Medication-dependent headache / medication-induced headache / medication-overuse headache
If a person suffers headaches at least 15 days per month and frequently takes medication for this headache, this may be a case of medication-induced headache or rebound headache.
Description of the condition
It seems obvious to use analgesics to treat severe headache. People who take a lot of analgesics and even start taking them to prevent the headache from returning, are at increased risk of developing rebound headache. There is a risk that the headache is maintained through use of medication. This creates a vicious circle, resulting in (almost) daily headaches.
Cause and origin
Daily use of analgesics or migraine medication can result in rebound headache.
Signs & symptoms
The headache becomes chronic. The pain can be present almost daily and lasts the entire day. Symptoms can also vary, no set pattern has been detected yet. If the use of medication is stopped, the headache can become worse in some cases. This is comparable to a headache that occurs after consuming a lot of caffeine in coffee and energy drinks.
The use of medication must be reduced. Good information given to the patient can ensure rapid reduction in the symptoms. The GP can assist in this matter.
Nugteren, K. van & Winkel, D. (2012). Onderzoek en behandeling van de nek. Houten: Bohn Stafleu van Loghum.