Platzhalter Titelbild PTA© DIE PTA IN DER APOTHEKE

English for PTA


A headache is a symptom of pain in the face, head, or neck. A headache can occur as migraine, tension-type headache, or cluster headache. There are more than 200 different types of headaches ranging from the harmless to the life-threatening.

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Seite 1/1 4 Minuten

Headaches are broadly classified into primary and secondary types. Primary headaches, for example migraine, are benign, recurrent headaches not caused by underlying disease or structural problems. Although anyone who has ever had a migraine will tell you that it does not feel “benign”, and may cause considerable pain and discomfort, it is not dangerous from a physiological of view. Secondary headaches are caused by an underlying disease, such as meningitis, or by injury, such as severe traumatic brain injury. Another example is acute congestive glaucoma. Approximately 90 percent of headaches are primary.

Female pharmacy customer: Good morning, do you speak English?

PTA: Hello. Yes, I do. How may I help?
Can you recommend an over-the-counter medication for migraine?

Of course, but are you sure it is a migraine?
Oh absolutely! I was diagnosed years ago and know what it feels like. I should have come sooner. I have already had the prodrome phase, you know – problems concentrating, food cravings, that kind of thing. I simply didn’t have the chance to get away from a meeting. I didn’t even have any ibuprofen in my handbag! As soon as I saw zigzag lights in my field of vision, I knew that a migraine was on the way.

Okay. We have this fast acting medication for use in acute cases that should help. Before I give it to you, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?
As long as they are not too personal!

You are not pregnant, are you?
No, I am not.

Are you taking any other medication such as Ergotamine, antidepressantss or St. John’s wort?
No, nothing like that.

Good, well this should quickly help you.
It’s a very small package!

Yes, there are only two tablets in it.
Oh, I see.

Would you like a glass of water so that you can take the tablet as soon as possible?
Yes, please. That is very kind of you.

No problem. Here you are. Have you considered keeping a migraine journal?
No, I’ve never really thought about that to be honest.

Certain things or situations often trigger migraine. When I had migraine attacks, the journal helped me to identify if anything I had done, or what I had to eat or drink might have triggered the migraine. With me, it turned out to be too much caffeine! But it could be anything, stress, loud noises, bright light, soya and lots of other things!
Now that is I good idea, I think I’ll do that! Thank you so much!

You are welcome. Good bye.

You can find this article on page 104 in DIE PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 05/2022.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker

tension-type headacheSpannungskopfschmerzen
underlying diseaseGrunderkrankung
meningitisMeningitis, Hirnhautentzündung
severe traumatic brain injuryschweres Schädel-Hirn-Trauma
acute congestive glaucomaEngwinkelglaukom
approximatelyzirka, ungefähr
prodromeProdrom; Frühsymptom einer Erkrankung
food cravingsHeißhungerattacken
field of visionGesichtsfeld
St. John’s wortJohanniskraut