One of the biggest stumbling blocks for migraineurs, particularly those who have had migraines for years, is medication overuse headaches (MOH).
MOH is the official classification for the common term “rebound headaches”. These are headaches (and even migraines) which occur because of the medication and drugs we’re taking. Typically it occurs when taking medication too often which causes a physical dependence on the drug. When the medication is stopped withdrawal symptoms are experienced and result in a headache or migraine.
MOH often goes unnoticed. Many doctors fail to ask about the frequency and type of medication you’re taking and if there not looking for it, it’s easily missed.
If you experience daily migraine attacks or headaches, there is a 30% to 50% chance you overuse acute medications.
Up to 80% of those who visit migraine headache specialty clinics either overuse acute medication or already have MOH.
MOH is a complication of migraine. It is a secondary condition as a result of the overuse of treatment for the primary migraine or headache. Even if an individual has migraines, MOH becomes the prioritised condition to treat before any progress can be made on the underlying migraine condition. This is the case even if migraines caused MOH in the first place.
MOH is extremely important to address first and foremost. MOH can block or reduce the effectiveness of other treatments. It can be extremely difficult to reduce your migraine frequency whilst you have MOH.
For most migraineurs, they don’t even realise they have MOH. For others, they might feel trapped and concerned about withdrawal symptoms. As you’ll discover from this guide, MOH is very treatable with strong success rates. By addressing MOH, you can get back to improving your migraine condition.
Carl from MigrainePal
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