ZocdocAnswersMy sister has had an awful headache for over 48 hours. Should she should go to the ER?

Question

My sister has had an awful headache for over 48 hours. Should she should go to the ER?

It's on the left tempel, and is a sharp stabbing pain. She's taken almost a full bottel of ib profin in the last few days and it hasn't helped at all. She says on a scale of 1-10 (10 being child birth wit no drugs) it's an 8. i'm worried about her. Her doctor's not in till tuesday. Also she has a bad tooth with some jaw pain.

Answer

When a headache, or any symptom, persists for longer than the normal amount of time, you should speak with your doctor to make sure that there is nothing more serious that is causing your symptoms. It may be that she has had headaches like this before and it takes a period of time for them to improve, and she has discussed this in the past with her doctor, then it would be less likely to be something concerning. If, on the other hand, this is the worst headache of her life or has persisted well beyond any other headache that she has ever had, then it is more likely to be something that she needs to see a physician for, perhaps even emergently. The fact that you mention that she also has a bad tooth and some jaw pain could provide an extra clue, as jaw pain could indicate a tooth infection. In some cases, bad tooth infections can have headache symptoms that can be on the side of the infection and can be indicative that something needs to be done to stop the infection and treat the tooth. Waiting for her doctor to return may be too long, but please speak with your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.