Often times, people will use medication to treat headaches and migraines, which can actually cause a boomerang effect. Your daily routine could go something like this: you have a migraine, you take a pill. A day later, you have another migraine, so you take another pill. After several days or weeks of this cycle, you get a dull, chronic, aching head.
A rebound migraine is also known as a medication overuse or analgesic rebounds. They occur because ongoing use of pain relievers “rewires” the pain pathways in your brain. They are actually pretty common though, as 50% of migraines and 25% of headaches are thought to be “rebounds”. However, these are relatively easy to treat once you’re aware of the problem.
Who is at risk?
- Taking pain medication for headache or migraine daily or almost every day
- Taking pain medications containing caffeine or butalbital
- Having a previous history of rebound migraines
How to prevent a rebound migraine:
- If you suffer from frequent migraines, talk to your doctors to see if medication to prevent the migraine before it starts would be a better option.
- Ask about other treatment approaches such as antidepressants, which have been shown to ease migraine pain.
- Limit your use of pain relievers. Over-the-counter pain medicine should only be used 15 or fewer days a month.
Weaning off Pain Relievers
- If you have a rebound migraine or suspect your medication is causing a migraine-type headache, talk to your doctor. The best choice may be to stop taking the medications you have been using and discuss with your doctor about when to start again. Your headache may get worse, along with possible side effects, but should subside after a few days. Always talk with your doctor first. You can also explore options for migraine management without pain relievers by addressing underlying problems such as insomnia, or stress management techniques.
If you suffer from migraines and are looking for other treatment options, consider a clinical research study with Pharmasite Research. Fill in the form below and a study representative will be in touch with you shortly to discuss your qualifications for the study.