In this section we will cover headache coping strategies. Unfortunately, light to severe headaches may be caused as a result of using Gleevec. The good news is that there are many different things that you can do to alleviate your pain.  For starters you can try over-the-counter pills and liquids such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil and Aleve. If the over-the-counter pain relievers don’t work for you, there are some stronger prescription options that you and your physician can discuss to alleviate your headaches caused by your GIST treatment. Pain relievers come in the form of pills, patches, IV, and injection depending upon the type of pain reliever your doctor feels is right for your situation.
If you prefer not to take any medication there are natural methods to try and control the pain you are experiencing from your headache.

Suggested Headache Coping Strategies:

  • Acupressure and acupuncture are two holistic ways that have been shown to alleviate headaches and other types of pain or discomfort.
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Simulation (TENS) has also been shown to greatly help those suffering from headaches while undergoing cancer treatment.
  • “Comfort therapy” can also be used to control headaches. This kind of therapy includes hot/cold application, meditation, exercise, imagery and companionship.
  • Distraction has also been shown to be helpful in some instances. Try to sing, count, watch a television program, call someone, take a walk, or do anything that will possibly allow you to forget your headache by focusing on something else.

Talk to your doctor about managing your headaches so that the two of you can create a plan together to alleviate your pain.

Helpful Sites

StopPain.org

LRG Staff
Author: LRG Staff