Stopping the vicious cycle of rebound headaches

Rebound complications, also referred to as treatment overuse complications, are brought on by the frequent or extreme use of pain-relieving and/or antimigraine medicine to deal with headache assaults which can be already in progress. (Be aware that these are usually not the identical as oral prophylactic or preventive medicines, which ought to be taken every day.) In different phrases, the identical medicines that originally relieve headache ache can themselves set off subsequent complications if they’re used too usually. Treatment overuse complications will be disabling, forcing individuals with this situation to take sick go away and to be much less productive at work and residential.

To be recognized with treatment overuse complications, an individual should expertise complications on greater than 15 days per 30 days for not less than three months whereas taking ache relieving and/or antimigraine medicine. Along with headache, different signs can embrace nausea, vomiting, mild sensitivity, sound sensitivity, irritability, issue concentrating, insomnia, restlessness, and constipation.

Treatment overuse headache is a standard headache dysfunction. Roughly one to 2 out of each 100 individuals has skilled treatment overuse headache prior to now yr. This headache is extra frequent in girls, and in individuals with power ache situations and who’ve melancholy and nervousness.

Treatment, then treatment overuse headache: a vicious cycle

Ache relieving or antimigraine medicines might cease headache assault when taken as wanted to alleviate headache. But when an individual with a main headache dysfunction, similar to migraine or tension-type headache, takes these headache-relieving medicines greater than two to a few days per week, they could set off treatment overuse headache.

Quite a lot of medicines can result in rebound complications. For instance, individuals with migraine who take over-the-counter pain-relieving medicines similar to acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve) on greater than 15 days per 30 days are in danger for treatment overuse headache. So are individuals who take mixture medicines similar to Excedrin, which incorporates caffeine, aspirin, and acetaminophen; individuals who take mixture medicines that include the barbiturate butalbital; and those that take triptans, together with sumatriptan (Imitrex), ergots, or opioids, in the event that they take these medicines on greater than 10 days per 30 days. Actually, butalbital-containing medicines and opioids have been proven to extend the danger of an individual’s migraine progressing from episodic (occurring zero to 14 days per 30 days) to power (occurring 15 or extra days per 30 days).

Apparently, the identical pain-relieving medicines taken for different situations similar to again ache, neck ache, or arthritis often don’t set off treatment overuse headache in individuals with out a pre-existing main headache dysfunction.

Treating rebound complications

Treatment overuse complications often cease when an individual stops taking the headache treatment. It might be troublesome at first, as a result of when you cease your treatment, your headache is prone to worsen earlier than it will get higher. However medicines that stop complications, and nonmedical therapies similar to biofeedback and avoiding headache triggers, can assist get an individual by this treatment withdrawal interval.

Some headache medicines will be discontinued abruptly, whereas others might must be tapered slowly. For instance, following long-term use, opioids and butalbital-containing medicines shouldn’t be stopped abruptly. Doing so might result in withdrawal signs similar to sweating, shaking, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, physique aches, nervousness, irritability, or runny nostril. Abrupt discontinuation of butalbital might end in seizures. Some individuals might profit from discontinuing these medicines in an inpatient setting. If you’re taking opioids or butalbital-containing medicines, speak to your physician.

How can I stop rebound complications?

The next steps can assist stave off rebound complications.

  • Restrict using any headache medicines taken as wanted to alleviate headache ache to not more than two to a few days per per week (or lower than 10 days per 30 days).
  • Contact your physician if it is advisable take headache medicines greater than two days per week.
  • Contact your physician in case you have headache greater than 4 days per 30 days. You might must be on headache preventive treatment.
  • Keep away from utilizing butalbital-containing medicines or opioids.
  • Management and keep away from something that triggers your complications. Frequent triggers embrace dehydration, starvation, lack of sleep, stress, and sure meals and drinks.

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