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Migraines, Headaches, and Caffeine

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How Does Caffeine Treat Headaches? continued...

Other Caffeine Sources

Beverages

  • Chocolate milk, chocolate milkshakes, hot chocolate, and chocolate drinks
  • Cocoa mix, malt powder, chocolate flavoring
  • Cola and other sodas, like Mountain Dew or Surge (regular and diet)
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Chocolate or coffee liqueurs

Note: Caffeine-free and decaffeinated beverages also contain small amounts of caffeine.

Foods

  • All chocolate products including brownies, cake, and eclairs
  • Chocolate candy including fudge and chocolate-covered coconut,
    raisins, and peanuts
  • Chocolate-covered graham crackers (or chocolate-flavored graham crackers)
  • Chocolate ice cream or pudding

How Can I Prevent Caffeine Withdrawal?

Withdrawal from normal caffeine usage is rare. However, with excess use, over 500 mg daily (approximately five cups of coffee) over a long period of time, sudden cessation could cause symptoms of withdrawal. You can avoid caffeine withdrawal by limiting your daily consumption, being educated about sources of caffeine, and by gradually decreasing the consumption rather than ending use abruptly.

Because of the risk of withdrawal, people should not take caffeine-containing pain relievers on a daily basis.

What Are the Symptoms of Caffeine Withdrawal?

  • Headache
  • Fatigue, drowsiness, or loss of energy
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Decreased ability to concentrate or perform mental tasks

Can Caffeine Cause Rebound Headaches?

Rebound headache is a condition that develops from the overuse or misuse of any headache medication, including caffeine-containing medication. While caffeine-containing drugs can be beneficial, these medications, combined with consuming too much caffeine (coffee, tea, soft drinks, or chocolate) from other sources, may make you more vulnerable to getting rebound headaches.

Relief from rebound headaches can only be accomplished by completely quitting all medication; however, this should only be done under the supervision of a doctor.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on April 19, 2012
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