Delayed alcohol-induced headache

Previously used term:
Hangover headache.

Headache caused, after a delay of hours, by ingestion of alcohol (usually in the form of alcoholic beverages). It resolves spontaneously within 72 hours.

Diagnostic criteria:
A. Any headache fulfilling criterion C
B. Alcohol has been ingested
C. Evidence of causation demonstrated by all of the following:

    1. headache has developed within 5-12 hr after ingestion of alcohol
    2. headache has resolved within 72 hr of onset
    3. headache has at least one of the following three characteristics:

      a) bilateral
      b) pulsating quality
      c) aggravated by physical activity

D. Not better accounted for by another ICHD-3 diagnosis.

Comment: Delayed alcohol-induced headache is one of the commonest types of secondary headache. It remains unclear whether additional substances play a role, such as nicotine in cigarette smoke, which is often inhaled at the same time as alcohol ingestion. Whether the delayed headache is a toxic effect or a manifestation of mechanisms similar to those in Delayed NO donor-induced headache is an unresolved question.