Aspirin and poetry: Did João Cabral de Melo Neto suffer from acetylsalicylic acid-overuse headache?

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.48208/HeadacheMed.2023.36

Keywords:

Headache Disorders, Secondary, Aspirin, Poetry

Abstract

Introduction

João Cabral de Melo Neto is considered one of the most important Brazilian poets of all time. He suffered from severe headaches for the longest part of his life, being diagnosed with migraine. He took a significant amount of acetylsalicylic acid pills every day for many years.

Objective

The objective of this narrative review includes identifying how headache and its treatment influenced João Cabral de Melo Neto's poetry as well as analyzing the correlation between Melo Neto's migraine diagnosis and his documented overuse of aspirin and investigating the possibility of an acetylsalicylic acid-overuse headache diagnosis.

Methods

 The authors thoroughly read biographical books and interviews about the life of João Cabral de Melo Neto. They systematically documented all references to headaches and aspirin. Melo Neto's clinical case documented in his biography and interviews were juxtaposed with The International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-3) diagnostic criteria for acetylsalicylic acid-overuse headache diagnosis.

Results

The word “aspirin” appears 8 times in 6 of Melo Neto’s poems. He compares it to the sun, attributing to it the capacity to refocus a "blurred body" (his state during a headache). The poet reported that took one aspirin pill every hour every day, for several years.

Conclusions 

Headache and the use of acetylsalicylic acid influenced João Cabral de Melo Neto’s poetry and life. He presented a risk behavior for developing medication overuse headache, specifically its subform: acetylsalicylic acid-overuse headache.

 

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References

Headache Classification Committee of the International Headache Society (IHS) The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition. Cephalalgia 2018;38(1):1-211 Doi: 10.1177/0333102417738202 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0333102417738202

Castello J. João Cabral de Melo Neto: O Homem sem Alma. [s.l.] 272p. –3..Bertrand Brasil, 2006. Ignez M. Gentíssima: 28 entrevistas. 200p São Paulo: Ateliê Editorial, 2007.

Marques I. João Cabral de Melo Neto: Uma Biografia. 560p [s.l.] Todavia, 2021.

Silveira J. A milésima segunda noite da avenida Paulista. 113p São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2003. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17851/1982-0739.13.0.113-115

Melo Neto JC and Secchin AC. Poesia Completa. 896p Rio de Janeiro: Alfaguara, 2020.

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Published

2023-12-30

How to Cite

1.
Cardoso M, Meneses Neto P, Silva-Néto RP. Aspirin and poetry: Did João Cabral de Melo Neto suffer from acetylsalicylic acid-overuse headache?. Headache Med [Internet]. 2023 Dec. 30 [cited 2024 Apr. 19];14(4):203-5. Available from: https://headachemedicine.com.br/index.php/hm/article/view/1020

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Section

Review

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