coffeeDr. Kathleen Digre, fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and director of Headache and Neuro-ophthalmology Division at the University of Utah in Salt Lake:
“The thing about caffeine and headache is that’s it’s complex, because it’s both. Caffeine can be useful for the onset of headaches when taken with pain medications.

“There are certain headaches, called hypnic headaches, that can be prevented with caffeine. Hypnic headaches are a rare headache seen in elderly individuals that starts after they fall asleep. Drinking a bit of coffee before you go to sleep can prevent hypnic headaches. Caffeine is also used in post-lumbar puncture headaches [which can occur after a person undergoes a spinal tap].

“For other types of headaches, sometimes caffeine is a cure when it’s put in combination with many pain medicines such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, indomethacin and ergotamine. Caffeine increases the strength of the medication and how quickly it works.

“But caffeine is a two-edged sword. The other side of the coin is if you take a lot of caffeine and then stop it, you can have a withdrawal headache. A lot of people drink coffee during the week, and then don’t have it on the weekends, and they get a headache.

“If you take caffeine every day, especially with the medications to stop a headache, it can give people severe chronic rebound or medication-overuse headaches.

“While many people believe caffeine cures headaches because it is a vasoconstrictor, caffeine has minimal vasoconstrictive properties; it’s ability to help headaches is related to its complex properties in the pain pathways. It is not just due to a vasoconstriction that’s an oversimplification.”

http://www.livescience.com/35949-caffeine-causes-cures-headaches.html

Dr. Kathleen Digre, fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and director of Headache and Neuro-ophthalmology Division at the University of Utah in Salt Lake:

“The thing about caffeine and headache is that’s it’s complex, because it’s both. Caffeine can be useful for the onset of headaches when taken with pain medications.

“There are certain headaches, called hypnic headaches, that can be prevented with caffeine. Hypnic headaches are a rare headache seen in elderly individuals that starts after they fall asleep. Drinking a bit of coffee before you go to sleep can prevent hypnic headaches. Caffeine is also used in post-lumbar puncture headaches [which can occur after a person undergoes a spinal tap].

“For other types of headaches, sometimes caffeine is a cure when it’s put in combination with many pain medicines such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, indomethacin and ergotamine. Caffeine increases the strength of the medication and how quickly it works.

“But caffeine is a two-edged sword. The other side of the coin is if you take a lot of caffeine and then stop it, you can have a withdrawal headache. A lot of people drink coffee during the week, and then don’t have it on the weekends, and they get a headache.

“If you take caffeine every day, especially with the medications to stop a headache, it can give people severe chronic rebound or medication-overuse headaches.

“While many people believe caffeine cures headaches because it is a vasoconstrictor, caffeine has minimal vasoconstrictive properties; it’s ability to help headaches is related to its complex properties in the pain pathways. It is not just due to a vasoconstriction that’s an oversimplification.”

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