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Rebound Headaches


Radha
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i was wondering if you can still get rebound headaches if you take a different pain med everyday, like one day darvocet, next day ultram, next day vicodin, can you avoid rebound effect and also getting addicted this way? thanks for any input,

radha

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This is a good question for the pharmacist, as well as for a pain specialist. From what I understand, it's usually over-the-counter drugs that are responsible for rebound headache. The headaches will probably get worse for a while after you quit the drug. I doubt that switching to another drug in the same therapeutic class would help avoid rebound headache. I'm not even sure that switching to another drug will give you much relief from rebound headache. You may just have to suffer through the rebounds until you break the cycle. The real question is whether you really have rebound headache. http://www.stoppain.org/pain_medicine/cont...ain/rebound.asp

If you ask for a whole assortment of different painkillers, especially if you ask for them by name, the doctor and pharmacist might start to wonder whether you are taking the stuff yourself or, um, "diverting" it. So be careful what you ask for. The last thing you need is for your doctors to refuse to give you pain meds because they don't trust you.

If you have migraines, perhaps the best thing is to keep a headache diary to see if you can identify what triggers your headaches. For me, the triggers are failure to eat my entire salt ration, spending too much time on my feet, too much exertion too early in the day, and doing something that involves a lot of bending over.

If you are worried about addiction, it may be helpful to review these definitions of related terminology.

http://www.asam.org/pain/definitions2.pdf

People who need opiate pain relievers for an extended period typically become physically dependent on them and suffer withdrawal symptoms when they discontinue taking the drug. That is normal and not evidence of addiction. Notice that the definition of addiction includes "use despite harm."

Switching from one opiate to another will not prevent addiction. Fortunately, the risk of addiction seems to be low in people who have moderate to severe chronic pain and no prior history of addictive disorders.

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Something to consider - I have found this to be the case with me - is that Tylenol (acetaminophen) was causing my rebound headaches. Darvocet and Vicodin both contain tylenol, I think Ultram does too.

Now I will try aspirin and IF that does not work then I go for the Vicodin.

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