The Danger Of Using Acute Migraine Medication Too Often
When people with migraine use acute medication too often, they can develop medication-overuse headache, according to the American Migraine Foundation. These headaches are also known as rebound headaches.
The risk of medication-overuse headaches can put people with migraine in a difficult position, says Spears. Migraine is a condition where the sooner you treat it with medication, the more likely it is that youll be successful in stopping it. At the same time, if you take your rescue medication too frequently, it will lead to rebound, he says.
Most of the medications commonly used to treat migraine attacks, such as aspirin, NSAIDs, acetaminophen, triptans, and others, have all been associated with rebound headaches, according to the American Migraine Foundation. Its recommended that people dont take these medications for acute treatment of migraine for more than two days a week.
The one class that hasnt been shown to cause medication-overuse headache is gepants, says Spears. But we still try to limit patients to using them two days a week, he says.
Talking With The Er Doctor
You may want to talk with the ER doctor about:
- Your history of severe migraines and whether you have been to the ER for a severe migraine before
- Any medicines you have taken to treat a severe migraine in the past, how well they worked, and any side effects you experienced from them
- Which medicine might be best to treat your severe migraine
- The possible benefits and side effects of the medicine
Ask your doctor
What Is A Migraine
A migraine is not simply a bad headache. A migraine is an intense headache that may be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea , vomiting , visual problems and an increased sensitivity to light or sound.
Migraines commonly last between four hours and three days. Some people experience migraines several times a week. Others might only experience attacks every few years. If you experience headaches on 15 days or more each month, and eight of these headaches are migraines, this is known as chronic migraine.
Although migraines are not life-threatening and do not shorten peoples life expectancies, they can significantly damage the quality of peoples lives. A World Health Organisation study identified migraine as the sixth highest cause worldwide of years lost due to disability . Repeated migraines can have a negative impact on family life, social life and employment.
There are two main types of migraine: migraine without aura and migraine with aura .
Also Check: Is Indica Or Sativa Better For Headaches
Barriers To Effective Care
Lack of knowledge among health-care providers is the principal clinical barrier. Worldwide, on average, only 4 hours of undergraduate medical education are dedicated to instruction on headache disorders. A large number of people with headache disorders are not diagnosed and treated: worldwide only 40% of those with migraine or TTH are professionally diagnosed, and only 10% of those with MOH.
Poor awareness extends to the general public. Headache disorders are not perceived by the public as serious since they are mostly episodic, do not cause death, and are not contagious. The low consultation rates in developed countries may indicate that many affected people are unaware that effective treatments exist. Half of people with headache disorders are estimated to be self-treating.
Many governments, seeking to constrain health-care costs, do not acknowledge the substantial burden of headache on society. They might not recognize that the direct costs of treating headache are small in comparison with the huge indirect-cost savings that might be made if resources were allocated to treat headache disorders appropriately.
What Are The Four Stages Or Phases Of A Migraine Whats The Timeline
The four stages in chronological order are the prodrome , aura, headache and postdrome. About 30% of people experience symptoms before their headache starts.
The phases are:
It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages.
Also Check: Medication For Migraines And Seizures
Symptoms Of A Migraine
The main symptom of a migraine is usually an intense headache on one side of the head.
The pain is usually a moderate or severe throbbing sensation that gets worse when you move and prevents you from carrying out normal activities.
In some cases, the pain can occur on both sides of your head and may affect your face or neck.
What Medications Are Used To Relieve Migraine Pain
Over-the-counter medications are effective for some people with mild to moderate migraines. The main ingredients in pain relieving medications are ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen and caffeine.
Three over-the-counter products approved by the Food and Drug Administration for migraine headaches are:
- Excedrin® Migraine.
- Advil® Migraine.
- Motrin® Migraine Pain.
Be cautious when taking over-the-counter pain relieving medications. Sometimes overusing them can cause analgesic-rebound headaches or a dependency problem. If you’re taking any over-the-counter pain medications more than two to three times a week, report that to your healthcare provider. They may suggest prescription medications that may be more effective.
Prescription drugs for migraine headaches include:
Triptan class of drugs :
- Co-enzyme Q10.
Drugs to relieve migraine pain come in a variety of formulations including pills, tablets, injections, suppositories and nasal sprays. You and your healthcare provider will discuss the specific medication, combination of medications and formulations to best meet your unique headache pain.
Drugs to relieve nausea are also prescribed, if needed.
All medications should be used under the direction of a headache specialist or healthcare provider familiar with migraine therapy. As with any medication, it’s important to carefully follow the label instructions and your healthcare providers advice.
Also Check: Indica Or Sativa For Migraines
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- Will my child grow out of their migraines?
- What medications do you recommend for me?
- What should I change about my lifestyle to prevent my migraine headaches?
- Should I get tested?
- What type of migraine do I have?
- What can my friends and family do to help?
- Are my migraines considered chronic?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Migraine headaches can be devastating and make it impossible to go to work, school or experience other daily activities. Fortunately, there are some ways to possibly prevent a migraine and other ways to help you manage and endure the symptoms. Work with your healthcare provider to keep migraines from ruling your life.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/03/2021.
Age Can Play A Role Your Symptoms
Symptoms of the postdrome phase vary from person to person, and may also vary in adults, adolescents, and children. Migraine hangover symptoms in adults tend to last a little longer – up to a full day – than symptoms in younger folks.
- Sensitivity to light and/or sound
- Mood changes, like sudden unhappiness
- Head pain
- Numbness or tingling
Also Check: Is Sativa Or Indica Better For Migraines
The Headache Or Main Attack Stage
This stage involves moderate to severe head pain. The headache is typically throbbing and is made worse by movement. It is usually on one side of the head, especially at the start of an attack. However, you can get pain on both sides, or all over the head.
Nausea and vomiting can happen at this stage, and you may feel sensitive to light, sound, smell and movement. Painkillers work best when taken early in this stage.
What Is A Headache
Technically, a headache can be any pain in the head, face or neck area. Headaches might be caused by muscle tension, nerve pain and dehydration, be a symptom of another illness, or be bought on by certain foods and drinks or medications.
There are two overarching types of headache: primary and secondary. Primary headaches are the most common, describing headaches that just happen without an underlying illness or injury causing them. These include tension headaches, migraines and cluster headaches. Secondary headaches have a separate cause, like an existing illness, hormonal changes, sinus or tooth inflammation or a side effect of medication or drugs.
Beyond these two broad classifications, Headache Australia lists 36 different types of headache. You can read more about different types of headaches, from hot-dog headaches to hangovers, on the Headache Australia website.
How To Get Rid Of Nausea With Home Remedies
Migraine induced nausea can be just as disabling as the head pain itself and sometimes even more so. Treating the symptoms of an attack, either over the counter or with prescriptions, can help lessen the burden of Migraine and throwing up and get you back to your normal, healthy activities more quickly. Here are a few worth trying:
What Can You Do For This Kind Of Headache
A headache that does not go away for days can be exhausting. Nobody wants to live their day with constant throbbing pains.
What shall you do when your headaches last for days?
These ways are effective in coping chronic headaches:
Treatment of pain and other related problems. When we feel a random headache, it is okay to take medication to ease the pain away. Always remember though that we should follow the dosage prescribed by our doctor. If you feel that the medicine does not work and wants to increase your dosage, always consult with your medical team first.
If you’re taking over-the-counter medicines, always read the instruction on the label first and don’t take beyond the recommended dosage.
Headache can be a symptom of an underlying disease or condition. Make sure that you get proper medical treatment to deal with other health concerns.
Have some R& R. Getting proper rest and relaxation is not only important in providing relief for headaches, but also plays a crucial role in preventing migraines and headaches.
Reach out for support. Having a headache that lasts for a few days can affect your work and your family. Make sure that you have a strong support system that can give a hand on some of your tasks and provide encouragement when you are in pain.
Recommended Reading: Intractable Migraine Headache
What Are Rebound Migraines
Women who use acute pain-relief medicine more than two or three times a week or more than 10 days out of the month can set off a cycle called rebound. As each dose of medicine wears off, the pain comes back, leading the patient to take even more. This overuse causes your medicine to stop helping your pain and actually start causing headaches. Rebound headaches can occur with both over-the-counter and prescription pain-relief medicines. They can also occur whether you take them for headache or for another type of pain. Talk to your doctor if you’re caught in a rebound cycle.
Migraine Is Much More Than Just A Headache
There are different types of migraine that involve different symptoms. There are many features or symptoms that are a part of migraine. There are also differences in how severe a symptom might be.
The most common symptoms of a migraine attack include:
- throbbing headache
- sensitivity to light, noise and smell
Recommended Reading: Sumatriptan Pregnancy
What Should I Do When A Migraine Begins
Work with your doctor to come up with a plan for managing your migraines. Keeping a list of home treatment methods that have worked for you in the past also can help. When symptoms begin:
- If you take migraine medicine, take it right away.
- Drink fluids, if you don’t have nausea during your migraine.
- Lie down and rest in a dark, quiet room, if that is practical.
Some people find the following useful:
- A cold cloth on your head
- Rubbing or applying pressure to the spot where you feel pain
- Massage or other relaxation exercises
What Does It Mean To Have 20/20 Vision
It measures the sharpness of your sight at 20 feet from an object. Having 20/60 vision means that you must be at 20 feet to see what a person with normal vision can see at 60 feet. It doesnât mean you have perfect vision. Nor does it give details on other important aspects of sight like side or peripheral vision, how you see colors, or depth perception.
Recommended Reading: Is It Normal To Have Bad Headaches During Pregnancy
What Are The Treatments For Migraine
There is no absolute cure for migraine. However, lots of treatments are available to help ease the symptoms of a migraine attack.
When a migraine attack occurs, most people find that lying down in a quiet, dark room is helpful. Sleeping can also help. Some people find that their symptoms die down after they have vomited .
Most people affected by migraine will already have tried paracetamol, aspirin and perhaps anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen before they seek advice from their doctor. If ordinary painkillers alone are not relieving your symptoms, your GP might prescribe you a triptan to be taken in addition to over-the-counter painkillers . Triptans are available in different forms to suit individuals , although it is important to note that some people develop short-term side effects when taking triptans. Your doctor may also prescribe you anti-sickness medication. If your situation does not improve after treatment, you might be referred to a specialist migraine clinic.
It is important to avoid taking painkillers on more than two days per week or more than 10 days per month as this can in fact make things worse by triggering medication overuse headaches.
First Line Of Defense Against Sinusitis: Nasal Irrigation
One of the simplest, cheapest, and most effective ways to prevent and treat sinus problems is nasal irrigation. Using a homemade solution, you can often relieve sinusitis symptoms, reduce reliance on nasal sprays and antibiotics, and improve your quality of life. At least once a day, follow these steps:
Don’t Miss: Propranolol Causing Headaches
How Do You Correct Vision
There are many safe and affordable choices:
Eyeglasses are the most traditional form. They bend light to improve your sight. Theyâre practical, affordable, and safe.
Contact lenses are good if you have an active lifestyle or don’t like wearing eyeglasses. They work the same way as glasses but stay in place when youâre on the move. Plus you can wear sunglasses with them, which helps if you spend a lot of time outside. There are many different brands, colors, and materials, so get yours fitted by an eye health pro.
Corrective surgerychanges the way your eye bends light. You donât get it done for looks. You do it because it helps you depend less on glasses or contacts. You may not need to correct your vision at all after it.
Could My Migraine Attack Be A Symptom Of Covid
We are still learning about migraine and COVID-19, says Spears. We do know that the COVID-19 headache usually presents differently than a typical headache. Its been described as intense pressure in the head that is made significantly worse with coughing and sneezing, he says.
Is it true that people with migraine are more likely to experience headache as a symptom of COVID-19? There isnt enough data to know if thats the case with COVID-19, but it is true in many other conditions, says Spears.
If someone has migraine and they develop a sinus infection, theyre more likely to develop a migraine-like headache. When people with migraine have anything going on thats head- or neck-related, theyre more likely to experience a migraine-like headache, he says.
This also applies in people with migraine who also have diabetes or high blood pressure, says Spears. If something is going on in the entire body or systemically, theyre more likely to manifest that in migraine-like headache if they have a history of migraine, he says.
Also Check: Diarrhea With Migraine
Social And Economic Burden Of Headache
Headache disorders are a public-health concern given the associated disability and financial costs to society. As headache disorders are most troublesome in the productive years , estimates of their financial cost to society principally from lost working hours and reduced productivity are massive. In the United Kingdom, for example, some 25 million working- or school-days are lost every year because of migraine alone this financial cost may be matched by TTH and MOH combined. Headache is high among causes of consulting medical practitioners: one-third of all neurological consultations were for headache, in one survey.
Yet, many of those troubled by headache do not receive effective care. For example, in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, only half of those identified with migraine had seen a doctor for headache-related reasons in the previous 12 months, and only two-thirds had been correctly diagnosed. Most were solely reliant on over-the-counter medications.