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Pract Neurol. 2019 Jul 4. pii: practneurol-2018-002048. doi: 10.1136/practneurol-2018-002048. [Epub ahead of print]

Medication-overuse headache.

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Neurology, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester, UK
Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.


Medication-overuse headache is defined as headache occurring on more than 15 days in a month in people with pre-existing primary headache, and developing as a consequence of regular overuse of acute headache treatments. Medication-overuse headache is common in general neurology clinics and can be difficult to manage. Most patients have a background of migraine, which has slowly transformed over months and years from the episodic to chronic form; with this comes an increased use of acute migraine treatment. This paper identifies who is at risk of developing medication-overuse headache, and reviews preventive measures and current treatment strategies.


chronic migraine; daily headache; medication-overuse headache; migraine; rebound headache

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Competing interests: None declared.

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