rebound headaches

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Flowerfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 8/30/2007 6:17 PM (GMT -7)   

I just want to comment on the term ‘rebound headache’. I understand the theory and have read many articles on the subject. It seems to me that most headache sufferers now accept this as a ‘written in stone’ diagnosis for their daily headache disorder. I have suffered headaches for over 15 years on a daily basis with and without taking daily doses of pain medication. I get headaches no matter what pain or prevention medications I do or do not take. My point is: let’s stop allowing ‘rebound headaches’ be the final diagnosis and insist doctors continuing looking for the real source of disabling headache disease. Those of us who suffer this devastating disorder often need daily pain medication, not medications that were never designed for nor intended to prevent headache pain, the so-called headache preventatives that are used today. I am referring to blood pressure medications, anti-seizure medications, and anti-depressant medications that doctors freely use to manage daily headaches. They often do not work for headaches. The explanation for lack of effectiveness is that it is believed that preventatives are ineffective when taken in combination with pain relievers. Proof? We headache patients have been misled and misinformed about our daily headache disorder and been told that by stopping all pain relievers on a daily basis, our condition would either greatly improve or disappear completely. Proof? Rebound Headache is only a theory, not a scientific fact and very few medical studies have been done to prove or disprove this popular belief. A properly used long-acting pain medication is much more effective than a preventative and less likely to have the dangerous side-effects of these medications. When daily pain medication is required to help a person live a life of quality and in less pain, then certainly, it makes sense to choose this type of treatment. Properly used, daily pain medication is not ‘giving us headaches’. Insulin does not give us diabetes and anti-seizure medications don’t give us epilepsy. These diseases are present with or without medicines, just like daily headaches. As for pain relief, I would rather take daily pain medications than any preventatives because in my experience, absolutely all preventatives cause weight gain, fatigue, mood ups and downs, and eventually depression just to name a few. Finally, headache preventatives were meant to treat completely different diseases, many of which headache people don’t even suffer from. Time to question the use and overuse of all preventatives and instead request medications that were developed for and intended to treat pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Annuk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 8/31/2007 12:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Flowerfly,

As a sufferer of a rare headache disorder myself (Hemicrania Continua) which involves continuous daily pain with 3-5 exacerbations per day. I have had first hand experience of 'rebound headache'!!!!!!!!!!!

Because of the codeine based drugs I had been taking for a number of years to try to relieve the incessant pain I had created a rebound headache on top of what I already had (undiagnosed at the time).

When I stopped these codeine based drugs and only when I stopped them were the Doctors able to diagnose fully what I had!!!!!! The daily pain became less as did the exacerbations, I really did feel the difference.

My headache specialist is a pioneer in his field and believes that this 'rebound syndrome' only affects headache sufferers of all types and believes that he has proved this time and time again by his patients experiences. He is at present setting up a centre of excellence in the USA for headache!!! Did you know there are around 600 types of headache??

It is true some of the preventative mediactions can have some nasty side effects, but that should not take away from the positive effects they can have for some sufferers! I am truely sorry that you feel you have suffered un-necessarily with these drugs and I am sure that you are not the only one.

But I would hate to think that someone who was struggling had read your post and decided not to go for any prevents on the strength of it and therefore missed out on some potentially beneficial effects to relieve their suffering!!!!

So I would respectfully ask that you would take care how you post your opinions for the future. Don't get me wrong, you are perfectly entitled to your opinion as are we all.

I hope you can find some relief, take care

Ann
Co-Moderator of the Migraine/Headache Forum


kymark
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 8/31/2007 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I have to second Ann's comments. I, too, have suffered daily headaches for over 15 years. But they got worse when I was taking pain killers on a daily or near daily basis. Once I stopped overuse of pain relievers and got out of that rebound cycle, the pain moderated a bit and some of the preventatives my doctors wanted to try had some impact.

I expect some nonspecialists are quick to dismiss most or all headache pain as related to overuse of pain medication. But the willingness of headache specialists to work with such a wide variety of medications "off-label" for preventive purposes suggests that they are indeed interested in curing headaches rather than just masking the symptoms. While the exact pathways aren't completely understood, there is some logic in which off-label preventive meds are used. For example, anti-depressants alter levels of brain chemicals like seratonin, and we know that pain is closely regulated by the brain. Furthermore, the development of imitrix and other migraine-specific drugs shows that the pharmaceutical industry is very interested in catering to the huge market of migraine sufferers. The "problem" for those of us who suffer chronic daily headaches is that there aren't as many of us to create a large market enticing the pharmaceutical companies (and NIH) to invest heavily in research. So we're often limited to off-label meds.

As many posters on this forum have noted, doctors are often too quick to dismiss their pain and refuse them the pain relievers they need. I'm sure that's caused by a range of reasons, from concern about rebound headache to the very real phenomenon of pain reliever addiction. But that does not negate the reality, experienced by many on this forum, of rebound headache.

Flowerfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 8/31/2007 9:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ann

You wrote: "So I would respectfully ask that you would take care how you post your opinions for the future. Don't get me wrong, you are perfectly entitled to your opinion as are we all."

My opinion expressed here in this forum is only that, just like all other posts found here, including yours. I always take great care in choosing my words before I post. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post and sharing your personal struggle with headaches. I'm glad you have found the answer to your headache problem and received proper treatment. However, you're experience is not mine nor any other readers experience. It's fine if people disagree with my opinions or yours. Challenging/questioning popular medical theories and popular beliefs might just create better medicine and treatment options in the future, and create much more scientific research on the subject of headaches.

AngMichelle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 9/1/2007 2:37 PM (GMT -7)   
scientifically proven: 60% of chronic headache suffers are infact due to the rebound cycle. Ask any headache clinic that stops the use of narcotics, even the overuse of triptans, and they will tell you that 60% of their patients get better just by elimination of those drugs alone. Now given that, there are the other 40% that may not be so lucky. Seems like that is a group a lot of us are in. I will tell you, that when using 2 bottles of stadol a month, my migraines were out of control. I was sucked into the rebound cycle.
Now that I limit my drug use to no more than 2 pain medications, OTC or script, a week, my migraines are much much better. I also give credit to the diet change, engergy medicine, and other things i am doing. I'm not saying some people have to use pain meds, but they should not be used everyday. I once was in the same boat, using Fentanyl suckers just about everyday, and not only did they cause rebounds, but they effected my quality of life, the clearness of my mind, and left me homebound. I do not ever want to go back to that place. I wouldn't mind have a sucker ever so often for those killer migraines, but its not worth it.
Rebounds are PROVEN, are real, and no fun to be a part of.
Just wondering, but Flowerfly, what meds are you on? How often do you take them? what has helped you if anything? what is your diet like? You don't have to answer all these questions, but at least ask yourself this.
best to you,
Ang
DX-Migraines:PCOS(should have seen this list before!!)
Meds; imitrex inj, stadol ns PRN severe h/a
 ProzAC 40mg, Klonopin 1mg BID , Ambien 10mg
PRN, Pherergan, Actiq 600mcg(fentanyl suckers) for migraine breakthrough pain
 Doing engergy medicine!!!!
 
May God give you a reason to smile today, an extra reason to laugh, and bring joy to your soul.


korbnep
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 9/1/2007 7:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I certaintly believe that rebound headaches occur--I've had my own experiences with them. But when I came off more than daily use of opoid pain meds, I got worse and have been that way for the year that I've been off of them. I think it's possible for some of these drugs to cause harm and help as well. Sometimes more harm than help, but sometimes the other way around, even if you are getting rebound.
DX: NDPH, Recovered CRPS
RX: Lamictal, Abilify, Verapamil, Provigil, Clonazepam, Rozerem, Emsam
PRN: Haloperidol, Zyprexa, Lodine, Thorazine, Zofran


AngMichelle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 9/2/2007 12:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I guess I can agree to that. Please don't think we are trying to jump down your troat. Each person has different migraines, and different reactions to meds. Nobody can say it all happens only One way. I just hate your having to suffer so. We do want to support you in this, not push you away. Feel free to post again, whatever you want/need to say, we're hear for ya!
Ang
DX-Migraines:PCOS(should have seen this list before!!)
Meds; imitrex inj, stadol ns PRN severe h/a
 ProzAC 40mg, Klonopin 1mg BID , Ambien 10mg
PRN, Pherergan, Actiq 600mcg(fentanyl suckers) for migraine breakthrough pain
 Doing engergy medicine!!!!
 
May God give you a reason to smile today, an extra reason to laugh, and bring joy to your soul.

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