Kids take too much pain medication for headaches

Kids Take Too Much Pain Medication for Headaches

According to a recent survey of nearly 700 children and adolescents, more than one in five were overusing over-the-counter pain medications to relieve headaches. Often parents aren’t aware their kids were using pain relievers. Of the children participating in the survey, 41% had migraines, 28% experienced tension headaches.

Overuse of pain medications was defined by the researchers as using these drugs more than three times a week for longer than six weeks. That standard was met by 22% of the children surveyed. The results of the survey mirrored similar studies done on adults.

Serious problems like GI bleeding and kidney failure have been linked to taking too many pain relievers. Taking pain medication for headaches can lead to “rebound” headaches that are far worse than the original. Headaches are caused by simply failing to take the medication.

Of the 700 surveyed, 80% who suffered from daily headaches were female. All but 15% of those polled were high achievers making top grades. Almost 15% missed more than 15 school days a year.

Yahoo! News June 10, 2004

Key words: headaches, medication, migraine

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