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I just had an esi done in my lower lumbar. I have a really bad headache. Can I take an imetrix?

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DzooBaby 31 Mar 2016

You need to call the Dr who did your injection, this is likely a side effect of the injection. It is due to cerebral spinal fluid pressure changes (or changes in intracranial pressure), it may be that after the injection, the epidural space did not seal completely (think of it the same as having an IV pulled out, sometimes it can bleed a long time after it is removed if pressure is not applied for long enough time or how it can open and bleed again a few hours after it has seemed to stop-same principle but little different area, different fluid) and small leaks of spinal fluid will give you a headache. On occasion, they need to inject what they call a "blood patch" (at least I think they still do this on occasion) to seal the area but usually it will seal on its own in 12-24 hours, All they do it draw a little blood and then inject it into the same area to "seal the hole" per say. I doubt seriously that you will need that, but it is a possibility especially if the little "hole" made at the injection site of the epidural space doesnt seal on its own. You'd likely be wasting a dose of Imitrex doing this. It probably wont help. It can help to lay down flat on your back, maybe with a small throw pillow and an ice pack-you should be icing the area anyway-under your lower back, if you can stand to lay that way, if not remove the pillow, just laying down helps put pressure where it needs to be and laying down may help to relieve the pain because laying down changes intracranial pressure. But do call your Dr so he can evaluate how bad your headache is and if you need to be seen again for further treatment. I have had this before, too, after ESI, my headache went away by morning thank goodness, they are annoyingly painful and sometimes pounding very much like a migraine but on both sides of your head! You can use some acetaminophen (Tylenol) if you want, it may help a little but dont expect it to go away. More than likely you'll be fine tomorrow. If your headache is pretty mild, you can wait til morning to call. By morning your body will have replaced the fluid that leaked and the "hole" will seal on its own especially if you lay down. Once your intracranial pressure returns to normal, you will have no more headache. I wish you good luck and pain relief in your spine from the ESI-I never had much luck with them but they work good for some!

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