Dr Rigmor Jensen Considers the Future of Research on Medication Overuse Headache

It will be very interesting to understand the mechanism of medication overuse headache, along with the effects antibodies have on the condition, said Rigmor Jensen, MD, professor of neurology at The University of Copenhagen and director of the Danish Headache Center.

It will be very interesting to understand the mechanism of medication overuse headache, along with the effects antibodies have on the condition, said Rigmor Jensen, MD, professor of neurology at The University of Copenhagen and director of the Danish Headache Center.

Transcript:

The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®): In your opinion, what will be the next frontier in research into medication overuse headache?

Dr. Jensen: The mechanism. I would love to know the mechanism of medication overuse. What are the painkillers doing to the pain system? Is it dysregulation of the pain system? Are we just upscaling the receptors? What is it doing to the pain system? Because it's not only the headache that's the problem, it's also another kind of chronic pain where we see a lot of overuse and chronification. A significant problem in the United States, as an example, probably also other in countries, is the use of opioids. Because opioids do not do anything good for your pain system and for the patient itself. You can become dependent on it. It's a significant problem in the US and may others. And it is difficult to stop the medication withdrawal in those that are already on opioids. In the US they also use barbiturates. It's not the case in Europe. But opioids are a worldwide problem.


I'm also very interested to see what the good news is about medication overuse with the new antibodies...and the new generation of products. What is that doing to the risk of medication overuse? Are they more effective and can they really reduce the prevalence of medication overuse in those severely affected patients? That's a very interesting case to see. What is the mechanism of the medication overuse? What is it doing to the pain system? Can we have good studies also in animals to understand the underlying biology? What the new drugs can give us for an understanding and much better treatment for medication overuse. At the moment, we need more education, much more education, to prevent the medication overuse on a global scale.