, avoiding triggers like alcohol and stress, and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of EPH, it is important to consult a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.


Episodic paroxysmal hemicrania is a rare headache disorder that can cause severe, debilitating pain on one side of the head. While there is no cure for EPH, medication and lifestyle changes can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. If you are experiencing symptoms of EPH, don't hesitate to seek medical attention and get the support you need.