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Consumer Reports Urges Chronic Headache Sufferers to Examine Their Use of Pain Relief Drugs
Date:9/2/2008

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Dr. Avitzur notes that the ready availability of nonprescription pain relievers on drugstore shelves and in many homes may be contributing to the problem. A recent ConsumerReports survey of more than 6,000 subscribers confirmed that most of their medicine cabinets did contain over-the-counter pain relief drugs including acetaminophen (73 percent), ibuprofen (73 percent), and aspirin (69 percent). In a separate survey of 47,283 Consumer Reports subscribers conducted last year, 31 percent admitted that they did not always carefully follow directions on labels. Those who routinely overused drugs justified it because their pain was severe, they felt no side effects, or they believed that their above-average weight or height warranted additional medication.

Consumer Reports offers the following four tips for treating headache pain:

TIPS FOR TREATING HEADACHE PAIN

1. Use Pain Medications Properly

Always follow label directions for how to take the medication, and don't take the medication more than twice a week. People whose headaches persist should see a doctor.

2. Talk to Your Doctor

Chronic headache sufferers should inform their doctors of all prescription and nonprescription drugs they're taking, including any supplements.

3. Explore Alternatives

Pills aren't the only way to treat headache pain. Nondrug treatments such as acupuncture, biofeedback, physical therapy, and relaxation techniques can also be effective.

4. Cut Down on Pain Drugs

People who have medication-overuse headaches should work with their doctors to taper off the drugs. They should also ask their doctors whether a drug designed to prevent headaches (a prophylactic agent) might help them.

OCTOBER 2008 (C) Consumers Union 2008. The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for commercial or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports(R) is published by Consumers Union, an expert, inde
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SOURCE Consumer Reports
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