According to a report released today, doctors say up to a million people in the UK have “completely preventable” severe headaches caused by taking too many painkillers. They said some were trapped in a “vicious cycle” of taking pain relief, which then cause even more headaches. The warning came as part of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s (NICE) first guidelines for treating headaches.
The report said “Medication overuse headaches” feel the same as other common headaches or migraines. While painkillers would be many people’s instant response, they could be making sufferers feel even worse. Prof Martin Underwood, from Warwick Medical School, who led the NICE panel, said: “This can end up getting into a vicious cycle where your headache gets worse, so you take more painkillers, so your headache gets worse and this just becomes worse and worse and worse.