In this episode of Migraine Health News Bertrand Doeuk from The Brisbane Headache and Migraine Clinic™ interviews Dr Nicole Limberg a neurologist from Migraine Specialist. The discussion is based on the laws restricting over-the-counter pain medications, which will be in effect as of the 1st of February 2018 in Australia and will affect the estimated 3 million migraine sufferers.
From this date specific low dose pain medication that used to be available over the counter at pharmacies, will now require a prescription from your doctor in order to purchase these medications. This means you will no longer be able to visit your pharmacist to purchase these medications over the counter, without first visiting your doctor to get a prescription.
What does this mean to you as a headache and migraine sufferer?
The first question we should ask is what do these medications do to you, and why do millions of headache and migraine sufferers take such medications?
Many people would know these medications but many headache and migraine sufferers take these analgesic (pain-killer) medications without knowing the long-term consequences involved with these medications. Adverse side effects can include liver damage, addiction, medication overuse headaches and even death.
In addition Dr Limberg explains how trials have failed to prove that weak opioids have a superior analgesic efficacy to simple medications such as paracetamol or NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs). This suggests that headache and migraine sufferers should take medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen rather than stronger pain medications. Dr Limberg also reveals that weak opioids are not recommended in the treatment of tension type headaches or migraines.
It is also important to note, as Dr Limberg suggests that weak opioids are known to be a psychotropic drug. This means a class of drugs which will affect a person’s mental state which may cause drug abuse, and addiction.
Bertrand Doeuk further explains how medication dependency can result in Medication Overuse Headaches (MOH). He explains how according to recent studies, MOH is regarded as the 18th highest cause of disability world wide. When combining that with migraine disability, it makes headaches and migraines the 3rd highest cause of disability in the world. The only thing that tops this is low back pain and depression as the top two disabling conditions. Dr Limberg also explains how MOH is likely to be the most costly disorder world-wide.
The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration have decided to ban certain over the counter medications as of the 1st of February 2018. Both Bertrand Doeuk and Dr Limberg agree that this is a wise move in order to prevent the health issues, mental issues and even deaths associated with these medications.
Dr Limberg further explains how this will assist sufferers in talking to their doctor in order to get a strategic plan in place to assist with headaches and migraines. Medication strategies that may be of significant benefit include:
- Introduce appropriate migraine prophylaxis
- Use a staged approach to acute headache treatments
- Use non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or simple analgesics for mild headaches
- Use triptans for more severe headaches (but not exceeding 10 days per month; and
- Avoid weak opioid containing medications
For further information feel free to contact Bertrand Doeuk from the Brisbane Headache and Migraine Clinic™ or Dr Nicole Limberg from Migraine Specialist.
Brisbane Headache and Migraine Clinic
Ph: 1800 HEADACHE
1800 43 23 22
Email: [email protected]
Dr Nicole Limberg
Ph: (07) 3831 1611
Email: [email protected]
Imagine a life free from headaches ???
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