Rebound headaches, also known as medication overuse headaches, occur when medication is taken too frequently to relieve headache. Rebound headaches frequently occur daily and can be very painful. A diagnosis of Rebound headaches can be easy or difficult, as the cause is very easy to identify but very difficult to diagnose. Overuse of painkillers can be confirmed simply by asking the patient if his or her headaches assumed a new pattern or became more severe after taking painkillers excessively (generally classified as more than 3 times per week). However, the only way to make a certain diagnosis of rebound headache is to withdraw the patient from medication for anywhere up to 6 months. It should be noted that withdrawal from medication can actually intensify the headaches for the first few weeks. After this period, the headaches will normally gradually recede.
Preventive medications cannot work while a patient is in rebound.
Following treatment, many patients revert to their prior headache pattern. A physician should be consulted before re-use of medications.
This article is from Wikipedia. All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License
View live article