What's a Rebound Headache?

Rebound headaches are brought on by repeated use of headache medication. The duration and frequency of this type of headache depends on the type of medication being used, and how often it is taken.

Rebound Headache Symptoms

During a rebound headache, you may experience any of the following symptoms:

Neck pain

Memory Problems


Restlessness or difficulty sleeping

Long lasting headaches

Headaches that return once medication wears off

Headaches get worse after physical or mental stress

Possible Causes

Although it is not always clear why rebound headaches develop, the body's ability to develop tolerance towards medication is a likely contributor. The overuse of some medications that could result in rebound headaches include:

Simple pain relievers (Tylenol, Aspirin, Ibuprofen). These are considered low-risk.

Combination pain relievers (caffeine, ergots, triptans)


Treatment Options

Treatments for tension headaches vary depending on their intensity and frequency as well as the preferences of individual patients. The Headache Response Center offers a full range of treatments for tension headaches, all intended to help eliminate your headaches in a way that is right for you. These include:

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