Health Library

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Medicine-overuse headache

Medicine-overuse headache (sometimes called a rebound headache) is a type of chronic headache that can result from the overuse of medicines used to treat headache pain. This is often a problem for people who have a history of headaches like migraines.

This type of headache occurs once the medicine has worn off, prompting a person to take another dose. This can lead to a cycle of more frequent headaches and taking higher doses of medicine more often. They may occur every day. Both over-the-counter and prescription medicines for headaches may lead to this type of headache.

Treating medicine-overuse headache can be hard. To break the cycle, medicine may be needed that helps prevent headaches, and the person may need to stop taking the medicine right away or slowly reduce the amount of medicine they take. Talk to your doctor if you are taking medicine for headaches more than 2 days a week.