Migraines are bad enough, but they're even worse when they lead to daily rebound headaches. This happens when migraine medications are used too regularly. In this issue, we'll look at how this happens and how to reduce your own risk of developing daily headaches.

We'll also take a look at how an approach for addressing ADHD in children could mean fewer migraines for you, and ways to prevent summer migraines.

As always, we welcome your inputs about your own experiences as well as any topics you'd like us to address in upcoming issues.

Tina Sanders
Tina Sanders

Linpharma Customer Education

Avoiding Medication-Overuse Headaches

Even if you're taking migraine medications exactly as prescribed, using them very regularly can lead to frequent-even daily-headaches plus more intense migraines. Doctors call this medication-overuse headache. Let's take a look at what causes it and what to do to avoid (or recover from) these "rebound" headaches.

What types of drugs can trigger medication-overuse headaches?

According to the Mayo Clinic, any medication taken for pain relief can cause rebound headaches, but only if you already have a headache disorder. People who use medications regularly for arthritis pain, for example, do not develop chronic daily headaches as a result. For migraine sufferers, triptans and medications containing opiates (codeine) are common culprits. So are acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen and diclofenac, but these are less likely to trigger medication-overuse headaches than triptans and opiates.

How often is too often to use these drugs?

Taking triptans or opiates 10 days a month or more is considered overuse; 15 days a month for acetaminophen and NSAIDs. Regular overuse is far more likely to cause headaches than using the drugs for 10 or 15 days and then going long periods of time before using them again.

How do you know if you have medication-overuse headaches?

Symptoms may differ depending on the type of migraines you get, but medication-overuse headaches tend to occur nearly every day, often in the morning. They improve with pain medication, but return when medication wears off. They can be accompanied by nausea, listlessness, difficulty concentrating, memory problems and irritability.

What is the best way to stop them?

To break the cycle, it's necessary to stop taking the medications that are both treating and causing the headaches. It's vital to talk with your doctor about the best way for you to do this. Once the cycle is broken, do not take medications for migraine or headache for more than two days in any week. Also, taking a migraine preventative is important because reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines reduces the need for medications. Magnesium-riboflavin-CoQ10 blends and butterbur root extract have been proven both safe and effective in migraine prevention.

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ADHD Advice That Could Help Your Migraines

Like migraine sufferers, children with ADHD are very sensitive to stress. High levels of stress produce high levels of adrenaline. This depletes the body's reserves of magnesium since this mineral is essential in releasing hormones like adrenaline. The more stress, the more magnesium is used. Add in the problem that today's diets are generally low in magnesium and high in refined sugars and food additives that actually stress the nervous system-using up magnesium. No wonder junk foods, sugars and food additives are known to contribute to attention deficit disorder. Are they contributing to your migraines as well?

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TRY THIS: See if adding magnesium to your diet reduces the stress you experience-and the migraines that result. You may even want to talk with your doctor about adding a magnesium supplement to your diet, especially if you don't think you can add enough foods like spinach and mackerel to your diet to make a difference. Of course, chocolate is a good source of magnesium! For a list of 10 foods super-charged with magnesium, click here.
Don't Let Rising Temperatures Heat Up Migraine Attacks

Studies indicate that a rise in temperature can be a major trigger for migraine attacks. In fact, one Boston study found that a 9-degree increase in temperature creates a 7.5 percent increase in the likelihood of a migraine attack severe enough to require a visit to the emergency room. So as summer arrives, ramp up your migraine prevention routine. Also, pay special attention to staying hydrated, wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from glare and staying consistent in getting regular sleep.

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