Can naproxen sodium cause medication overuse headache?

Health Professional

Full Question:

I am a bit confused about MOH. Can naproxen sodium (Aleve, etc) cause it? I don't see it listed among the usual suspects. I take naproxen as my first line defense against my chronic daily migraines. It is, thankfully, sometimes effective and I'd hate to give it up. Thanks. Elizabeth.


Dear Elizabeth;

NSAIDs such as naproxen sodium should not be taken daily. A recent study confirmed that:

NSAIDs were actually associated with a decreased risk of transformed Migraine ONLY for Migraineurs with fewer than 10 - 14 Migraine days per month. This would serve to confirm that NSAID use should be restricted to no more than two or three days per week and should NOT be used for Migraine prevention.

For more information on this, please see _Medication Overuse Headache - When the Remedy Backfires _.

It's entirely possible that daily use of naproxen sodium is making things worse for you. The better option is to work with your doctor to find an effective preventive regimen. If your doctor isn't able to help you, it may well be time to consult a Migraine and headache specialist. It's important to note that neurologists aren't necessarily Migraine and headache specialists. Take a look at the article  Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? If you need help finding a Migraine specialist, check our listing of ** Patient Recommended Migraine and Headache Specialists**.

Good luck,
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

To review other questions from our Ask the Clinician Column,

_browse the Ask the Clinician archives _.

If you need help finding a Migraine and headache specialist,

visit our listing of _Patient Recommended Specialists _.

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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