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How can medication lead to tension headaches?

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If you take medication for your headaches -- like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, or pain relievers with caffeine -- you may get what’s called rebound headaches when you stop taking it. To prevent them, limit how much medicine you take. Use the smallest possible dose. Don’t take pain relievers more than one to two times a week.

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Rebound Headaches.”

Harvard Health Publications: “4 ways to tame tension headaches.”

Mount Sinai Hospital: “Tension Headache.”

National Headaches Foundation: “Tension-Type Headache.”

President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.”

University of California Berkeley: “Headaches.”

University of Michigan: “When Should You See a Doctor for Headache or Migraines?”

University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority: “Headaches: Should I Take Prescription Medicine for Tension Headaches?”

National Stroke Association: “Act FAST.”

UpToDate: "Tension-type headache in adults: Preventive treatment."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on November 07, 2017

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Rebound Headaches.”

Harvard Health Publications: “4 ways to tame tension headaches.”

Mount Sinai Hospital: “Tension Headache.”

National Headaches Foundation: “Tension-Type Headache.”

President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.”

University of California Berkeley: “Headaches.”

University of Michigan: “When Should You See a Doctor for Headache or Migraines?”

University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority: “Headaches: Should I Take Prescription Medicine for Tension Headaches?”

National Stroke Association: “Act FAST.”

UpToDate: "Tension-type headache in adults: Preventive treatment."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on November 07, 2017

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How can your doctor help with tension headaches?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.