Is it ok to take paracetamol most days?

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I have suffered from migraines for over 40 years, the last 15-20 years,they had become uncontrollable. Two years ago I was prescribed Pizotifen which has been an improvement. The frequency of attacks is about the same but the intensity is less. I find that I can get by with just taking 2 paracetamol extra instead of sumatriptan. But the last few weeks I have been waking up most mornings at about 4 o'clock with the start of a migraine, I take 2 paracetamol only and most of the time it goes, there has been twice this week when I have had to take sumatriptan. So my question is, is it ok to take paracetamol nearly every day? It is only 2. Without it or the sumatriptan the headache will get worse until I am unable to function. With my headaches starting in the mornings at least I can take something straight away and get on with my day.

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Kath I was told by my neurologist that taking paracetamol regularly gives you headaches.
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    • Posted

      Hi Babs, yes I know that painkillers can give rebound headaches that's why I wonder if just 2 would cause it. Fine this morning though so haven't had to take anything.

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  • Posted

    Hi Kath1955, I'm so sorry to hear of your suffering. I haven't found that paracetamol works for me in any way, but I take ibroprofen with rizatriptan in the same way as you - my headaches start at 4am too and that works. However, I also discovered something else - my dentist noticed I was grinding my teeth at night and said this could contribute and suggested a mouth guard. So maybe check if you are grinding your teeth? I happened to be on some anti depressant medication and when I came off it, the teeth grinding stopped. My doctor also said that I might be hungry and this could contribute to the headache so now I

    have something to eat just before bed and that helps. I hope you can find some solutions....let me know how you go..

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    • Posted

      Thanks Nicola, I have recently been to the dentist, teeth fine. Interesting what you say about being hungry, that may be the reason that I don't get as many when we're on holiday because we eat later. I had stopped having a glass of milk in the evening to cut back on the calories. I'm fine this morning but didn't do anything different last night. It seems that there doesn't seem to be any one thing that triggers it. I think that there is still a lot of research to be done on migraines, so many people suffer.

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    • Posted

      That's very interesting. I have found with mine that there are about 5 things that set off an attack and it's a case of if 4 of them occur together - each on its own doesn't create it but combined together they do. I've been trying to evaluate when I don't have one what I did the day before eg eating at regular times every day helps. I found eating last thing quite hard as I was watching calories too but it did make me feel better.

      Glad the teeth were ok! Do you have back trouble? I do and the chiropractor said it's very common that his clients have migraines as well.

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    • Posted

      No, back fine as well. I am 61 and have suffered since I was 17. Originally there were only about 3 times a year and controllable with paracetamol. There used to be triggered by stress, bright lights and strobing. But about 15 years ago there became more persistent and didn't respond to over the counter meds. It was then that I started the process of trying everything from anti depressants, anti epileptic cutting out certain foods, vitamins and as I said before the only thing that has given me some improvement is Pizotifen, sumatriptan works really well for pain relief. So I am a bit disappointed after being on it for 2 years to find an increase in attacks, although as said most of the time the paracetamol works. I have spoken to my GP about it and he still thinks that this is the safest option.

      I was just a bit concerned that I may be taking too many paracetamol but it is only 2 on the onset, it's not 2, 4 times a day. It is interesting to hear other people's experiences though. Thanks for your feedback.

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    • Posted

      That's very interesting that you find they have become more frequent in recent years - I feel that mine haven't decreased. I had an improvement when I started taking Propanolol daily - I get fewer attacks and I do notice when I run out. This mysteriously works on vascular migraines - stress and tension can set mine off.

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