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Alternative Treatments to Ketorolac for Post-ECT Headaches?

Amnerys Camacho

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School: John Marshall High School Civic and Business Leadership
Internship Track: Health Horizons
Year 2018
Mentor: Nora Finnegan, RN, MSN, NP-C
Co-Mentor(s): Kimberly Cromer, RN
Department(s): Behavioral Health Administration
Abstract: Electroconvulsive therapy, which is known as ECT or electroshock therapy, is a widely-known treatment that has been proven to be exceptionally effective since the 1930s. It is a treatment for mood disorders such as major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia disorder. ECT is recommended when patients are unresponsive to talk therapy or medications such as antidepressants. Electroconvulsive therapy comes with very few side effects; the most common side effect is headaches following treatment. At Lutheran Hospital, post-treatment headaches are treated with ketorolac, but the drug carries a high risk of gastric bleeding if used consecutively for over 5 days. Our project was a literature review on treatments for post-ECT headaches that didn't have such a high risk for a patient's health. We conducted research to examine the methods used, and the percentages of headaches that occurred before and after being treated with ketorolac for headaches following ECT.