Keeping a headache diary

A headache diary can be valuable in helping you and your doctor diagnose and treat your headaches. You can use it to map out the characteristics of your headaches, including their frequency, duration, and intensity. A diary can also help identify possible triggers and related symptoms, as well as track the dosage and effectiveness of any medications you're taking.

There are many ways to keep a headache diary. You can record this information on a preprinted form like the one below, or on a regular calendar or notebook to. Or you can download a headache app and use it on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Your doctor may recommend keeping such a diary every day for a week, a month, or the duration of your treatment. He or she may review the diary with you to assess your progress, weigh the effectiveness of medications, or make adjustments in your treatment plan.

Headache diary

Feel free to reproduce this diary for your own use. You can also download a formatted copy.

First episode

Second episode

Third episode

Date/day of the week of headache

Time of onset

Time of resolution

Warning signs

Location(s) of the pain

Type of pain

Intensity of the pain  *

Additional symptoms

Activities/circumstances at time of onset

Time of most recent meal prior to onset

Food/drink most recently consumed prior to onset

Medication(s) taken for headache

Response to medication(s)

Other action(s) taken for relief

Response to action(s)

Last menstrual period  **

Medication(s) currently taken for other condition(s)

* On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain possible

** Beginning date and ending date