Overuse of analgesics and opioids linked to acute migraine headache

February 7, 2017   |   Evidence in Integrative Healthcare

Medpage Today published a 12-07-2016 systemic literature review showing a link between the overuse of analgesics and opioids, as an increased risk for onset of Acute Migraine Headaches. Ergots (vessel constricting drugs: Migranal & Cafergot, Migergot: ergotamine with caffeine) and triptans had a lower risk factor of producing acute migraine headache. However, the findings may be associated with relative ease of obtaining analgesics and opioids. Analgesics and opioids are less costly and used more frequently. Many analgesics can be acquired over-the-counter without prescription. Opioids are one of the least expensive prescriptive pain medications. Researchers point out, ‘migraine headache poses a significant socioeconomic burden, making it one of the most costly neurologic disorders known’. While the article did not include integrative healthcare treatment for migraines, there is evidence highlighted in the Cochrane Library and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Healthcare (NCCIH) of non-drug alternatives that can help with migraines such as acupuncture, massage, and dietary supplements like butterbur.