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Call for re-think on rebound headache treatment

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There is a critical need to review treatment strategies for medication overuse headaches (MOH), commonly known as rebound headaches, say US researchers.

‘MOH is associated with severe disability, unmet treatment need and little clinical data to support current management strategies’ warns David Dodick, a neurology professor at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Arizona.

He suggested that the traditional approach of withholding new treatment strategies until patients have been through detoxification may not be the best clinical option.

‘Data from recent trials indicate that treatments developed to prevent migraine may prove effective if they are used in patients with MOH before the overused medicine is withdrawn,’ he said.

‘We estimate that the condition affects one in every 100 adults and one in every 200 adolescents worldwide, which is a considerable number,’ professor Dodick said. ‘For example, in the US 60% of people with chronic daily headaches attending headache clinics have MOH.’

Cephalalgia (2008) 28: 1207-1217

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