Is Your Headache Medication Causing Your Headaches?

Of the 45 million people who experience chronic headaches the vast majority are women between the ages of 20 and 45 years old, often juggling a young family, job and other commitments.  There are various types of headaches -- migraine, sinus, tension, stress, cluster, and rebound headaches.  Headache triggers include stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, and types of food such as chocolate, red wine, aged cheeses. 

Headache sufferers self-medicate to get rid of the pain and continue to function. Taking a couple aspirin, Advil, Motrin, or Excedrin becomes a habit. Did you know that frequent treatment of headaches with over-the-counter and even prescriptionpain medicine can trigger an analgesic rebound or “medication overuseheadache”?  With rebound headaches, once you take medication to relieve the headache, a few hours later the headache is back and might be worse so you take more medication, and on it goes. If you take pain medication more than 10 times per month you are at risk of experiencing rebound headaches.

The first step in treatment and prevention of rebound headache is to stop the frequently used medication, but this should always be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Do not hesitate to talk with your health provider about headaches that are impacting your quality of life.  It may be “just a headache” to others, but it can rob you of accomplishing things and enjoying the life you have.

If you suffer from headaches talk to your health provider. They will help you understand what type of headache you are having and map out a treatment plan that’s right for you – you deserve relief!

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