Medication Overuse Headache

Hans-Christoph Diener and Zaza Katsarava

Disclosures

Curr Med Res Opin. 2001;17(1s) 

In This Article

Epidemiology

Prevalence and incidence rates of chronic medication overuse headache are rare. In a Spanish populationbased study, about 1% of the population suffered from daily headache combined with medication overuse headache[1]. Most headache centres report that between 5 and 10% of the patients they see fulfil the criteria of medication overuse headache[2]. Micieli et al. observed an incidence of 4.3% in 3000 consecutive headache patients[3]. Patients with cluster headache almost never develop medication overuse headache. A survey in family doctors showed that medication overuse headache was the third most common cause of headache[4]. Taken together, these studies indicate that medication overuse headache is a major health problem. This is also true if one considers the side-effects of chronic intake of analgesics, ergotamine and triptans.

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