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Do Migraine Medications Actually Increase Migraines?

Under: Migraine & Headache

REBOUND HEADACHES: Can Some Migraine Medications Increase The Number and Frequency of Migraines?

Rebound headaches from prescription and over-the-counter migraine headache medications – what you need to know!

Many chronic migraine sufferers resort to taking prescription medicines called triptans when a migraine gets out of control. These medicines are used “acutely.”  This means you take them when you already have a migraine you want to try to stop.  These drugs do not prevent migraines from occurring.

In fact, not only do they not prevent migraines, the general consensus amongst researchers and clinicians is that on-going regular use of triptan drugs like Imitrex or Zomig actually increases the total number of migraines. This phenomenon is known as “Rebound Headache” or “Medication Overuse Headache” (MOH).

If you suffer from migraines, you may recognize this pattern. A migraine develops that won’t go away and one of these drugs is administered. The current migraine either goes away or decreases in intensity to the point where it is manageable but a day or two later, another migraine occurs:  “The Rebound Headache.”

If users are not careful this can lead to increased drug use and a cycle of reoccurring migraines. This rebound cycle occurs not only with triptan drugs but with caffeine-containing over-the-counter medicines like Excedrin.

Caffeine can help reduce the pain of headaches and migraines in some sufferers. But unfortunately, it is caffeine that causes many headaches and contributes to the development of migraines in many people.

In fact, several well-known neurologists and headache specialists have stated that one of the most powerful ways to reduce the number of migraines that sufferers experience is to remove caffeine from their diets.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, because caffeine is addictive and many sufferers experience withdrawal-like symptoms and a temporary, short increase in their headaches or migraines when first attempting to wean off of the caffeine.  Fortunately, this will last only a short time, perhaps several days, and then a significant decrease in the frequency and intensity of migraines should occur.

Preventing migraines from occurring is a much safer and more desirable short and long-term choice.

Never underestimate the power of nutrition.  Migraine sufferers often benefit from filling their nutritional gaps with vitamins, minerals, and herbs proven to beneficial for migraine sufferers.

Migrelief as been recommended by headache specialists for over 20 years and is a great nutritional approach to maintaining normal cerebrovascular tone and function.  You may learn more at