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Rebound headaches can develop if you frequently use headache medication. Although the risk of developing medication-overuse headache varies depending on the medication, any acute headache medication has the potential to lead to rebound headaches, including:
Combination pain relievers. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers that combine caffeine, aspirin and acetaminophen (Excedrin, others) are common culprits. This group also includes prescription medications such as Fiorinal, which contains the sedative butalbital.
Butalbital-containing compounds have an especially high risk of causing rebound headaches, so it's best not to take them to treat headaches. If you do take this type of drug, limit its use to no more than four days a month.
Daily doses of caffeine — from your morning coffee, your afternoon soda, and pain relievers and other products containing this mild stimulant — may fuel rebound headaches, as well. Read product labels to make sure you're not wiring your system with more caffeine than you realize.
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