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Curr Treat Options Neurol. 2001 Mar;3(2):181-188.

Medication Overuse Headache.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, The Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Jefferson Headache Center, 111 South Eleventh Street, Gibbon Building, Suite 8130, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Medication overuse headache is common and affects 2% of the United States population. Simple analgesics, caffeine-containing analgesics, butalbital-containing analgesics, opioids, ergotamine, and triptans may cause medication overuse headache. The recidivism rate is higher after detoxification from butalbital and opioids than after detoxification from other substances. Treatment venues have included the patient's home, an infusion center, or a hospital setting. No consensus exists to determine the setting that is most appropriate. Patients with analgesic overuse headache have a different psychologic substrate than psychiatric substance abusers. Most should not be treated in psychiatric detoxification facilities, although, psychiatric assessment and support may be beneficial.

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