In this country, we rely on medications to treat most health conditions, and one of the most common reasons why people go to their medicine cabinet is headaches. Many people rely on medications to provide relief from headaches, but the problem is that medications can actually be causing your headaches, not curing them. These headaches are sometimes called rebound headaches or medication overuse headaches.
Here are some tips for avoiding these unnecessary headaches.
Ask: Is My Medication Right for My Headache?
It’s important to be an informed advocate for your own health. A recent study showed that about 15% of people who went to their doctor for migraines were prescribed opioids. That’s despite the fact that opioids are not a good migraine treatment. Opioids may actually increase the frequency of migraines and carry serious risks of dependence, addiction, and overdose.
If you don’t think your medication is right for your headache, get a second opinion.
Follow Instruction for Medications
But even appropriate medications can cause headaches if they’re not used properly. If you’ve been using a medication for awhile, maybe it’s time to refresh yourself on the actual instructions. And many people use over-the-counter (OTC) medications without actually reading the label.
Taking time to read the instructions for your medications can help you avoid not just rebound headaches but many other potentially serious complications. And remember: if you’re using OTC medications for 15 days or more a month, you need to see a doctor about your headaches and not simply rely on OTC remedies.
Never increase your dose of headache medication without talking to your doctor first.
Tell Your Doctor about OTC Medications
When your doctor prescribes medication, they should be taking into account all the other medications you’re taking. They know about all your prescribed medications, but they won’t know about OTC medications unless you tell them.
And don’t forget to include any herbal remedies or dietary supplements you’re using to try to control headaches. These can sometimes interact with medications, so doctors need to know about them.
Be Aware Which Medications Have Highest Risk
Some medications are more commonly associated with rebound headaches, and you should be especially careful with these. Among the highest risk medications are opioids, butalbital, and triptans.
When your doctor prescribes these medications, talk to them about the risk of rebound headaches and what strategies they recommend to make sure your medications treat headaches, not cause them.
Consider Drug-Free Treatments
And it’s important to remember that medications aren’t the only option for headache treatment. Many people can get great headache relief without medications. And if you’re not taking medications, you won’t get rebound headaches.
One great drug-free headache treatment is TMJ treatment. Temporomandibular joint disorders can trigger migraines, tension headaches, and other types of headaches. Treating your TMJ can reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches.
And because it doesn’t involve drugs, you can get TMJ treatment in concert with your prescription medications–there’s no concern about drug interactions. It works as a standalone treatment or as complementary care for your migraines.
If you would like to learn whether TMJ treatment can help your headaches in the Detroit area, please call (248) 656-2020 today for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at Rochester Advanced Dentistry today.