The June 10, 2004 Reuters Health reports that a new study released June
10, shows that nearly one quarter of children and teens with chronic headaches are overusing over-the-counter pain relievers.
The study defined overuse of pain relievers as taking more than three doses per week for over six weeks.
The study noted that approximately one in seven kids said they took the
medicines without telling their parents. Almost one in five participants said they had headaches every day, or nearly so.
Most of the daily headache sufferers were girls and students who got high grades in school. Study author Dr. A. David Rothner,
of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio told Reuters Health, "Most likely children and teens are taking this medicine because they
think it will relieve their headaches, and not to get any type of "high."
The study noted that there are many reasons why kids shouldn`t overuse
these medicines. Some pain relievers contain aspirin, which puts children under the age of 19 at risk of Reye`s syndrome,
a potentially fatal disorder. Additionally, other risks of overuse of over-the-counter pain medicines include kidney
failure, liver problems, and intestinal and stomach bleeding.
The study author, Dr. Rothner concluded with a warning for parents, "If
you see they`re using the medicine more than twice a week, then bingo! You`ve got a problem on your hands, and you`ve got
to do something about it."
Note: If you or your child is experiencing frequent headaches, it
could be due to a food reaction or spinal misalignment. Consult with your chiropractor
to help determine the cause and most effective care of chronic headaches.