You’ve probably heard it all before – at least 30 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from migraine headaches, and 75% are women.
For those who have chronic migraines (pain 15 days a month or more), the pain can be so debilitating that just waiting for it to go away is not an option. So those sufferers resort to either over-the-counter pain medications or prescription medications.
These types of medications work to varying degrees depending upon the person. But, even when they work, all is not rosy. Many people become so dependent upon these types of drugs in an attempt to get some relief, that without realizing it, they start using them more and more. In fact, they start over-using them.
Of course the question needs to be asked, “Why would a person who originally starts out using them say, once a week, get to a point where he or she is actually using them several times a week?
The answers to this question, though not obvious when you are desperate and in pain, is very simple. Either the migraines are occurring more frequently, the migraines are more painful, or the drug is not working as well as it originally did.
Either way, whichever answer fits your particular situation, the prognosis is not good. You now need these drugs even more because your problem is now worse…NOT better.
The responsible, occasional use of these kinds of drugs is not an issue. They are safe and can be effective when used sparingly and serve a definite purpose. However, when over-used, new problems can develop.
Dr. Fred Sheftell, a well known headache doctor, is upset and concerned that these medications contain no warnings on their labels. He states “There’s nothing that I know of where any of these products say anything about the genesis of rebound and chronic daily headache …I’d like to see that.”
The following is an excerpt from an article posted in ABCnews 20/20. It highlights just how complicated and even dangerous this dependence upon these drugs can become when people feel they have no other options to deal with their migraine pain.
A Vicious Cycle – Excerpted from ABCNews 20/20
“Here’s how experts think rebound starts. Normally, when you take a pain reliever for an occasional headache, the medicine turns off pain receptors in the brain. But in a person prone to headaches – especially migraine headaches – pain relievers taken more than two to three days a week on a regular basis can make the pain receptors more sensitive than usual.
Consequently, as soon as the medicine wears off, these hyper-sensitive receptors turn on to produce a new headache. That leads the headache sufferer to take more medicine, which, in turn, leads to more headaches – a truly vicious cycle. Before long, most rebound patients are taking headache medicine every single day”
This vicious cycle is known as MOH (Medication Overuse Headaches) or Rebound Headaches.
If any of the following signs apply to you, you are probably experiencing Rebound/Medication Overuse Headaches and have probably realized by now, that spending the rest of your life taking pain medications is NOT the answer.
- You suffer from headaches daily or every other day.
- Your pain intensifies about three hours after your last dose of medication.
- Your pain medications don’t work as well as they used to.
- You take more medication, but your headaches are worse.
- You rely on more pills, and you take them more often.
- You take medication even for mild headaches, and you often try to ward off a headache by using a medication.
- You take pain relievers three to four days a week, and you average more than three tablets per day. (This depends on the kind of medication you’re taking, so you’ll need your doctor’s advice.)
- Your pain runs the gamut from mild to moderate to horrible. Usually, the pain is a dull ache that you feel on both sides of your forehead and, sometimes, on the top or back of your head.
- Your headaches occur much more frequently.
To get your life back, it may be time to stop the insanity, take yourself off auto-pilot, break the cycle of misery and consider your alternatives to a lifetime of treating chronic pain and other symptoms of migraine. Click here to learn more about MigreLief – the #1 neurologist recommended nutritional migraine supplement.
To the Best of Health,
Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.