Rebound Headaches and Migraines- FAQ

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Rebound headaches, triggered by over-the-counter pain relievers, are often problematic with migraines. How do you know when you’ve taken enough Tylenol, Advil, or Excedrin for migraines…and what are you supposed to do about painful lingering headaches once you’ve reached your limit? Below are some frequently-asked questions people have about preventing rebound headaches and migraines.

Rebound Headaches and Migraines- FAQ

What is a rebound headache?

Rebound headaches, also called analgesic overuse syndrome, are persistent headaches that occur from taking too many NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for pain relief.

If you take ibuprofen, acetaminophen or other headache medications for longer than a 5-day period, then you may be inadvertently increasing your risk for chronic migraines, or making an already-severe form of migraines even worse.

Over-the-counter analgesics, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, or other pain-relieving medications can, over time, increase frequency, severity, and duration of migraine attacks.

Which drugs cause rebound headaches?

The most common NSAIDs linked to rebound headaches with migraines are:

  • Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid)
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Anaprox, Naprelan)
  • NSAID-caffeine combinations
  • NSAID- butalbital combinations
  • Opioids

Why use Natural Migraine Treatments?

How can I prevent rebound headaches?

To put a stop to rebound headaches and prevent further migraine headaches, doctors may recommend a multi-pronged approach to migraine prophylaxis and treatment.

Options include:

  • Migraine prophylaxis medications, under the supervision of your migraine specialist, neurologist, or general practitioner
  • Biofeedback
  • Migraine trigger avoidance
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Restrictive dieting
  • Supplementing with natural herbs, vitamins, and minerals that aid migraine patients, including riboflavin, butterbur, coenzyme Q10, and magnesium.

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Like this? Read more:

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Rebound Headaches

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