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Medication-overuse headache

Katsarava, Zazaa; Obermann, Markb

Current Opinion in Neurology: June 2013 - Volume 26 - Issue 3 - p 276–281
doi: 10.1097/WCO.0b013e328360d596
HEADACHE: Edited by Peter J. Goadsby

Purpose of review Medication-overuse headache (MOH) is a well described clinical entity. There is a growing body of knowledge on the epidemiology of MOH, risk factors, and treatment strategies.

Recent findings The International Headache Society updated the classification criteria for MOH. Population-based studies provided an insight into the prevalence and peculiarities of MOH patients in eastern Europe and Asia. Large-scaled population-based longitudinal studies made it possible to analyze risk factors leading to the development of MOH. Imaging studies helped to better understand the pathophysiology of headache chronicity. New treatment strategies have been suggested.

Summary MOH is a common headache disorder and a serious public health problem all over the world. Although the treatment regimen for MOH patients is straightforward and the outcomes are favorable, it is time now to move forward and establish a predictive model for early recognition of patients at high risk, to intervene early and avoid development of chronic headache.

aEvangelic Hospital Unna, University of Duisburg-Essen,

bUniversity of Duisburg-Essen, Unna, Germany

Correspondence to Zaza Katsarava, Professor, MD, MSc, Chief, Medical Faculty, Department of Neurology, Evangelic Hospital Unna, University of Duisburg-Essen, Holbeinstrasse 10, 59423 Unna, Germany. Tel: +49 2303 106 336; fax: +49 2303 106 134; e-mail:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.