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Concussion

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

A concussion is a mild brain injury. It is usually caused by a bump or blow to the head from a fall, a motor vehicle crash, or a sports injury. Being shaken forcefully may cause a concussion.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US), or have someone call if:

  • You cannot be woken.
  • You have a seizure, increasing confusion, or a change in personality.
  • Your speech becomes slurred.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have sudden or new vision problems.
  • One of your pupils is bigger than the other.
  • You have a severe headache that does not go away.
  • You have arm or leg weakness, numbness, or new problems with coordination.
  • You have blood or clear fluid coming out of the ears or nose.
  • You cannot stop vomiting.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have nausea or are vomiting.
  • You feel more sleepy than usual.
  • Your symptoms get worse.
  • Your symptoms last longer than 6 weeks.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Anti-nausea medicine may be given to treat nausea and vomiting.
  • Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines you are using to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell your provider 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.

Self-care:

Concussion symptoms usually go away within 10 days, but they may last longer. The following may be recommended to manage your symptoms:

  • Rest from physical and mental activities as directed. Mental activities are those that require thinking, concentration, and attention. You will need to rest until your symptoms are gone. Rest will allow you to recover from your concussion. Ask your healthcare provider when you can return to work and other daily activities.
  • Have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours after your injury. Your healthcare provider should be contacted if your symptoms get worse, or you develop new symptoms.
  • Do not participate in sports and physical activities until your healthcare provider says it is okay. These can make your symptoms worse or lead to another concussion. Your healthcare provider will tell you when it is okay for you to return to sports or physical activities. Ask for more information about sports concussions.
  • Do not use heavy machinery or drive for 24 hours after your injury, or as directed. This can be dangerous and cause a serious accident. Your healthcare provider will tell you when it is safe for you to return to these activities.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

Prevent another concussion:

  • Wear protective sports equipment that fits properly. Helmets help lower your risk for a serious brain injury. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways you can decrease your risk for a concussion if you play sports.
  • Wear your seatbelt every time you travel. This helps lower your risk for a head injury if you are in a car accident.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

For more information:

  • Brain Injury Association
    1608 Spring Hill Road
    Vienna , VA 22182
    Phone: 1- 703 - 761-0750
    Phone: 1- 800 - 444-6443
    Web Address: http://www.biausa.org

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.