Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a condition where the pressure inside your skull is higher than normal.
- Migraine medicine: This may help decrease how much CSF you produce. This will help relieve pressure in your skull.
- NSAIDs: These medicines decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs are available without a doctor's order. Ask your primary healthcare provider which medicine is right for you. Ask how much to take and when to take it. Take as directed. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding and kidney problems if not taken correctly.
- Acetaminophen: This medicine decreases pain. You can buy acetaminophen without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
- Diuretics: This medicine helps decrease extra fluid that collects in your body. This will help lower the pressure in your skull. Diuretics are often called water pills. You may urinate more often when you take this medicine.
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or specialist as directed:
You may need to return for eye exams every 10 to 14 days. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Ask your primary healthcare provider how much you should weigh. Ask him to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods: You may need to limit the amount of fats and salt you eat. You may also need to limit foods rich in vitamin A and tyramine. Foods rich in vitamin A include beef liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and leafy greens. Food and drinks that are high in tyramine include cheese, pepperoni, salami, beer, and wine. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.
- Drink liquids as directed: Ask your primary healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
Contact your primary healthcare provider or specialist if:
- You have a fever.
- Your headache gets worse or does not go away with treatment.
- Your vision loss does not improve with treatment.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have a severe headache.
- You suddenly cannot see.
- You are confused or cannot think clearly.
- You have a seizure.
- You have sudden neck pain or cannot move your arms or legs.
- You have trouble breathing all of a sudden.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.