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Do you get a lot of headaches? How do you treat them?

Posted by on Sep. 25, 2015 at 11:34 AM
  • 9 Replies

Advil May Actually Be Triggering Your Headaches

woman headacheHeadaches have long been a regular fact of life for 34-year-old Jodie Simpson. Her headaches were so regular in fact that she found that she was popping ibuprofen almost every day to try to stop the pounding. Those days are over now though, as a recent visit to the doctor led to a surprising discovery for Simpson: Her daily Advil habit was actually causing her headaches!

Simpson had developed something known as "medication overuse headaches" (MOH), a type of headache that can form from regular use of over-the-counter pain medicines. This condition happens when the body develops a tolerance for the pain medications and begins to require them to feel, well, normal.

According to neurologist and representative of the International Headache Society, Sudhir Kumar, MD, patients are more at risk for this condition when they suffer from regular migraines or tension headaches. He notes that the risk "is higher if a person consumes more than 15 tablets a month" of common over-the-counter pain relievers like Motrin or Advil.

While this condition only affects 1-2 percent of the population, for sufferers like Jodie, the treatment can be tough. She tells us:

My doctor said that the best thing to do was to quit taking Advil and to basically let my body go into withdrawal. I'm not going to lie -- it sucked! I was hitting the caffeine pretty hard that month, but then I got desperate enough to try acupuncture and that actually has been awesome for me.

You should be talking to your doctor if you are getting "regular headaches or experiencing any other condition that is prompting you to take pain relief medicine more than one or two times per week," notes Dr. Kumar. Ultimately, preventing MOH is a lot easier than treating it!

by on Sep. 25, 2015 at 11:34 AM
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Replies (1-9):
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Sep. 25, 2015 at 11:38 AM
1 mom liked this

I was headache/migraine free for about 5-6 years and a few months ago, I got one that took me a couple weeks to shake. I am now taking Sumatriptan for the onset of a headache and every night before I go to bed, I take Verapamil. I have a couple annoyance headaches since then but none needed any meds. 
ETA: I can no longer take Tylenol, Advil, Ibprofen. I took them continuously for about two weeks during my headache and it caused my blood pressure to rise (just went back to normal within the last month) and caused some liver damage. My fault? Yes, totally, I was trying to take any/everything to get rid of the headaches and when I went to the doctor she said it was a sinus infection. When I returned, I saw a PA and she said no evidence of sinus infection. They both wanted me to stop taking the OTC meds but weren't providing alternatives until I kept calling and complaining. 

Cafe AmyS
by on Sep. 25, 2015 at 11:46 AM

I'm sorry to hear that.

Sumatriptan is a life saver for me. I just wish it wasn't so expensive ($10 for 4 pills with my insurance) and that I could get more than 4 pills at a time.

Quoting Anonymous 1:

I was headache/migraine free for about 5-6 years and a few months ago, I got one that took me a couple weeks to shake. I am now taking Sumatriptan for the onset of a headache and every night before I go to bed, I take Verapamil. I have a couple annoyance headaches since then but none needed any meds. 


Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Sep. 25, 2015 at 11:57 AM

I should have added, I only take the Sumatriptan when I feel a headache or have one. It has been working well for me. It relieves the headache for a few hours. I have only had to take it once since that time. Mine is relatively inexpensive. I think it's less than $10 but I get 21 pills I think? I know it's more than 4 pills. 

Quoting Cafe AmyS:

I'm sorry to hear that.

Sumatriptan is a life saver for me. I just wish it wasn't so expensive ($10 for 4 pills with my insurance) and that I could get more than 4 pills at a time.

Quoting Anonymous 1:

I was headache/migraine free for about 5-6 years and a few months ago, I got one that took me a couple weeks to shake. I am now taking Sumatriptan for the onset of a headache and every night before I go to bed, I take Verapamil. I have a couple annoyance headaches since then but none needed any meds. 


ame4c
by Group Admin on Sep. 25, 2015 at 12:28 PM
When I was younger I had hair down to my butt. I got headaches. Once I cut my hair, the headaches went away.
mrsary
by Gold Member on Sep. 25, 2015 at 12:45 PM
I get VA disability for my crucial headaches. I always have one that hurts my eyes, neck, and ears.
virginiamama71
by Carrie on Sep. 25, 2015 at 12:49 PM

 not alot. When I get a headache it's usually caused by skipping a meal, not enough water or I need some rest.

37butterfly37
by Member on Sep. 25, 2015 at 10:13 PM

I take whatever the dose the costco bottle tells me to.  Granted you probably shouldn't do that but I'm still alive!! lol

grneyedormom
by Kendra on Sep. 25, 2015 at 11:33 PM
Topamax daily as a prevention measure. Ibuprofen, Excedrin migraine, water and caffiene when I get one.
princess_1983
by on Sep. 26, 2015 at 9:17 AM

Alieve works the best. Knocks my headache out in half an hour.

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