Overmedicating And Rebound Headache
People who are prone to having headaches may develop a pattern of daily or almost-daily headaches. In some people, migraine-type headache attacks may become so frequent that they finally blend together with no clear-cut beginning or end. In both of these cases, the development of more severe or frequent headaches may actually be caused from taking headache relief medications too frequently. Daily or almost daily use of over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, narcotics, barbiturates and caffeine-containing medications; or prescription medications such as the triptans, appears to interfere with the brain centers that regulate the flow of pain messages to the nervous system and may make your headache worse. In addition, overmedicating interferes with the effectiveness of prescribed preventive medications.
Rebound headaches may result from taking prescription or nonprescription pain relievers more than two days a week. If prescription or nonprescription abortives are overused, the headaches may rebound as the last dose wears off, leading you to take more and more medication and actually aggravate the pain. When the medications are no longer taken, headache pain will likely improve over a period of 6 to 12 weeks.
There Are Three Categories Of Preventive Medication:
These drugs treat high blood pressure, as well as migraine. Beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and angiotensin receptor blockers are forms of antihypertensive drugs used for migraine prevention.
Certain anticonvulsants can prevent migraine. Topiramate is a commonly used anticonvulsant for migraine prevention.
In addition to treating depression, antidepressantssuch as amitriptyline and venlafaxinecan be an effective preventive treatment for migraine.
Avoid Opioids For Migraine
Many people with migraine are given;strong painkillers, called opioids, to treat migraines. Examples of opioid painkillers available in New Zealand include codeine, tramadol, morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl and pethidine. However, opioids are not preferred;to relieve migraines for the following reasons:
- They can make headaches worse. Using opioids for migraine can cause more headaches and chronic migraines than you had to begin with. This is called medication-overuse headache. It is possible with all pain medicines, but is more likely with opioids.
- They are not as effective as other migraine medicines.;There are medicines that are better than opioids to reduce the number of migraines you have and how severe they are. This includes medicines called triptans, which work directly on the blood vessels in your head to relieve the pain from migraine.
- They can be harmful.;Opioids are strong medicines that may cause you harm, including dependence and addiction. Opioids can cause serious withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them suddenly. People who use high doses for a long time may need to go to hospital;while they stop using them. Opioids, even at low doses, can make you feel sleepy or dizzy. Other side effects include constipation and nausea. Using them for a long time can lower your sex drive and cause depression and sleep problems.
Opioids may be needed in some instances.
Read more: Treating migraine headaches some drugs should rarely be used Choose Wisely, NZ
You May Like: Can New Glasses Give You A Migraine
Consulting A Headache Specialist
Because of the numerous forms of medication that exist for the treatment of migraine, Dr. Michael says the best thing a patient can do is consult a headache specialist.
The best way to manage migraine is to work closely with a headache specialist to come up with a clear acute and preventive plan, she says.
Dr. Michael advises patients to bring a list of prior medications theyve tried, the dosage or each, and the length of time they were taken, to their appointment so that their headache specialist will have a better picture of what has and hasnt worked in the past.
Which Medications Are Used For Preventing Migraines
Preventative therapy should be considered for patients who suffer from recurrent migraines that cause significant disability, frequent migraines that require treatment more than twice a week, or migraines that do not respond or respond poorly to symptomatic treatments. Currently there are no drugs that specifically target and prevent migraines. Certain blood pressure medications as well as some antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, and herbals have been shown to have beneficial effects in preventing migraine headaches. It’s important to understand that prophylactic medicines may not produce any significant benefits right away and maximal effects may not be seen for weeks to up to 6 months.
Although a number of medications have been used for the prevention of migraines, the medications that have been shown to be effective in controlled clinical trials, and are therefore recommended by the American Headache Society and the American Academy of Neurology migraine prevention guidelines include:
Use of topiramate can result in decreased sweating and increased body temperature. This may be especially concerning during hot weather. Wearing light clothes and drinking plenty of fluids while using topiramate during warmer months is very important. A physician should be consulted if body temperature rises.
Nausea Drugs For Migraines
Many people who have migraines often have nausea and vomiting along with head pain. Those symptoms usually get better when you treat the migraine. But sometimes, the nausea and vomiting are bad enough to keep a person from taking their migrainemedications. In these cases, a nausea drug can ease your symptoms so you can get the treatment you need.
Most nausea medicines come in pill form, but if the problem is severe, you can take them as a rectal suppository.
Confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, upset stomach, excitability, nightmares, uncontrollable muscle movements, lip smacking or chewing movements
Confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, upset stomach, excitability, nightmares, uncontrollable muscle movements, lip smacking or chewing movements
Uncontrollable muscle movements, lip smacking or chewing movements, sensitivity to sunlight, aching in the lower legs, diarrhea
Treating Migraine Headaches: Some Drugs Should Rarely Be Used
Migraine attacks can last for hoursor even days. They can cause intense pain, nausea and vomiting. They can make you sensitive to light or noise and they can affect your life and work.
To treat migraines, you may be given a prescription for an opioid or a barbiturate called butalbital. These are pain medicines. But you should think twice about using these drugs for migraine. Heres why:
These drugs can make headaches worse.
Using too much pain medicine can lead to a condition called medication overuse headache . Two kinds of pain medicine are more likely to cause MOH:
- Drugs containing opioidssuch as codeine , morphine , Hycodan or oxycodone .
- Drugs containing butalbital .
They are not as effective as other migraine drugs.
There are other drugs that can reduce the number of migraines you have and how severe they arebetter than opioids and butalbital. Even in the emergency roomwhere people with severe migraines often ask for opioidsbetter drugs are available, including triptans.
They have risks.
Opioids and butalbital can cause serious withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them suddenly. People who use high doses for a long time may need to be in the hospital in order to stop using them.
Opioids, even at low doses, can make you feel sleepy or dizzy. Other side effects include constipation and nausea. Using them for a long time can lower your sex drive and cause depression and sleep problems.
Which drugs are good for migraines?
Limit the use of all pain medicines.
Read Also: What Do You Do For A Migraine
Talking To Your Doctor About Prescription Migraine Treatment
As always, the best source for advice on treating your migraines is your own migraine specialist. This information on drugs and the medication descriptions are provided only for informational purposes. You should begin no medication or supplement without first checking with your health care provider and should let them know of any other prescriptions, OTCs, and herbals you are taking to ensure there are no interactions. Patients should talk to their doctor about what potential side effects to expect with prescription treatment.
Some of the treatments listed here are not approved by the FDA specifically for managing migraines, but may be approved for treating other ailments and have also been shown to relieve migraine symptoms for some in trials, in studies or in practice.
Drugs Commonly Prescribed For Migraine
Migraine is an intense headache that can last for hours to days. Typically, a migraine headache is throbbing or pounding pain on one or both sides of your head. Sometimes, people have an aura up to 30 minutes before the . An aura can range from seeing flashing lights to to mental fuzziness. During the migraine, you may have other migraine symptoms, such as nausea, , or sensitivity to light or sounds.
Over 30 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches. These headaches tend to happen more commonly in women compared to men. Your risk of migraine also increases if you have a family history of it. Common migraine triggers include hormone changes, stress, alcohol, and certain foods. Migraine medications cant cure migraine, but they can help control and prevent symptoms and get you back to living life.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Migraines From Lack Of Sleep
How Long Will I Need To Take Weight Management Medication
How long you will need to take weight management medication depends on whether the drug helps you lose weight and keep it off and whether you experience serious side effects.
If you have lost enough weight to improve your health and are not experiencing serious side effects, your health care professional may advise you to stay on the medication indefinitely. If you do not lose at least 5% of your starting weight after 12 weeks on the full dose of your medication, your health care professional will probably advise you to stop taking it. Your health care professional may also
- change your treatment plan or consider using a different weight management medication
- have you try different lifestyle, physical activity, or eating programs
- change your other medications that might be causing weight gain
- refer you to a bariatric surgeon to see if weight-loss surgery; might be an option for you
Because obesity is a chronic disease, you may need to continue your new eating and physical activity habits and other behaviors for yearsor even a lifetimeto improve your health and maintain a healthier weight.
Limit The Use Of All Pain Medicines
- Do not use prescription pain medicine for headaches for more than nine days in a month.
- Do not use non-prescription pain medicine for more than 14 days in a month.
This report is for you to use when talking with your healthcare provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use of this report is at your own risk.
Read Also: How Long Do Migraines Last Nhs
Which Migraine Medications Are Available Over The Counter
First, it helps to know what types of migraine medications are available over the counter and which ones youll need a prescription for.;
OTC migraine medications include:
- Ergot alkaloids, like ergotamine tartrate
- Serotonin 1F receptor agonists like Reyvow
- CGRP antagonists like Ubrelvy
The medications listed above are used to treat migraines while youre having one. There are other prescription medications that you can take to help prevent migraines from occurring.
Medicines Plus Behavioural Therapy
An interesting research study published in 2010 compared two groups of people who had frequent migraines. One group took a beta-blocker medicine alone. Another group took a beta-blocker but also had a course of behavioural migraine management . BMM included education about migraine, helping to identify and manage migraine triggers, relaxation techniques and stress management. After a number of months the group of people who took the beta-blocker plus BMM had, on average, significantly fewer migraines compared with the group who took beta-blockers alone. Further research is needed to confirm this and to look at BMM combined with other medicines to prevent migraine.
What Natural Home Remedies And Lifestyle Changes Relieve Migraines
Migraine patients can play a significant role in managing their headache frequency and severity.
Keep track of when migraines occur by using a headache diary or log to track pain levels, triggers, and symptoms. In addition, patients should keep track of the migraine types they experience . This can help identify patterns that precede a migraine, as well as help identify factors that contribute to the development of the headache. Once these contributing factors are known, lifestyle modifications can lessen their impact. These modifications may include:
- Maintain a regular schedule for eating and sleeping.
- Avoid certain foods that might cause a migraine.
- Keep well hydrated since dehydration has been identified as a migraine trigger for some people.
- Exercise regularly.
Exercise and migraine
Some people find that exercises that promote muscle relaxation can help manage the pain of migraines. Examples of types of mind-body exercises that can help encourage relaxation are:
Medicines For Migraine When Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
Many of the medicines used to treat migraine should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
- For relief of a migraine headache:
- Paracetamol is the medicine most commonly used, as it is known to be safe during pregnancy.
- Ibuprofen is sometimes used but do not take it in the last third of the pregnancy .
- Aspirin – avoid if you are trying to conceive, early in pregnancy, in the third trimester and whilst breastfeeding.
- Triptans – should not be taken by pregnant women at all. Triptans can be used during breastfeeding, but milk should be expressed and discarded for 12-24 hours after the dose .
Check with your pharmacist or doctor if you are not sure.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of A Migraine Quickly
Who Might Benefit From Weight Management Medications
Weight management medications are meant to help people who have health problems related to overweight or obesity. Health care professionals use BMI to help decide whether you might benefit from weight management medications. Your health care professional may prescribe a medication to treat your overweight or obesity if you are an adult with
- a BMI of 30 or greater
- a BMI of 27 or greater, and you have weight-related health problems such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes
Weight management medications arent for everyone with a high BMI. If you are overweight or have obesity, you might be able to lose weight with a lifestyle program that changes your behaviors and improves your eating and physical activity habits. A lifestyle program may also address other things that cause you to gain weight, such as eating triggers and not getting enough sleep.
Who Should Take A Medicine To Prevent Migraine Attacks
There is no definite rule. For example, you may wish to consider this option if you have:
- More than two migraine attacks per month that cause significant disruption to your life.
- Less frequent, but severe, migraine attacks.
- The need to use a lot of painkillers or triptan medicines to treat migraine attacks.
- Painkillers or triptans for migraine attacks not working very well, or you are unable to take them because of side-effects or other problems.
Before embarking on preventative treatment, it is probably best to keep a migraine diary for a few months to assess:
- How often and how bad your migraine attacks are.
- Your current use of medication to treat the migraine attacks.
This may help you to decide if preventative treatment is worth a try, and also to help assess if you may have medication-induced headache. See the leaflet called Migraine trigger diary, including a migraine diary that you may like to print out and use.
Don’t Miss: Why Is Excedrin Migraine Being Discontinued
Can A Migraine Cause A Stroke What Are The Risk Factors
Migraine and stroke may occur at the same time, but a causal link has not been established. When an ischemic stroke occurs during a migraine attack it is called a “migrainous infarction.” The specific type of migraine associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke is migraine with aura, a type of migraine that affects about one-quarter of all people with migraines. Rarely, people with specific migraine symptoms may be related to a higher risk of stroke.
Migraines may be a risk factor for stroke, in that strokes occur more frequently in people who have had migraines, but the strokes do not necessarily occur during migraine attacks.
Medicines For Nausea Or Vomiting
These medicines are called anti-sickness medicines or antiemetics. They can be helpful to treat migraine even if you don’t experience nausea or vomiting. These are prescribed by your doctor and can be used together with other pain relievers and triptans.;Seek medical advice before taking anti-sickness medicines as they are not suitable for some people.As with pain relievers, anti-sickness medicines work better if taken as soon as your migraine symptoms begin. They usually come in the form as tablets, but are also available as a suppository.
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Menstrual Migraine