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Over 4 million adults suffer from Chronic Daily Migraine, when migraines occur on 15 or more days per month, and 85% of them are women.
People who suffer from chronic migraine use a combination of acute, preventive, and complementary treatments to try to control or lessen the incessant incapacitating pain. Depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances are common for those with chronic migraine, as are many other comorbid conditions, such as bipolar disorder, arthritis and hypertension. About 88% of chronic migraine sufferers have at least one additional chronic comorbid condition. Over 20% of chronic migraine sufferers are disabled, and their overall quality of life is greatly diminished. The likelihood of disability increases sharply with the number of comorbid chronic conditions.
Although there are many contributing factors to the progression from episodic to chronic migraine, medication overuse is the most common. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs can cause overuse headaches. Overuse involves using pain killers, triptans, or certain other medications more than 2-3 days per week, week after week and month after month. This can create a headache-worsening pattern that results in more headaches and the need to take more medicine. Not only is the pattern itself harmful, but while in this cycle, treatments that were once effective often don’t work. The only way out of this cycle is to stop the pattern of overuse, which should always be done under a doctor’s care.
The information provided here should not be used for the diagnosis, treatment, or evaluation of any medical condition. The Migraine Research Foundation has made every effort to ensure that the information is accurate; however, we cannot warranty its reliability, completeness, or timeliness. © Migraine Research Foundation.