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What can you do to treat headaches from taking birth control pills?

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If you get headaches and take birth control pills, your headaches may be due to the drop in estrogen that occurs during the days when you take the inactive or placebo pills. Here's what can help:

  • Use a birth control pill that has fewer inactive pill days.
  • Take a type of birth control pill that doesn't have any inactive pill days such as Seasonale, Seasonique, or others.
  • Use a type of birth control pill that has lower levels of estrogen.
  • Switch to an IUD (intrauterine device) for birth control.
  • Take over-the-counter or prescription headache medicine during the inactive pill days.
  • Try a birth control pill that only contains progestin instead of a combination of estrogen and progestin.
  • Take a low dose of estrogen pills or wear an estrogen patch during the inactive pill days.

From: Medicines That Can Cause Headaches WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

FDA: "Learning about Side Effects."

Epilepsy Foundation: "Side Effects."

Mayo Clinic: "Albuterol side effects: Can I avoid them?" "Erectile Dysfunction," "Chronic Daily Headaches."

Harvard Medical School: "Take nitroglycerin to ease and avoid a common heart disease symptom."

British Journal of Pharmacology : "Headache-type adverse effects of NO donors: vasodilation and beyond.

Migraine Trust: "Medication-overuse Headache."

Cleveland Clinic: "Rebound Headaches."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on March 30, 2017

SOURCES:

FDA: "Learning about Side Effects."

Epilepsy Foundation: "Side Effects."

Mayo Clinic: "Albuterol side effects: Can I avoid them?" "Erectile Dysfunction," "Chronic Daily Headaches."

Harvard Medical School: "Take nitroglycerin to ease and avoid a common heart disease symptom."

British Journal of Pharmacology : "Headache-type adverse effects of NO donors: vasodilation and beyond.

Migraine Trust: "Medication-overuse Headache."

Cleveland Clinic: "Rebound Headaches."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on March 30, 2017

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