Painkillers could be causing your headache, experts say - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Painkillers could be causing your headache, experts say


Health experts in Britain said painkillers could be causing your headache, and now health experts have issued new warnings to help doctors diagnose the problem.

Victoria Saxton has suffered from migraines for years. For a long time, she said she tried to manage the pain on her own with over-the-counter pain killers.

"They worked at first," she said. "So you take more and more. So I started taking them like they were candy."

It turns out, that what was making her pain worse.

Doctors diagnosed her with what's called a medication overuse headache.

"Only about 50 percent of people actually go and get a diagnosis," said Wendy Thomas, chief executive of Migraine Trust. "They think their doctor will send them away saying it's just a headache."

British health experts said patients who take over-the-counter pain medications, including aspirin and Ibuprofen, up to 15 days a month could be causing their headaches.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is urging doctors to take a closer look at whether painkillers could be harming their patients.

It's estimated that one in 50 people get headaches from taking too much medication, and women are five times more likely to suffer than men.

"I have no idea what I was doing," Saxton said. "I was in excruciating pain and just trying to help myself."

Saxton now has the help of a doctor and takes four pills a day instead of 10 to manage her pain.

She said she even writes in a journal to track her progress.

Saxton writes a blog called Migraine Monologues to help educate people around the world about how to manage the condition.

To check out the blog, click here.

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