Medication Overuse Headaches

Medication Overuse Headaches — Nurtec May Offer the Answer for Migraine Sufferers

How does taking headache medicine too often result in a cycle of headaches? Many people reach for acute medicines for immediate relief when they have a headache. Unfortunately, if your headaches remain uncontrolled, and you continue developing more headaches, it’s easy to take more and more of these medicines to manage headaches. Eventually, this cycle can result in the development of headaches that occur nearly daily.

Individuals with the highest risk of developing medication overuse headaches include those who have headache disorders like tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches whose headaches aren’t well-managed using medicines.

Some of the symptoms of medication overuse headaches include:

  • Headaches that get better when you take medicine but come back after the medication wears off.
  • Near daily or daily headaches that begin when you wake up in the morning.
  • Headaches that may feel like a tension-type headache or more severe migraine-like headaches.

Additional symptoms may include:

  • Weakness
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Problems concentrating
  • Neck pain
  • Poor sleep
  • Nausea
  • Teary eyes, runny nose, or nasal stuffiness
  • Memory difficulties

Medicines That May Cause Medication Overuse Headaches

A variety of different medicines used for immediate relief can result in medication overuse headaches.

Some of the most likely culprits for these types of headaches include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like naproxen or ibuprofen
  • Aspirin
  • Codeine or other prescription narcotics
  • Sleep sedatives
  • Medicines for sinus relief
  • Acetaminophen
  • Over the counter headache remedy combos that include caffeine

Additional medicines linked to medication overuse headaches include:

  • Ergotamine
  • Ergotamine with caffeine
  • Triptans like sumatriptan and eletriptan
  • Belladonna
  • Opiates

Nurtec Helps Prevent and Treat Migraines Without the Risk of Medication Overuse Headaches

With the risk of developing medication overuse headaches, many headache sufferers have been hopeful for medicines that won’t cause this problem. Enter Nurtec, which is the first oral CGRP antagonist approved for migraine prevention. It’s also the only migraine medication available currently approved to help prevent migraines and treat acute migraine attacks.

Nurtec effectively and quickly prevented migraines in the clinical trials, reducing the number of migraine days 30 percent in patients after a single week of every-other-day treatment. After three months of using the medicine, around half of the patients treated saw a minimum of 50 percent reduction in migraine days.

Not only is this medication an excellent breakthrough that gives migraine sufferers additional hope by working to prevent and treat migraines, but it opens the door for the development of more medications like it in the future. It may also help lower the incidence of medication overuse headaches for many individuals who suffer from migraines.

You can help find a cure for migraines and cluster headaches. Donate to help fund the Will Erin Headache Research Center today. Make donations here.