2022 Volume 7 Issue 1 Pages 1-7
Kampo (Japanese herbal) medicine has been empirically prescribed as an acute treatment for primary headaches, but the evidence of its efficacy is insufficient. Therefore, we retrospectively investigated the effect of Kampo medicine on primary headaches at one week and discussed how Kampo medicine alleviates headaches, also considering previous articles. We prescribed, as needed, kakkonto (TJ–1) for 223 tension–type headaches, goshuyuto (TJ–31) for 93 migraines with or without aura and those associated with the menopausal disorder, goreisan (TJ–17) for 71 migraines with edema, dehydration (Suidoku; unbalance of water distribution in Kampo medicine theory), or associated with weather conditions, and non–steroidal anti–inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for 162 primary headaches between 2015 and 2019 in Kesennuma City Hospital. In total, 92.0% of subjective symptoms improved after one week. The ratio of improvement was not significantly different between each Kampo medicine and NSAIDs. The follow–up period was as short as one week, and it was difficult to judge whether the improvement was due to the medication, placebo effect, or spontaneous remission. However, our results suggest that Kampo medicine could be an alternative medication for the acute treatment of primary headaches. Our strategy could be applied to the clinical practice of primary headaches.