Study suggests overuse of barbiturates, opiods leads to chronic migraines

4/29/2008

CHICAGO According to a new study, people who overuse barbiturates and opioids—such as codeine, butalbital and oxycodone—to treat migraines are at an increased risk of developing chronic migraines, defined as having a headache on 15 or more days per month.

The study surveyed 24,000 people about the types of medications they use to treat their headaches. Then, a sample was selected of people who had been diagnosed in 2005 with episodic migraines, which are fewer than 15 headaches per month. Their risk of chronic migraine was then calculated based on the types of medications they used.

The study found people who took drugs containing barbiturates or opioids for only eight days a month were twice as likely to develop chronic migraines a year later as those who didn’t take such drugs.

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