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Rebound headache

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

NBC "Dateline" segment Jan. 18 concerning rebound headache recounts the story of a woman who suffered daily headaches due to overuse of Bristol-Myers Squibb's Excedrin. A headache specialist attributed the woman's headache problems to the caffeine in the OTC product. "Rebound headaches can happen when someone overuses certain kinds of medications, even over-the-counter pain relievers," says Bob Arnot, MD, NBC's resident medical commentator. "Ordinarily, these drugs relieve pain. But if taken constantly, the body can react differently. People can actually become dependent on the drugs." Arnot says it is "important to note that Excedrin and other over-the-counter pain medications are safe when used as directed" and notes "just recently, [FDA] approved Excedrin Migraine as the first over-the-counter drug to treat some types of migraine." The analgesic is a "very effective product" for "occasional tension-type or mild to moderate migraine," the program says
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