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Review
, 77 (4), 236-42

Breaking the Cycle of Medication Overuse Headache

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Review

Breaking the Cycle of Medication Overuse Headache

Stewart J Tepper et al. Cleve Clin J Med.

Abstract

When patients who have frequent, disabling migraines take medications to relieve their symptoms, they run the risk that the attacks will increase in frequency to daily or near-daily as a rebound effect comes into play. This pattern, called medication overuse headache, is more likely to happen with butalbital and opioids than with migraine-specific drugs, as partial responses lead to recurrence, repeat dosing, and, eventually, overuse. Breaking the cycle involves weaning the patient from the overused medications, setting up a preventive regimen, and setting strict limits on the use of medications to relieve acute symptoms.

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