Redbook spoke to AMF chairman David Dodick, M.D., about Medication Overuse Headache and the wider pattern of addiction to over-the-counter medications.

According to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the average American makes 26 trips to buy off-the-shelf medications a year compared with just three trips to see a doctor. Over-the-counter medicines can provide pain relief and relieve symptoms, but relying on those medications can easily turn unhealthy.

Dr. Dodick describes such relationships with medication as a “slippery slope,” noting that medication can alleviate chronic migraine pain, but can also increase the risk of another headache. “Before they know it, they’ve fallen into a daily pattern of use.” Learn more about over-the-counter medication and when to call a doctor here.

David Dodick, M.D., is the chairman of the American Migraine Foundation and a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.