Caffeine is known to many as a stimulant that aids in mental alertness, particularly after a sleepless night or when you are running low on energy. It is present in numerous plant species, but coffee beans are the most popular among them. Scientists have proven that caffeine has many uses. Among these, it can help in the treatment of headaches. For this reason, some people are used to taking caffeine pills to ease their migraine.
Here are seven things you have to know about caffeine pills:
- Caffeine pills for headaches are over-the-counter or non-prescription drugs which are widely available in convenience stores or pharmacy outlets. It usually comes in 200 mg tablets. Prior to buying any brand of caffeine pills, read the package carefully and follow the instructions on the label.
- For most adults, 400 mg or two tablets of caffeine per day is generally a safe dosage. However, if you are a heavy coffee drinker and have a history of headaches caused by caffeine overdose, you might need to go easy on caffeine pills. Some of the known symptoms of caffeine overdose are nausea, muscle tremors, insomnia, and irritability among others. Palpitations or increased heart rate have also been reported by some patients who have experienced caffeine overdose.
- When used with a chemical called ergotamine, which aids narrowing the blood vessels to the brain, caffeine pills are known to be effective in treating migraine headaches. Caffeine is an active ingredient in various medications for headaches, such as Excedrin, Anacin, Fioricet, and Migranal, to name a few.
- Caffeine is also used with painkillers in treating headaches caused by epidural anesthesia. A lot of people swear by drinking a strong cup of coffee as a cure for tension headaches, too.
- According to medical experts, chronic daily headache (CDH) patients typically use caffeine pills or caffeine beverages as part of their headache medications. On the other hand, heavy coffee drinkers are at a higher risk of developing CDH due to overdose or dehydration.
- To be on the safe side, periodically measure your pulse before and after taking caffeine pills. A normal resting heart rate for most adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute.
- It takes about an hour for caffeine pills to be fully absorbed into the bloodstream. Check your pulse before taking caffeine pills, then check it again an hour after. You should see a doctor in case you get an abnormally high heart rate.
Migraine(1) experts note that caffeine may have different effects on different individuals. For instance, heavy coffee drinkers may not get relief from caffeine pills. Conversely, if you are not accustomed to drinking coffee, you might develop a dependency on caffeine and increased migraine frequency.
Thus, for people hoping to cure their headaches with caffeine, they should not take caffeine pills for over two days per week. It may also be a good idea to withdraw from caffeine for several months if one’s headache persists. Experts agree that there is no way to accurately measure caffeine’s effects on the brain, but it certainly depends on your average daily consumption.
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