Over a million people in Britain could be suffering from constant and crippling headaches because of taking too many painkillers, according to experts. According to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in guidance to the health service for England and Wales, the pills people take to relieve headaches and migraines may be making things much worse, The Guardian reported.
NICE says that as many as one in 50 people suffering from continual headaches are in reality victims of “medication overuse”. The problem begins with taking the odd painkiller for tension headaches or migraines, which usually works. Some people, however, take the pills more and more often, until they are on tablets for more than half the days a month. According to Nice, if this goes on for more than three months the medication ends up causing the problem it is intended to cure. At risk are those who are taking paracetamol, aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, for their headaches, either alone or in combination, for 15 days a month or more. The report said the risk is also carried by migraine sufferers taking triptans, opioids, ergots or combination analgesic medications for just 10 days a month or more.