How long to stop medication overuse headache from Amerge?

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  • Full Question:

    I am 72 years old. I have had migraines for over 40 years. I have been taking Amerge, a triptan, for several years. I believe that I have triptan overuse headaches. I have not taken one in 11 days now. Do you have any information on how long it takes to recover from overuse headache? I have been taking ibuprophen with very little relief since I stopped the Amerge. Thank you, LaVerne.
             

     

    Full Answer:

    Dear LaVerne;

     

    The research isn't definitive about how long it takes to get out of a medication overuse cycle. For some, it seems to take a few weeks; for others, it can take months.

     

    The concerning aspect of your question is your taking ibuprofen now rather than the Amerge. If you're taking it more than two or three days a week, you may have gone from the frying pan into the fire, so to speak, and could now be experiencing medication overuse headache from it. See Medication Overuse Headache - When the Remedy Backfires for more information on this, and take particular note of the different subtypes of medication overuse headache.

     

    Getting out of this type of cycle can be quite difficult. Don't hesitate to contact your doctor for assistance.

     

    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

     

     

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    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.

     

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    Last updated February 16, 2013.

     

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Published On: February 16, 2013