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Navigation: > Home > Critical Warning Signs & Risks of  Using Medications

Critical Warning Signs for Headaches


Although headaches are very common it is not normal to have a headache.  Headaches are a signal from your body that something is out of balance… (Hangover victims are you listening?)  If you often have headaches try using PrestoPainGo when you feel the very beginning of a headache.  Frequent acupressure can help bring your body back into balance and prevent further headaches.  If your headaches keep returning after weeks of Presto treatments we recommend that you contact an acupuncturist or other licensed health practitioner to diagnose and treat your condition.


Although it is uncommon, some headaches may be a sign of a serious medical emergency like meningitis, internal bleeding under the skull or in the brain, the growth of a tumor, or extreme high blood pressure. Contact a licensed health professional immediately if you experience headaches after any trauma to the head or neck,  if you have unusual headaches, or a headache with any of the following symptoms:  changes in consciousness, visual disturbances, high blood pressure, a sudden onset of headache, or a combination of stiff neck, fever, nausea, and vomiting.


Special Warning: Artificial Sweeteners can cause chronic headaches like the ones described below. 


I had been dealing with head-pounding headaches for a couple years. It had gotten so bad that I was taking up to 8 Tylenol® a day!! Looking back, it really started when I began to drink diet soda on a regular basis. Once it was brought to my attention how aspartame metabolizes in my body and how it could be the root cause of my headaches, I cut back my intake drastically from 6 cans a day to one or two a week. Now, I no longer need to take pain medications for headaches and I can think more clearly! Ask questions, get the facts, and know that greatly reducing artificial sweeteners in my diet made a BIG difference for me! " Miles S.


Risks of Using Over the Counter and Prescription Medications


Treating headaches or any pain with prescription or over the counter medications can lead to numerous long term side effects including chronic and frequent headaches which have their own medical acronym: MOH (medication overuse headache).


Regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, which include: aspirin, ibuprofen (as found in Advil®), naproxen (Aleve®), and a long list of prescription NSAIDS (see below) often lead to life threatening gastrointestinal ulcers and/or bleeding. NSAIDs can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer.  Studies have also shown that they interfere with bone healing and may increase the rate of arthritic joint deterioration. NSAIDs may also damage the kidneys of elderly patients and are linked to an increased risk of renal (kidney) cell cancer.  A recent study found that males who are regular NSAID users are 38% more likely to have erectile dysfunction. The news is even worse for pregnant women because using NSAIDs during pregnancy can more than double (2.4 times) the risk of having a miscarriage.


Commonly prescribed NSAIDS include: celecoxib (Celebrex®), diclofenac (Voltaren®), etodolac (Lodine®), fenoprefen (Nalfon®), indomethacin (Indocin®), ketoprofen (Orudis®, Oruvail®), ketoralac (Toradol®), oxaprozin (Daypro®), nabumetone (Relafen®), sulindac (Clinoril®), tolmetin (Tolectin®), and rofecoxib (Vioxx®).


Quotes, references, and links to articles which give further details about the risks of NSAIDs are listed below.


“Conservative calculations estimate that approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalized annually for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related gastrointestinal (GI) complications and at least 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone.”  July 1998 issue of The American Journal of Medicine http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/deadly-nsaids


Several clinical studies have shown that the use of NSAID’s accelerates the rate of osteoarthritis and increases joint destruction.



Congestive Heart Failure:

Page J. MBBS(Hons) and Henry D. MBchB, “Consumption of NSAIDs and the Development of Congestive Heart Failure in Elderly Patients”, Archives of Internal Medicine, March 27, 2000, Vol. 160, pp. 777-784



NSAIDs may damage kidneys.



“Long-term daily use of ibuprofen was also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer [51% increased risk with a range between 17% to 95% increased risk], particularly of nonlocalized tumors (92% increased risk with a range between 24% to 297% increased risk).” 

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Use and Breast Cancer Risk by Stage and Hormone Receptor Status

Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 97, No. 11, 805-812, June 1, 2005  (PDF file)



“Use of NSAIDs and use of acetaminophen were significantly associated with increased risk of hypertension, but aspirin use was not. A substantial proportion of hypertension in the United States, and the associated morbidity and mortality, may be due to the use of these medications.”

Archives of Internal Medicine. October 28, 2002;162:2204-2208


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