When Should You Stop Your Prescribed Headache Regimen?

By Annette GallagherSeptember 2, 2016No Comments

A doctor will often put individuals who deal with constantly recurring, chronic headaches and migraines on prescription medications in an attempt to reduce their discomfort. It is important to remember that certain headache medications should not be abruptly stopped and that a gradual reduction may be needed. Always consult with your physician before altering any medication regimens, especially when it comes to headache pain.


Many medications are designed to control pain and reduce the nausea that sometimes can accompany a severe migraine. This can result in side effects, depending on what medication is being prescribed and what other medicines are being taken for particular health problems the patient may be experiencing.

Blurred vision, dizziness, numbness, tingling in the extremities and irregular heartbeat are just a few of the symptoms that should be immediately reported to your doctor. If a headache medication begins to interact with other medications to the point where the patient has difficulty functioning, the program may have to be discontinued until the doctor can review the patient’s case and develop a new treatment plan.


Changes in a patient’s health may also warrant a review of a prescription medication program. For example, headaches that are caused by severe hypertension may be dramatically reduced once the person gets their high blood pressure under control. Once the blood pressure is within normal limits, other symptoms associated with the condition may gradually begin to disappear. This includes chronic headaches, migraines, edema, and chest pain.

Losing excess weight and getting diabetes under control may also help. In any of these situations, the medications prescribed for chronic headache pain will have to be reviewed and adjusted accordingly.


If chronic headaches and migraine pain are caused by structural injuries to the body like whiplash, cervical spinal stenosis and/or pinched nerves in the neck and shoulders, correcting the problems in those areas may reduce headache pain.

Massage therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture and various forms of physical or occupational therapy may help to restore structural balance and eliminate the need for the medications. Once the cause of the headache pain has been assessed and evaluated, treating it correctly will help return the body to its natural state, relieving pain and discomfort in both the head and the area of the injury.


At the National Headache Institute, we know that correcting the cause of the pain can help to reduce a patient’s headache pain. Putting a patient on a prescription program is only the beginning, as we begin to work through any possible health issues they may have. It is our goal to make sure each patient lives a healthy, active life free of the pain and discomfort associated with both chronic headaches and migraines.  Please contact us today for more information or a consultation.