The Addictive Nature of OTC Migraine Medication

Written by AnaLise on January 1, 2009 – 11:28 pm -


As if those of us with migraines don’t have enough to deal with besides the debilitating pain and other symptoms of migraines, we are now being warned that some of the medication we take to try to combat those awful headaches is addictive and can make migraines worse, not better.

The problem is that many people who suffer from migraines may not realize they are migraines.  This could be because they have other health issues such as high blood pressure that could be the source of headaches or it could be because they think that their headaches could be due to stress, food or other culprits.

To a degree these may all be root causes of migraines, however, if a person is suffering from debilitating headaches, they should talk to their doctor.  Many people do not discuss their symptoms with their doctor because they are on medication for the other health issues and, as a result, they simply take over the counter medicines for their migraines.

There is a problem with that type of treatment.  These medications are not designed like the prescription medications for migraines, so they do not treat migraines – and stop them – the way that prescription meds do.  Also, the over-the-counter migraine medications often exacerbate migraines and create a situation where migraine sufferers are taking more of these medications more often leading to a vicious cycle of pain.

If you suffer from severe headaches and they are present in your life on a regular basis, it is important that you talk to your doctor and get help.  Have your doctor put you on a regimen of correct medication and also have your doctor help you determine what is causing the headaches.  It can often be as simple as a glass of wine or a handful of nuts that triggers the migraines.  Many patients find that once they have eliminated the triggers from their routine, the headaches either disappear or are much milder and appear much less often.

If you suffer from headaches, make sure not to just reach for the over the counter meds.  Talk to your doctor and determine a way to diminish, control or eliminate them in a safe and non-addictive way.

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